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PPP will continue its struggle to build a progressive, egalitarian and democratic Pakistan: Asif Zardari

30 November, 2015

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari has stressed the need for stopping misuse of “religion-based laws” and vowed that his party will continue its struggle to build a progressive, egalitarian and democratic Pakistan, despite all odds.

“We will continue our struggle to ensure that religion-based laws are not misapplied to stifle dissent, haunt minorities or hound vulnerable and weak sections of Muslims in the name of faith,” he said in a message on the eve of the 49th founding day of the PPP falling on Monday (today).

“The party wants to make Pakistan a welfare state where the motivating force and rationale for state policies is welfare of people and nothing else,” he said.

The former president said that “Bhuttoism” was the name of an ideology and the founding day of the Pakistan People’s Party was an occasion to celebrate it. “It is also an occasion to renew our pledge to empower people, emancipate women, integrate minorities in the national mainstream and strengthen democratic institutions.”

Motivated by the ideology of Bhuttoism, the previous PPP government restored the unanimous Constitution of 1973, opened doors of political reforms and participation in tribal areas, took militants head on, launched a massive poverty alleviation programme, made workers share-holders in state-run enterprises and improved the lot of minorities, he said.

Claims PPP wants to make Pakistan a welfare state where the motivating force for state policies is welfare of people and nothing else
Paying tribute to political workers, Mr Zardari said that democracy had survived and flourished on their sweat, blood and tears. “It is because of activists’ sacrifices that dictatorship has not been able to take roots in Pakistan.

“The epic struggle for safeguarding democracy and democratic institutions and empowering people will continue,” he said.

The PPP leadership has decided to cancel the traditional party gathering held every year in Lahore to mark its founding day, depriving diehard PPP workers of an opportunity to interact with their young leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

Earlier, the party leadership had announced that Bilawal would attend the party convention in Lahore and announce a new strategy for the party and guidelines for its activists.

But later the PPP announced that it had decided not to hold any main event on the founding day because of ongoing local government elections in Sindh, Punjab and Islamabad.

Pakistan People’s Party Vice-President Sherry Rehman said that since the third phase of the elections in the two provinces was scheduled to be held on Dec 5, it would be difficult for leaders and office-bearers of the party to leave their areas at this crucial time.

Last year too, the party had announced that Bilawal would make his address to the party’s major annual event, but at the eleventh hour, he was asked to stay in London and the ceremony was addressed by his father Asif Zardari.

The PPP has been regularly organising the founding day function in Lahore since 1967 when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had announced formation of the party in the city.

Though the party leadership also gathers in Naudero, the hometown of the PPP’s founder, every year on the occasions of the birth and death anniversaries of Mr Bhutto and his daughter and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, the Nov 30 convention is considered to be a significant event in its own right.

However, the PPP’s Islamabad chapter organised a small gathering at the party’s central secretariat on Sunday, one day ahead of the founding day.

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