Vowing to continue mission of party founder Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, PPP Jialas on Thursday pledged to foil any plot against democracy being hatched by the remnants of Zia ul Haq.
Addressing a gathering of PPP workers from Lahore at Aiwan e Iqbal in connection with Black Day held to condemn the July 5, 1977 Martial Law, central and provincial leaders of the party lambasted Sharif brothers for joining hands with ‘anti democratic’ forces and hatching a conspiracy against democratic system.
The ceremony was addressed by Federal Minister and PPP Lahore president Samina Khalid Ghurki, Opposition leader in Punjab Assembly Raja Riaz Ahmed, MPAs Faiza Malik, Sajida Mir, members of the party federal council Altaf Qureshi, Dr Zia Ullah Khan Bangash, Lahore general secretary Zakrya Butt and district presidents including Afnan Butt, Zahid Zulfiqar Khan, among others.
Holding banners, placards, party flags and portraits of party leadership, the Jialas constantly chanted slogans of in support of Z A Bhutto and B B Shaheed. They also supported President Asif Ali Zardari and ex-prime minister Gilani whereas some of the speakers in the ceremony also came hard on judiciary for being, what they claimed, partial against PPP.
Though Samina Ghurki was the chief guest on the occasion, she preferred remaining soft on the PPP critics and mainly focused on party’s contribution for democracy, predicting a victory for PPP in the next elections.
However, Opposition leader Raja Riaz Ahmed, while continuing tirade against Sharifs, said that they had betrayed the entire nation by extending support to anti-democratic forces. It was obvious that they were only following the footmarks of their mentor Gen Zia ul Haq, he added.
He said the Shaheed leaders of PPP like Zuliqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto, were still alive in the hearts of people but none of the countrymen turned up to observe the death anniversary of tyrant like Zia ul Haq who had died in history as well.
He said that the Punjab chief minister was constantly befooling the nation and staging drama in the streets of Lahore. He asked Shahbaz not to forget that he could never become Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. In order to become a leader of ZAB’s caliber, one had to face hardships and learn to live and die among people, he asserted. On the other hand, he said, Sharif brothers ran away to Jeddah after signing a deal with a dictator. They could never show bravery like the PPP’s Shaheed leadership. Veteran PPP leader from Lahore and MPA Sajida Mir in her address stated the entire nation had suffered due to the wrong doing of dictator Zia ul Haq who had executed the most popular leader of the country just for his own survival. Since July 5 till date, she said, conspiracies had been continued against Bhuttoism. Their elected PM was sent home and Jialas flogged but, despite all that, Bhutto was alive, he said.
She said solution of all problems lied in Bhuttoism and any conspiracy against it was, in fact, a plot against the federation.
PPP Women Wing Lahore president Faiza Malik stated that, due to the efforts of President Asif Ali Zardari, the country had successfully countered all the challenges. She said that people busy in weakening the democracy had a bleak future and they would be rejected in the next elections.
Attendance turned thin due to non-functioning of air conditioners (ACs) in the Hall. Though PPP local leadership managed to bring a good number of Jialas to Aiwan e Iqbal to observe Black Day, the nonfunctioning of the ACs soon resulted in thin attendance due to which the party leadership had to come under severe criticism.
It was a matter of surprise for most of the PPP workers as Lahore chapter president Samina Ghurki is the Federal Minister for Culture, the department under which Aiwan e Iqbal works. Nevertheless, her own department paid no heed to address the issue which finally compelled hundreds of Jialas to leave the programme before its completion, leaving half of the hall empty.