President Asif Ali Zardari said on Tuesday that his government is in power “to make history and not headlines.”
He was speaking to the mourners gathered at the Bhutto mausoleum in Garhi Khuda Bux to observe Benazir Bhutto’s fourth death anniversary.
Expressing his disappointment with the media, Zardari said that he has asked his party workers not to attend any media programs as they only aim at creating rift between different politicians.
The President also claimed that his government has managed to achieve 80% of their objectives. He further criticised the judiciary and said that he wished the courts were under his control.
Senior leaders, members as well as supporters of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) were gathered at the mausoleum to pay tribute to their late leader.
The rally, organised at the venue by the party, was addressed by President Zardari, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and other senior party leaders later during the day.
Six thousand policemen were positioned around the area, alongside Rangers and other security personnel to secure the venue, while a camp was established to treat the thousands thronging the mausoleum.
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PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan says the Bhutto mausoleum is the “graveyard of the martyrs”, adding that martyrs are those who can see death staring at them before dying but they still do not change their paths, and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto did not change his path either.
“This rally is not happening in a big city like Lahore or Karachi. It is happening in a small town further away from the big cities, and people from far away have come to attend it.”
Ahsan said that when Benazir would speak at international forums, she would leave everyone impressed. He added that Benazir was herself the former prime minister and was also the daughter of a prime minister and yet she would sit outside the jail with her children in the “harsh” sunlight when she would come to meet President Zardari.
He added: “If we are Benazir’s companions… then we should follow her mandate.”
Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan is also present at the rally.
President Zardari ends his address and PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan takes the stage.
President claims that he tried to save the PIA twice and had asked Shaukat Tareen to buy new planes to revive the airlines.
“We are everyone’s friends and no one’s enemy. We will do trade with everyone and anyone we want to do it with,” he added.
President Asif Ali Zardari says: “I listen to our prime minister when he speaks, because when he talks, it is the voice of the parliament and this is democracy.”
He added said that he had brought the party’s manifesto to the rally and claimed that 80% of it had been implemented by the government.
“The world is facing recession but in Pakistan, we have food even after facing disasters including the floods.”
He criticised the media and said that he had asked his party leaders to not attend any media programs because the media anchors do nothing except making the politicians fight.
The president also lashed out against the judiciary saying that he wished that the courts were under him. “One of my ministers is lying in the jail since one and a half years and you cannot see that case, while you can see all other cases.”
President Zardari, addressing the rally, says that the government wants to make history and not headlines.
“Making a nation is the art of the impossible, and I am doing the impossible.”
Zardari arrives on stage in Garhi Khuda Bux to address the rally. PPP senior leader Makhdoom Amin Fahim is sitting right next to the president.
#Pakistan President Asif #Zardari takes the stage at Benazir #Bhutto martyrdom anniversary function. Crowd goes wild with applause :D #PPP
And yes! If I get the resurrection stone, I would definitely resurrect Benazir Bhutto. RIP. We miss you!!
R.I.P Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto!! Its been four years but the government is unable to arrest the assassins of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto! Shame..
Four years ago today, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was murdered by terrorists in Rawalpindi. Pity the nation that kills its own.
President Asif Ali Zardari arrived in Garhi Khuda Bux from Naudero House to address the public rally.
This is the first time President Zardari is speaking in Garhi Khuda Bux, as earlier all the addresses were made at Naudero House.
Chairman Senate Farooq H Naek, Gilgit-Baltistan Governor Pir Karam Ali Shah and Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Syed Mehdi Shah also arrived at the Bhutto mausoleum to offer prayers for Benazir Bhutto as well as other Bhutto family members including Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Nusrat Bhutto and Shahnawaz Bhutto, reported APP.
Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar spared a few moments to comment on Nato supplies to US forces in Afghanistan, while talking to the media today at Garhi Khuda Bux, said a report by PPI.
Mukhtar said that the supplies would not be restored free of charge as they tend to damage our roads and infrastructures and added that Pakistan would charge Nato for the repairs.
He added, “If the US is our ally, then it should keep our interests in mind.”
Shahadat Hussain of Express News reports that a large number of party workers have arrived at the mausoleum, with a rough estimate currently standing at 60,000-70,000.
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Chairman Senate Farooq H Naek have visited the mausoleum.
The rally is expected to begin at 3:00pm. Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and other provincial ministers are expected to address the rally first.
President Asif Ali Zardari is expected to arrive around 4:00pm.
A two-minute silence will be observed at 5:20pm to mark Benazir’s death.
According to an APP report, Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wassan is being assisted by Deputy Inspector Generals (DIGs) Sukkur and Larkana at the main control room, which is also connected to four control rooms set up for the rally.
In order to monitor the situation, some 45 CCTV cameras have been installed, while some 150 women police personnel have also been deputed.
Security measures also include walk-through gates at the entrances of the mausoleum.
To deal with emergency situations around 122 traffic mobiles, 16 open trucks, 42 motorcycles and 12 tow-away vehicles have also been arranged.
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani visited the Bhutto mausoleum where he offered prayers for Benazir Bhutto.
Speaking to the media, Gilani said that Benazir Bhutto’s death was not just a national dilemma but also an international setback.
He said that the investigations into her murder are almost complete and if need be, some portions of it will be made public by Interior Minister Rehman Malik.
Gilani added that the PPP is following Benazir Bhutto’s vision and has followed her mandate and the Charter of Democracy up to 80%.
The prime minister refused to comment on the Memogate issue and said that he is a prime minister and not a judge. “If I tell everything then what will the court do.”
Regarding the talks of ‘conspiracies’ being hatched against the government, the PM stated that the PPP is a strong party and it will face all the conspiracies. He added: “PPP is the name of an ideology and a philosophy, while other parties do not have any ideology or philosophy. They are all opportunists.”
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