We are in government because we have got people’s mandate – President Zardari

KARACHI: Following weeks of sharp criticism, President Asif Ali Zardari assured PPP supporters that his government would complete its five year term in a televised address, DawnNews reported.

In an address to PPP supporters in Karachi via video link from the Presidency, the President lashed out at critics for painting a grim picture of his government.

Addressing a rally of thousands of party loyalists at Shahra-e-Faisal in Karachi, Zardari marked the PPP’s 43rd anniversary by hitting out at what he called ‘certain forces’ and ‘sections of the media’ for increasing criticism over the government and casting doubt over its future.

‘Parties criticizing the government should wait for next elections to prove their point, as that would strengthen democracy,’ said the President, adding that ‘the PPP will not be blackmailed by few political actors.’

Highlighting the PPPs successes and national appeal, Zardari highlighted that his party was ‘the first to apologise to the people of Balochistan,’ and that winning elections in ‘Gilgit-Baltistan was a tremendous achievement.’

The President went on to say that he had returned to Pakistan to ‘fight for democracy’ despite knowing that he would ‘be sent to jail.’

He went on to add that his party was fulfilling their promises to the people, and that ‘it is the PPP’s right to rule for five years.’— DawnNews


PPP to remain strong, complete its term: President Zardari

KARACHI, Nov 25 (APP): President Asif Ali Zardari Wednesday said the PPP remains strong and committed to defend democracy, will complete its term and foil the “attempts of political actors” to de-rail the system.“We will foil all conspiracies against the party. We are not afraid of conspiracies and if there are any, we will fight,” the President said in an address to the party workers and leaders gathered here at Peoples Chowrangi on PPP’s Founding Day.

“It is the right of PPP government to complete its tenure. I can say proudly that the parliament and the opposition do not want the system to get derailed.”

“Neither the political parties, nor the establishment want it either, but it is only a handful of political actors. They should wait for their turn till the next election,” he added.

President described those critical of the party as “political actors” and said the party was not afraid of any “dates” being given by some.

“We are here because we have got a mandate.”

The event held next to the Mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah was addressed live by the President from the Aiwan-e-Sadr in Islamabad, and attended by thousands of party workers who waved the tri-colour party flags and raised slogans of ‘jeay Bhutto’ and “aik Zardari sab pey bhari’ – one Zardari is superior to all others, throughout the event.

The event was also addressed by various tiers of party leaders including Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and Minister Labour Syed Khurshid Shah.

The President said once again a campaign to tarnish image of the party was being carried out.

“The people of Pakistan elected us through democratic vote and gave it a mandate and it is the democratic right of the party to complete its term.”

The President expressed complete confidence in the party and its workers and said “courageous and devoted workers of PPP are the strength of the party.”

“You have never, and will never give up the struggle against anti people forces,” the President said and added “the dream of democracy has survived only because you have shed your blood and rendered numerous sacrifices.”

He said Sindh has played a key role in the creation of Pakistan and will render every sacrifice for the country. “We have to save Pakistan,” he added.

The President said some other political parties were not seeing what he was foreseeing and said “we want that the party of Mian Nawaz Sharif succeeds while other smaller parties also succeed.”

He said the PPP won a huge mandate in Gilgit Baltistan which was a proof of its popularity.

The President said the PPP draws its strength from Shaheeds Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. It was the party that decided who will hold which post.

It was the PPP that called upon Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, in the name of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto to become the future Prime Minister of Pakistan, he said and recalled the same was done for him.

“Bhuttoism is now in the President House and that is what causes fear amongst some,” he said.

“It was the same President House that echoed that late Benazir Bhutto was a security risk. Today it echoes with slogans of ‘Jeay Bhutto’ and the credit goes to the sacrifices of its leaders and workers.

“Now I can say with confidence that Bhuttoism lives and will continue to live in the hearts and minds of the people,” the President Zardari said as the venue reverberated with resounding slogans of ‘Jeay Bhutto’.

He said it was the PPP that gave rights to people of Balochistan, FATA and Gilgit Baltistan.

He said the world today knows that Pakistan was serious and was waging a struggle to eliminate extremists and terrorists from its soil. He also mentioned the return of 2.5 million IDPs to their homes in an unprecedented short period of time.

The President also paid rich tributes to the hundreds of martyrs of democracy, to valiant soldiers, policemen and members of the law enforcing agencies who laid down their lives in fight against terrorism and militancy.

He described terrorism and militancy as a cancer that “took away Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto from us.” He said the PPP government got “political ownership” to this war through the parliament, and the nation, along with their armed forces stand united to fight it till the end.

The world today has acknowledged the role of Pakistan in the war against terror.

“Now they do not tell us to do more. Rather we ask them to do more [for us].”

The President said Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto formed this Party 42 years ago and gave a voice to the people.

He recounted the several achievements of the party and said “we have served our country and not done a favour to our people.”

The President recalled the statement of Bilawal Bhutto who termed “democracy as best revenge” and said the next generation of the party has risen from its sacrifices.

The President described the founding of the party as “a day of people empowerment and a reminder that all power belongs to the people.”