Pakistan cannot afford the adventurism of “dictators, uniformed persons and people wielding pens” who have “harmed the PPP” and the country can no longer risk “such jokes”, President Asif Ali Zardari said on Monday.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of development projects at the Zardari House in Benazirbad (formerly Nawabshah), the president said decisions of (former chief justice of Pakistan) Sajjad Ali Shah and former president Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari not only harmed the PPP but also hurt the people’s interest.
Zardari said that under the prevailing circumstances and keeping in mind the difficult political situation in the country, he and his team had deemed it fit to form an “all-inclusive government”.
Hitting out at “self-serving” politicians, he said their “only interest is in seeing their names in the next day’s headlines”. Urging such politicians to “cease and desist from engaging in a propaganda campaign to malign the government”, the president said they should not play into the hands of anti-democratic elements who desired that “fruits of democracy should not reach the common man”.
“Anti-democratic forces do not want democracy to flourish or see people of all provinces get their basic rights,” Zardari said. “However, we want to tell them that we are not afraid of political mosquitoes and will finish our term.”
Politicians who renamed the NWFP as Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and initiated the Aghaz-e-Huqooq-e-Balochistan package should also face the same criticism from anti-democratic forces as those faced by the democratic government, he said, adding that PPP had a struggled for the restoration of democracy over the years and that party leaders and workers were still ready to foil any attempts made by anti-democratic forces.
“There are some forces influencing some politicians to launch a propaganda campaign against the government because they fear that the PPP, which has been struggling to achieve targets of progress and prosperity, would again come to power in the next general elections after completing its current tenure,” he said, adding: “They know that if this happens, they will have no chance to enter the corridors of power ever again.”
The president said that forces working against the government were hoping that it would be unable to strive for the welfare of the masses and the strengthening of the country.
His party, Zardari said, has deep roots among the masses – right from Kashmir to Karachi – “and…is part of the government”, he said.
According to him, the government has been engaged in serving the masses and holding dialogue with the world community to steer the country on the path of progress and prosperity. (With additional input from APP)
Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2010.