|Friday, 06 July 2012 13:51|
ISLAMABAD : The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) observed a black day on Thursday with its leadership issuing statements of condemnation and its workers holding public gatherings across the country to mark the undemocratic dismissal of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto"s government by General Ziaul Haq.
Terming July 5 1977 as the "darkest day" in Pakistan"s history, PPP co-chairman President Asif Ali Zardari said in a statement that "on this day a dictator driven by his self-serving motives" attempted to seal the fate of a progressive society by deposing a constitutionally elected prime minister and systematically dismantling the constitutional edifice of the country.
Echoing the president"s remarks, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said the country was plunged into an "era of darkness" when Ziaul Haq"s vendetta emerged and he hanged Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He said the people would never forget the inhuman victimisation, blatant flogging and unjust hangings perpetuated by the dictator during his 11-year rule when PPP workers were thrown into jails for demanding their democratic rights.
Party workers in Punjab organised district level protests while a procession was held in the provincial capital at Aiwan-e-Iqbal where PPP Lahore president Samina Khalid Ghurki and PPP Punjab president Imtiaz Safdar Warraich addressed the gathering.
Similar to other parts of the country rallies and processions were held in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) to observe black day. In Mirpur PPP AJK President Ghulam Rasool Awami attended a ceremony where speakers recounted the undemocratic actions of Ziaul Haq and called for democracy to be strengthened in the country.
In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), the Peoples Doctors Forum organized a ceremony in Peshawar where party stalwart remembered the sacrifices of PPP workers and PPP provincial information secretary Syed Ayub Shah called for a jihad in party ranks to restore Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto"s vision of working for farmers, laborers and the poor. Party workers took the opportunity to criticise the prime minister"s recent visit to the city where he did not meet party workers.
Meanwhile, the dissident PPP couple Naheed Khan and Safdar Abbasi, who have been ostracised from party circles, held a press conference to mark the black day. The couple said party policies had widened the gulf between the people and party leadership which could only be resolved with a return to the ideological roots of the party Zulfikar Ali Bhutto established. They added that fresh elections under a unanimous caretaker government were the only solution to the current crisis.