Wednesday Dec 27 2017

PPP members, opponents shower praise on Benazir on 10th death anniversary


KARACHI: Political leaders have hailed Benazir Bhutto, twice elected prime minister and leader of the Pakistan People’s Party, for her services for the sake of democracy in the country on her 10 death anniversary.

Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in a gun and bomb attack in Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007, as she returned after addressing a mammoth rally at Liaquat Bagh.

Leaders from the PPP as well as other parties lauded the late Benazir Bhutto for her struggle for democracy and welfare of the people of Pakistan.

Paying tributes to the late leader, PPP Senator Rubina Khalid said Benazir's ideology was to strengthen democratic norms in the country and welfare of the people. 

"She was a brave lady, who not only led the country in a courageous manner but also sacrificed her life for the country and its people."

Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwar Sial said the vision and thoughts of Benazir Bhutto serve as a guiding light for the people. "The martyr of democracy made the defence of the country invincible; her name represents an ideology in itself," he said, adding that the services of the late prime minister are also acknowledged internationally.

In his address with the PPP rally in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said, "Although, it has been 10 years since Benazir Bhutto left us, it appears as if the incident occurred only a day ago."

Shah vowed to take forth the mission of his late leader in the leadership of Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

Former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said, "Had Benazir been alive, the country would not have been going through such circumstances."

"The democracy we see today is all because of Benazir Bhutto," he added.

The personality of the late prime minister, who became an icon of democracy, was so charismatic that her admirers also include members from rival political parties.

In her message on Benazir's death anniversary, State Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb said the late prime minister's struggle for the restoration of democracy and the rule of law and the constitution was exemplary.

"After the constitution, the historic document of Charter of Democracy is of vital significance, which was a result of joint efforts by Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif," she noted.

"The name of Benazir will always be there in the democratic and political history of Pakistan."

Speaker of the National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq said Benazir's assassination remains a "dark chapter" in the history of the country. "She always believed in tolerance and reconciliation, and working for democracy and welfare of the people, rising above politics."

"She secured a place for herself through her intellect, untiring efforts and courage," Sadiq said, hailing the late premier as a "fearless leader."

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said the martyrdom of Benazir Bhutto was a huge national tragedy, adding, "Another tragedy is that her murderers remain out of the reach of law."

Hussain Haqqani, who has been Pakistan's ambassador to the US and a PPP affiliate in the past, said Benazir Bhutto, during the last 10 years of her life in exile, heeded most on the prospect regarding what changes she would bring in Pakistan and how would she address the people's concerns regarding her past tenures, if she ever returned to the country again and was given a chance to govern it.

"For this, she contacted a number of intellectuals, academics, and met with people who had been part of different governments. So that she may provide better governance to Pakistan upon her return," Haqqani said.