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KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Saturday said former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was the true leader of the poor, downtrodden and oppressed people and he turned Pakistan into a nuclear state with his vision and wisdom.

Addressing a gathering of parliamentarians of the Pakistan Peoples Party to mark the 91st birth anniversary of late Bhutto here at the CM House, Mr Shah said the former prime minister was a gift for the nation who rescued a beleaguered country from a series of crises.

He said late Bhutto was a brave, courageous and highly educated leader, who founded the PPP with the objective to make Pakistan a democratic state to eliminate the class system.

“He gave voice to the voiceless and courage to the suppressed with the confidence that poor and downtrodden had a say in decision making,” he said.

“The people of present Pakistan were demoralised, our 99,000 people were arrested by India which had also illegally occupied our territory in Thar,” he recalled. “Mr Bhutto inculcated confidence in the nation and with his statesmanship he liberated the imprisoned people and also got vacated the land of Thar from India where now coal is being excavated these days.”

The PPP, PPP-SB hold main events in Larkana; Murad, Khuhro pay homage to the ‘people’s leader’

The CM said it was Bhutto’s vision that he created a secular political force in the shape of the PPP, which was further strengthened and made vibrant by his daughter Benazir Bhutto.

He said the message of Bhutto’s birth anniversary for party workers was loud and clear that “we should work for strengthening of democracy in Pakistan, render service for poor people and respect humanity irrespective of religion, cast and creed”.

Later, a cake was cut to celebrate his birth anniversary.

Lawyers promised redress of their problems

Later, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah along with his cabinet members went to the City Courts and attended another programme organised by People Lawyer’s Forum President Advocate Qazi Bashir.

Addressing there, Mr Shah said Bhutto used to say that there were two Bhuttos — the one living in his body and soul and the other one was infused in each and every individual living in Pakistan.

“Today, Shaheed Bhutto is no more in this world but he survived by each and every Pakistani living in this beautiful country,” he said.

He said his leader Bhutto and his father Abdullah Shah were practicing lawyers, therefore he had special regards for legal community and he would solve their problems on a priority basis.

He said PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari always appreciated lawyers’ struggle for restoration of democracy.

Karachi Bar Association President Naeem Qureshi, Sindh High Court Bar Association President Mohammad Adil and Qazi Bashir also spoke.

Bhutto’s 91st birth anniversary was celebrated by party leaders, workers and supporters across Sindh as the PPP’s provincial, district and city chapters organised cake cutting ceremonies in almost all cities and towns.

The PPP-Shaheed Bhutto (PPP-SB) also organised programmes in various cities and towns separately and highlighted Bhutto’s political acumen, achievements and unmatched leadership that put the country and the nation on the path of democracy and prosperity.

In Larkana, PPP-SB’s Sindh chapter president Sardar Taj Muhammed presided over a programme at Al-Murtaza House, where party said Bhutto served people irrespective of their caste, creed and colour.

PPP holds big event in Larkana

The main birth anniversary programme in the interior of Sindh was held in Larkana, where a big cake was cut by Sindh PPP president Nisar Khuhro at the Larkana Arts Council.

Speaking to the audience, he said Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah was the founder of Pakistan, whereas Bhutto had saved it.

He said Bhutto had coined the slogan of roti, kapra aur makan to strengthen and empower people whom he had called as fountain of power.

He said people had forced the rulers to step down who had failed to serve masses. He said Bhutto, who had given the country the constitution, was hanged but in contrast to it former military dictator Parvez Musharraf was still at large and no action was initiated against him under Article-6.

Mr Khuhro said that the names of the architects of the Constitution were placed on the Exit Control List (ECL), but the names of those who had trampled upon the Constitution were deleted from ECL and allowed to go abroad.

Khuhro slams attempts to impose presidential system

He said attempts were being made to impose presidential form of government and by weakening provinces what he called ‘One Unit’ was being thrust.

He warned that if governor’s rule was imposed then those instrumental in it would not escape its repercussions. Those talking of governor’s rule were perhaps getting sick of Imran Khan’s government, he said.

He said PTI should better worry about its own government instead of dislodging PPP-led Sindh government.

He negated the reports of the formation of forward bloc in Sindh and disclosed that a forward bloc was actually in process at the Centre.

He said PTI’s plan of isolating Sindh was now an open secret, as it was out to monitor development schemes in Karachi through its governor.

He said the governor represented the federation and he could not do anything without consulting the chief minister.

“We [PPP] are determined to standby the Constitution, democracy and provincial autonomy,” he said and added a strong parliament could only block the martial law.

Without naming anyone, he said that some people had the habit of forming and overthrowing governments. “All people should have equal rights in the country,” he said.

Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2019