NAUDERO, Dec 27 (APP): President Asif Ali Zardari on Sunday said non-state actors were trying to break Pakistan and institutions were being pitted against each other, but vowed that every sacrifice would be rendered to protect democracy. Addressing a gathering here, marking the second death anniversary of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, President Zardari warned that anyone daring to cast an evil eye towards democracy will be severely dealt with.
“We have shed our blood for building our institutions and know how they have been built. We know what will happen when institutions clash and don’t want to enter into it.”
President Zardari said conspiracies were being hatched against the four provinces and the federation of Pakistan.
“But all these will be thwarted by the people of Pakistan,” the President said.
The President mentioned Iraq and Afghanistan and said “we know what happens when the institutions are weakened.”
“But we are not that weak,” the president said as the crowd raised slogans of “jeay Bhutto”.
President said he has faced jail for 11 long years and was not afraid of threats.
He said some say that he would leave the President House in an ambulance and will be out by December.
“But I want to know how do they know that?”
He said there were only two places where he could go and these were either the President House or jail.
“Don’t think that we are weak, or we cannot fight.”
He said it is being considered as his mistake that he spoke of “democracy as the best revenge,” but he vowed to continue on that path.
President Zardari described Garhi Khuda Bux as the “Karbala of PPP” and said it was a rallying point for Pakistan Peoples Party, but vowed that “democracy will not be buried here.”
He said the national flag was again fluttering in Swat and Malakand, the same places about which the Shaheed leader warned in her last speech in Rawalpindi.
He said there were still a lot of things to accomplish as poverty was still an issue and work had to be done for resolving the Kashmir dispute.
Dressed in a black shalwar kameez, with a picture of Benazir Bhutto at the podium, Zardari mentioned a series of measures taken by him and questioned why was he being targetted.
President Asif Ali Zardari said he was being targeted probably because of his mistakes of carrying forward the mission of democracy of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto.
“Was it raising the flag of Pakistan at Garhi Khuda Bux, launching of Benazir Income Support Program for the women of Pakistan, raising slogan of ‘Pakistan khapay’ and to save the federation of Pakistan,” he asked.
“People of Pakistan will not let their country turn into Iraq, Afghanistan or Somalia,” he said as the crowd cheered slogans of ‘Zinda hae Bhutto Zinda hae’.
He said it was also his mistake to change the name of NWFP to Pakhtunkhwa, gave rights to the deprived people of Balochistan, stopped those who were looting and plundering its natural resources, gave rights of Sindh coal to its people and gave the people the National Finance Commission Award after 19 years, that will be announced at Gwadar.
Was it giving 12 per cent shares to the workers of State owned enterprises and a voice to the people of Gilgit Baltistan, he said.
He also announced that a woman will head Gilgit Baltistan as its governor.
“Benazir Bhutto is my leader and I am following in her path,” he said and added “if serving the 180 million masses of the country was a mistake he would continue doing it.”
President Zardari said he handed over the command of National Command Authority to the Parliament. He said “they wanted it to be a joint control, but without anyone asking or telling me, I transferred the control to the Prime Minister.”
“They are not afraid of Asif Ali Zardari, but they are in fact afraid of democracy,” he said.
He said certain sections are not happy with him for going to the United Nations for a probe into his wife’s death. The UN initiated the probe after the first attack on her in Karachi.
He said it was the decision of the Central Executive Committee to go ahead, but they wanted it done through the government. He said unanimous resolutions were adopted by the provincial assemblies and the national assembly and senate that prompted the government to seek a UN investigation.
“What is your objection? It has been my loss and that of my children,” he said.
President Zardari said was it also his mistake that he formed the Friends of Democratic Pakistan. He recalled the chairing of its meetings along with the heads of United States of America and the United Kingdom and attended by representatives of 26 other countries.
“They don’t like that I formed the friends of democratic Pakistan.”
The president said similarly shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was blamed. “What was his mistake? that he brought together a broken Pakistan, gave a Constitution and made Pakistan a nuclear power, and a right to the poor to rule this country.”
He said the founder of Pakistan People’s Party reclaimed the land lost to India in the 1971 war, besides getting 90,000 of its prisoners of war back, through dialogue.
“I ousted a dictator from the President House through dialogue,” the President said.
He said similarly what was the mistake of Benazir Bhutto.
“She carried forward the mission of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, gave the country missile technology and struggled against the dictators to bring it back to the path of democracy.”
President Zardari said objections are raised if he undertakes foreign visits and if he stays back, he is blamed to have a “bunker mentality.”
“They want to have their type of hand-made leaders,” the President said and added “Benazir Bhutto was not martyred so that non-state actors or anyone else take over democracy.”
President Zardari saluted the workers and leaders of Pakistan Peoples Party for standing by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and were not like those who ditched shaheeds Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto.
“No one leaves the PPP. But if one does then no one stands by him.”
He said it was also his mistake that he spoke of reconciliation, was appointed as the President, got one of Benazir Bhutto’s comrades into the Prime Minister House, had one as a Speaker and got elected unanimously Chairman of the Senate.
“Do not intimidate me or my workers,” he said and added “I will be at the forefront if punished for such crimes.”
He said he has protected the party and its workers and added it was a mistake then “hang me.”
He recalled Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who said that he better die at the hands of a dictator, than in the history.
President Zardari said his party never spoke of avenging the deaths of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto, Shahnawaz Bhutto and Murtaza Bhutto. He said the problem was that “we cannot change our habits, and they cannot change their thinking.”
The President said despite the global recession the government has been handling the economic matters ably. He said the PPP workers have no doubt on his credibility and that he was a saviour of Pakistan.
“But they will not succeed. Only Bhuttoism will succeed. Pakistan will progress, provinces will get their rights and the country will move forward democratically. Election will be held on time and I will administer oath to any one who gets the mandate,” the President said.
The gathering offered fateha for Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto.
A short documentary on the PPP founder and the former prime minster was shown.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, wearing a blue shalwar suit and the traditional Sindhi ajrak sat on the dias along with Bakhtawar Bhutto and Aseefa Bhutto. Source