Empowering the masses: Highlights of the President’s speech to the PPP Eid Milan gathering – by Saria Benazir

Deriving the insight from the party’s founders, President Asif Ali Zardari promised to tag along in their footsteps, and empower the underprivileged of Pakistan, and erect a better future for their future generations. On the occasion of his address to a PPP Eid Milan gathering in a sub urban section of Malikwal on November 14, 2012, the enormous reception offered to the President in a district of Punjab (a province, administered by an opposition political party) was in itself a testimony of the Pakistan Peoples Party, being the party of the masses, and the best choice of the people of Pakistan. President Asif Ali Zardari’s dedication to an egalitarian Pakistan is noticeable from his spending eleven and a half years of his life in the prison without a single conviction, and eschewing an easier approach to make a deal with the rulers, and betray the people of Pakistan, leaving them in suppression. The tri-color party flags and placards with pictures of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Mohtarmah Benazir Bhutto were seen in abundance, and the atmosphere echoed with the slogans of Jeay Bhutto, and “Agli Bari, Phir Zardari”, demonstrating the peoples’ trust in the policies of the current regime. President Asif Ali Zardari delivered the first half of his speech in Punjabi- a gesture which was greeted by the audience with huge applause. Following are a few highlights of the President’s address:-

  •  Our survival is deeply linked to the survival of the country. If someone thinks of destabilizing Pakistan, he has a wrong insight. Pakistan is democratic country and there is no threat to its stability. Solution to the problems of the country and its strength are in democracy. Strong democratic process, strong political forces are the real strength of the country and it will ensure strong future.
  • We respect mandate; don’t steal it. I will honour the mandate to be given by the people and hand over government to victorious political party. Preparation of voter lists and appointment of independent Chief Election Commissioner are examples in this regard. Every voter will be given his right of vote to strengthen democratic process.
  • The country needs reconciliation. Politicians should not go to extremes. Politics should remain politics and must not turn into enmity for the sake of the country and democracy. We took along people and other political parties so as to secure future of our children. I spent my young age in the jails of Punjab. After Benazir’s death, I had pledged to take the party forward and continue the “caravan of Garhi Khuda Bukhsh” ahead. Those who called themselves lion were of the opinion to boycott 2008 elections but we pursued them to take part in the election to get rid of Gen. Musharaf. They parted their ways after some time but we never closed our doors for them.
  • Politics is worship for us and whosoever will disturb us in worship, I will wage a war against him. Even a patwari would not be willing to share his powers but I have given executive powers to the Prime Minster.  The history will decide who was right, but at this point in time we stand successful. Even our rivals accept that we have strengthened the parliament and transferred powers to it. It is for the first time since early 70s that the country’s parliament was going to complete its tenure.
  • It was Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who gave power of vote to the poor and now every political force has to reach out to the masses to secure their favour and support. Benazir Bhutto had said that 1990s elections were snatched and today it has been proved. Democracy is not the expression of magnanimity with someone but it is the future of our young generation. I have been advancing the ideology of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto and want to be buried in Garhi Khuda Bukhsh Bhutto.
  • All the citizens are equal. I want that the child of a poor enjoys the same rights as the child of an industrialist. The government believes in providing equal educational opportunities to the under-privileged and talented youth of Punjab with an aim to bring them at par with the privileged. The attack on Malala is expression of a mindset and we have to cope with that mindset. It was an attack on the education of female folk.
  • Those who are hatching conspiracies against democracies will never succeed in their nefarious designs as the whole nation and political leadership stands united to save the country. The present government is being targeted through “TV politics” and some elements just criticize the government without any justification in the talk shows at the TV channels. The opponents of the party have panicked after seeing PPP’s popularity. We are satisfied with our performance and getting the support from the masses.
  • The country is now self-sufficient in food and exporting wheat as it was importing wheat when the PPP came into power four and half years ago. The Government is not only pursuing policy of reconciliation at home but also working hard to strengthen Pakistan s relations with other regional countries.
  • Law and order situation in Karachi is being deliberately created to divert our attention from war against terror. Karachi is not the failure of the state but some hidden powers are involved in destabilizing peace in the city under a planned strategy but their designs will be foiled with the power of the people.
  •  The PPP is working to turn Pakistan into state that can meet challenges of the twenty-first century. All political forces should join hands with the PPP to chalk out a 25-year or 50-year plan to make Pakistan a civilized and prosperous democratic nation because, five-year development programmes would not be able to steer the country out of the current situation. We want Pakistan to become a country which is not feared by any one.
  • We didn’t work for a single party; instead we worked for Pakistan, we will prosper if Pakistan will, we will drown if Pakistan sinks. The Pakistan Peoples Party has given sacrifices in the past & would continue to give sacrifice in future for the progress and prosperity of the country.

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