The 62nd birth anniversary of former prime minister and Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) slain chairperson Benazir Bhutto will be observed today (Sunday) at Garhi Khuda Bux Bhutto and Naudero.
Several functions have been arranged in this regard. Both leaders and workers of the party will assemble at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh from various parts of the country will pay tribute to their leader, who was assassinated on December 27, 2007 in Rawalpindi.
Recitation from the Holy Quran and special prayers will be held at Bhutto House in Naudero and Iftar-dinner will be held. A 62-pound cake will also be cut to commemorate the occasion. The PPP Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari, Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, as well as other leaders, will attend the function.
On the eve of the birthday, on Saturday, the PPP co-chairperson and chairperson also issued separate statements, paying glowing tributes to their former leader.
The PPP Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari facilitated “the women and the marginalised sections of the society for whom Shaheed Benazir Bhutto had devoted her life”.
He said the PPP recalled ‘with pride’ that his spouse had led from the front the fight against militancy and even laid down her life in the ‘epic struggle’. “This anniversary of our great leader is being commemorated at a time when the nation has achieved major successes against militancy thanks due to the unity of political forces and state agencies, an achievement that had eluded us for long,” he added.
Zardari said the fight against militancy was a collective fight for the whole nation. “It can be fought successfully only when it is fought collectively with each segment performing its assigned duties. As for the PPP, we are committed to exterminating the militant ideology that is posing existential threat to the country,” he noted.
He also saluted all those in the defence forces, the police, the civil law enforcing agencies and the people who sacrificed their lives or suffered otherwise in the fight against militancy. “The nation cannot forget them and will not allow their sacrifices go in vain,” he said.
The PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, on the other hand, vowed to pick up the threads of the late prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s struggle for a democratic Pakistan before her assassination on December 27, 2007.
The PPP chairman said his mother fought against dictatorial regimes with valour and earned an unmatched place in her country’s history. “She lived and died for her people and country. He said she laid down her life for a cause to emancipate the people from exploitation and give them equal rights.
“Her father Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto gave the nation nuclear power and she founded a missile system to make the defence of Pakistan invincible,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2015.
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