President Asif Ali Zardari hoped that the observance of the International Democracy Day would lend strength to the pro-democracy forces throughout the world and discourage potential dictators from curbing the aspirations of the people through political adventurism.
President Asif Ali Zardari said the greatest threat to democracy is from extremists and militants who want to foist their political agenda on the people by bullet rather than ballot.
In a message the President said, “I am pleased to learn that the International Day of Democracy is being observed throughout the world today under the auspices of the United Nations to assess the state of democracy around the world and to reinforce commitment to democratic ideals.”
He said intolerance to dissent and disagreement also endanger democracy.
The President complimented democracies of the world and reiterated firm resolve to further strengthen democracy in Pakistan.
“The people of Pakistan are resolute in safeguarding their democratic rights and reject the anti democracy elements that derail the democratic process,” he added.
“The ethos of the people of Pakistan is democratic. Early this year their chosen representatives unanimously adopted changes in the constitution to restore its pristine democratic credentials.”
He expressed confidence that the elected parliament in keeping with democratic traditions would ensure that the democratic constitution was not subverted by any one.
“Our people may have endured spells of dictatorship due to coercion but they have neither accepted nor accorded legitimacy to dictatorship,” the President added.
Zardari said they have not accepted any adventurer sabotaging the democratic process. That is why all Bonaparte and undemocratic adventurers in Pakistan finally ended up as footnotes in history.
“Our people have offered great sacrifices for democracy. Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and many others laid down their lives for the cause. But democracy has yet to gain strength. For democracy to gain strength, we need to work in a spirit of harmony and reconciliation,” he added.