ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said on Sunday that his party will sweep the upcoming general elections with the support of the people of Pakistan and go on to form the next government to take the country “forward in the community of nations, in accordance with the vision of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.”
In a statement on Sunday, Bilawal said his mother Benazir had laid down her life for the cause of democracy and for the people of Pakistan. “PPP will continue to make sacrifices for preserving democracy and the betterment of the masses,” he added.
He said the PPP government successfully completed its five-year term under the courageous leadership of President Asif Ali Zardari and expressed the hope that the party would win the 2013 polls with a thumping majority. “The products of Ziaul Haq’s martial law who dream of victory shall have to bite the dust once again because the masses have not forgotten their murky past,” said the PPP chairman.
Bilawal said his mother always stood like a rock in the face of successive dictatorships and went to the extent of laying down her life for the cause of democracy. He said the PPP would continue to serve the downtrodden sections of society.
Upon returning to power, Bilawal said, the PPP will expand the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) to complete its second phase during the next five years. He announced that the new PPP government would also double the monthly BISP stipend to Rs2,000 per month. The PPP chairman added that under the second phase of BISP, more local and international institutions including banks will be taken on board as partners and scope of the programme would be widened. He stated that the Waseela-e-Haq, Waseela-e-Rozgar and Waseela-e-Taleem initiatives are the part of BISP’s long-term strategy to help out the poorest of the poor in the country.
Bilawal counted the 18th Amendment and the restoration of the 1973 Constitution among the landmark achievements of the PPP government. He also praised his father, President Zardari, for surrendering his powers and authority to the elected parliament and further strengthening democracy in the country.
“PPP is the real heir to the legacy of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. My mother gave the best years of her life while protecting her father’s legacy. She confronted the worst at the hands of General Ziaul Haq who had sent my grandfather to the gallows. She kept her father’s party and his mission alive with great steadfastness. She gave her life for the preservation of democracy and the people of this country acknowledge her great sacrifice. Let me assure the followers of Shaheed Bhuttos that I will protect their legacy till my last breath while carrying forward their mission, vision and philosophy being the leader of the largest and most popular political party of the country, which has roots in all provinces. We shall live and die for the cause of Pakistan as done by my mother Benazir Bhutto and my grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2013.