“The Quaid stood for democracy, honouring the mandate of the people and constitutionalism. Let there be no doubt or mistake about it. Numerous speeches and press talks of the Quaid and above all his address of Aug 11, 1947 bear witness to this. Countless lives were sacrificed for the achievement of these ideals including that of the country’s first directly elected prime minister, shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and the Muslim world’s first woman prime minister, shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto.
However, for the most part the people were denied the right to rule and the constitution repeatedly abrogated. Worse still, its abrogation was endorsed by our most honorable judges.
Those who abrogated the constitution and those who abetted its abrogation have done the country a lasting disservice and must apologise to the people.
The Quaid also envisaged Pakistan as a country where respect for the ballot, not fear of the bullet, would decide political issues.
Today, unfortunately, some religious extremists are seeking to impose their own narrow agenda through violence. Adherence to the Quaid’s ideals demands that we defeat them, the sooner the better.
The restoration of the constitution raises our hopes that despite setbacks we will revert to our true bearings and restore to Pakistan the values for which it was created.
We must avenge the enemies of democracy and the constitution through more democracy.”
- Asif Ali Zardari, President of Pakistan and co-chairman, Pakistan People’s Party