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President Asif Ali Zardari. – File Photo by Reuters

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari said Wednesday that the people of Pakistan would never permit undermining of the Parliament behind different pretexts and they know how to ensure the supremacy of the Parliament and the Constitution.

He said, “the era of packing the Parliament through the back door by using the defunct Article 58 (2) (b) is over for all times and no back doors and side doors will be allowed to be reopened for sending the elected Parliaments home.”

“Our people will also not suffer a destiny thrusted upon them by militants and extremists in the name of religion or in any other name,” he added.

The president said this in his message on the 59th birth anniversary of Benazir Bhutto falling on Thursday.

President Zardari said, “On the eve of her 59th birthday I wish to reiterate our commitment to the values of supremacy of the Parliament and the Constitution and the building of a modern, egalitarian and pluralistic society in which everyone is allowed opportunity to help shape his or her own destiny—values for which she stood and fought for and when the time came even laid down her life for it.”

He said Benazir Bhutto led from the front the battle for democracy against all sorts of bonapartes and extremists.

“She believed in a moderate and pluralistic Pakistan where ballot determined the ultimate choice of the people and where the House elected by the people representing their will was supreme.”

He said Benazir Bhutto also fought courageously against the militants and extremists bent upon forcing their ideological agenda on the people through brute force.

“As she shed her blood in the fight against militancy and for the supremacy of the Parliament and the Constitution, I ask the party workers to donate blood on this day for all those who have also shed their blood or suffered otherwise for Pakistan.”

“On her birthday let us recall the advice she gave to the people a few weeks before her assassination: Please continue the fight against extremism, dictatorship, poverty and ignorance.” It was not a mere slogan; she acted upon it herself by leading the fight from the front,” he added.

The president reiterated that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) will continue its forward march to strengthen democracy and for the uplift of the marginalised as envisioned by her.

“We will not be deterred by conspiracies against it or by the hurdles created in our way. Let there be no doubt or mistake about it.”

He said the party survived even the judicial murder of its founder Chairman and the country's first directly elected Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the abuse of judicial processes to chase and hound Benazir Bhutto into exile culminating in her assassination and the accusations and witch hunting of its leaders and workers.

“It will continue to defy odds and grow from strength to strength,” he vowed.

“On this occasion, let us also remember all our martyrs. Our brave soldiers and members of law enforcing agencies who have laid down their lives so that the nation lives in freedom and without fear. The martyrs of democracy have suffered incarceration, exile, torture and executions. We salute them all on this day,” he added.


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