Defending democracy: ‘PPP supports continuity of democratic setup’

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LAHORE: “The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is committed to democracy and its continuity and will never support any move against the democratic setup in the country,” former Punjab governor and PPP leader Sardar Latif Khan Khosa said on Saturday.

He was addressing a seminar organised by the People’s Lawyers Forum at the Lahore High Court to mark the day General Ziaul Haq had overthrown the government of former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

Khosa said the present rulers must not use undemocratic tactics against leaders of other political parties.

“The government should accept the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) demand for verification of votes in four constituencies instead of taking the risk of exposing the whole system to unnecessary danger,” the PPP leader said.

Khosa said July 5 was a day for PPP workers to reject and resist any anti-democratic move. “Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto rendered the ultimate sacrifice by giving up his life for the cause of democracy and empowerment of the people. He did not bow down to Ziaul Haq’s dictatorship,” he said.

H said the PPP leaders and workers were dedicated to the political philosophy of Zulfiqar Bhutto. “Bhutto wanted to use the country’s resources for the welfare of its people,” he said.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto also made the country’s defence impregnable by starting a nuclear programme. “The balance of power in South Asia was heavily tilted in favour of India after it tested a nuclear device in 1974,” he said.

“Imperialist powers were not happy with Bhutto. They decided to eliminate him because they considered him a hurdle in the way of their objectives in the region,” Khosa said.

He said the summit of Islamic leaders in Lahore was a result of Bhutto’s efforts.

“The summit was a big boost for Pakistan. However, it was also a cause of alarm for global powers who did not want to see the emergence of an Islamic bloc, headed by Bhutto,” the PPP leader said.

Khosa said Gen Ziaul Haq became a tool in the hands of Pakistan’s enemies and overthrew Bhutto’s government.

Earlier, People’s Lawyer Forum president Khurram Khosa told the participants that lawyers were committed to the rule of law and the supremacy of the Constitution.

PPP Punjab Deputy Secretary General Dewan Mohiyyuddin criticised the present government for “failing to do anything to decrease the problems faced by the common man”.

“The government is spending millions of rupees on projecting its performance through aggressive publicity campaigns in newspapers, but is not taking any practical steps,” he said.

“The chief minister has been hailing the installation of a hydel unit at Nandipur. However, in reality that unit uses diesel fuel to produce power,” he said.

Participants of the seminar passed several resolutions.

The first resolution demanded the withdrawal of the Pakistan Protection Ordinance, claiming that it curbed civil liberties. The second resolution was in support of the ongoing military operation in North Waziristan. The third resolution condemned the registration of cases against former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani and PPP leader Makhdoom Amin Fahim. Another resolution demanded the registration of cases against those responsible for the deaths of Pakistan Awami Tehreek workers.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2014.

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