KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples Party leaders have reiterated their pledge to uphold the banner of democracy for which their leaders Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto and hundreds of their workers laid down their lives.
They said they would resist every move against the democratic order in the country and stand by the government in such an eventuality despite differences with the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.
Any attempt to impose dictatorship in the garb of national government would be resisted tooth and nail by the PPP, they said.
The pledge was renewed by Senator Raza Rabbani, Senator Saeed Ghani and Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani while speaking at an Iftar party organised by media cell of the PPP’s Sindh chapter on Saturday.
On the occasion, the PPP leaders also recalled what they termed the events of the “dark day when forces of darkness” overthrew the elected government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and sent the PPP founder to the gallows.
They praised Mr Bhutto for holding a summit of Muslim leaders in Lahore and for laying the foundations of Pakistan’s nuclear programme.
Senator Rabbani said the revelation that an American agency had been authorised in 2010 to spy on the PPP had given credence to the view that in addition to the reactionary forces in the country some foreign imperialist forces were also behind the ouster of Mr Bhutto’s government.
He said that seeds of religious extremism, sectarianism and terrorism (for which the country was paying a heavy price today) were sown by Gen Ziaul Haq on July 4 and 5.
The “reign of terror” unleashed by the general has few parallels in history because people were hanged merely due to political differences.
The senator urged the government to take up with the Obama administration the issue of alleged snooping on the affairs of the PPP by a US agency.
Senator Ghani said the situation in the country made it imperative for the country’s democratic forces to join hands to ward off any dangers to the rule of law.
Mr Durrani pointed out that the forces that overthrew Mr Bhutto’s elected government were also involved in his “judicial murder”.
Amanullah Kasi adds: The PPP’s Balochistan chapter observed a ‘black day’ on Saturday to mark the anniversary of the overthrow of the PPP government by Gen Ziaul Haq in 1977.
In a statement, the party said it had rendered great sacrifices but had never compromised on principles and had always struggled for the supremacy of parliament and democracy.
The PPP leaders and workers supported the Movement for Restoration of Democracy against Gen Haq and succeeded in establishing democratic rule in 1988.
The country also had to endure the dictatorship of Gen Pervez Musharraf in 1999, when the PPP embarked on a long struggle which ended in 2008 with the restoration of democracy, it added. The provincial PPP leaders said the party was following in the footsteps of Mr Bhutto by continuing its struggle against extremism and terrorism.
Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2014