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HYDERABAD, Dec 24: Leaders of various political, religious and nationalist parties have called for a consistent struggle to end the role of army in politics and restore a true democracy in the country.

Speaking at a reception hosted in the honour of MNA Mamoona Hashmi by Pakistan Muslim League-N leader Afzal Gujjar here on Tuesday evening, they also urged the people to reject political turncoats.

Awami Tehrik chief and Sindh Water Committee president Rasool Bux Palijo, Sindh Taraqqi Pasand Party chairman Dr Qadir Magsi, People’s Party Parliamentarians leader Maula Bux Chandio, Sindh National Front leader Ayub Shar, Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan MPA Abdul Rehman Rajput, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F leader Taj Mohammad Nahyoon and others spoke on the occasion.

Ms Hashmi said the people had never been given their political rights.

She said President Gen Pervez Musharraf alone was the repository of all authority.

She said the role of army in politics should be ended forever as the primary duty of army was to defend frontiers of the country.

She said as a daughter she was naturally hurt on the arrest of her father, ARD president MNA Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, but added that her father was being victimized for waging a struggle against the rulers for the rights of the people.

Ms Hashmi said the rulers had harmed the solidarity of the country.

She called upon democratic forces to unite on one platform and launch a struggle against the dictatorship and for the restoration of democracy and the Constitution.

She made it clear that the Legal Framework Order and a uniformed president would not be accepted.

AT chief Palijo regretted that the Centre had usurped all the rights of the provinces.

Paying tribute to MNA Javed Hashmi, he said he had remained steadfast against the rulers and her daughter had also adopted the path of struggle.

He said his party would support Mamoona Hashmi.

He alleged that a conspiracy was being hatched to destroy Sindh by depriving the province of its water share.

The AT chief said the people of Sindh were ready to wage a struggle for their rights.

He said political turncoats had rendered a severe blow to democracy and urged the people to block their way.

STPP chairman Magsi said the people of the province had rendered sacrifices in the cause of democracy but regretted that even after 56 years of independence of the country, dreams of people’s rule had not been realized.

He said as long as political groups supported dictatorship to safeguard their own vested interests, a real democracy could not be restored in the country.

PPP leader Chandio said his party would continue to work for the restoration of democracy from the platform of the ARD.

He said Sindh was being discriminated against in water distribution and the National Finance Commission award.