Benazir’s mission will continue: Zardari

ISLAMABAD: Former president and PPP co-chairman, Asif Ali Zardari said on Saturday that the mission of Benazir Bhutto will continue.

In a message on the seventh anniversary of the Karsaz tragedy, the former president said October 18 is a day to pay homage to the memories of those brave sons and daughters who sacrificed their lives for democracy and fighting against extremism.

The former president said it was this day seven years ago that Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan from exile defying all odds and warnings. He said Benazir decided to return because she sensed that Pakistan was faced with existential threat from the militants on the one hand and dictatorship on the other. She wanted to lead from the front the fight against dictatorship and militancy. Once she made up her mind nothing could stop her.

Zardari added that the enemies of democracy, Pakistan and the cowards were waiting. They brutally attacked her caravan resulting in the martyrdom of nearly two hundred Party workers and democrats. He further said that nothing could deter party workers; indeed nothing will.

Within a year the dictator was sent home packing on August 18, 2008. The democratic journey continued resulting in the restoration, to a large extent, of the 1973 Constitution, grant of unprecedented provincial autonomy, a new NFC Award on the basis of a revised formula and the strengthening of the Parliament as the President voluntarily returned powers to the Parliament.

The former president in his message added that the struggle has not ended. He said there was a great threat from those who are seeking to assault democracy in the name of democracy itself. “The fight against this dictatorial and anarchical mindset must also continue; it will. Let there be no doubt or mistake about it.”