A large number of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) workers and leaders on Thursday reached Liaquat Bagh to mark the 5th death anniversary of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated in a bomb and shooting attack outside Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh on December 27, 2007.
Local PPP stalwarts including Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal Managing Director Zamarud Khan, Amir Fida Paracha presided over the ceremony, however, only party workers, activists and student leaders as well as union organisations had come to attend the anniversary. The entire Benazir Bhutto Road was displayed with portraits of Benazir Bhutto and other main leaders besides party flags.A heavy contingent of security officials was present all around the Liaquat Bagh to avoid any untoward incident. The security officials were checking all participants and they were allowed entry into the Liaquat Bagh after checking through walkthrough gates, metal detectors and sniffer dogs. The security officials were also present on the rooftops of nearby buildings and houses. Liaquat Bagh Road and College Road were closed down for all kinds of private and public transport on the occasion.
The student leaders took out vehicular processions carrying party flags in their hands at Benazir Bhutto Road before reaching the site of assassination to participate in the anniversary event. The heads of Pakistan Students Federation, Peoples Youth organisation, Peoples Unity Workers Union of PIA (CBA), union council leaders and tehsil council activists and women wing brought up processions from different parts of the city. Raja Kamran Hussein of PP-14 brought up the biggest procession to participate in the anniversary.
According to former councilor and PPP leader, Anjum Farooq Paracha, people could not attend the ceremony due to their jobs, as it was not a public holiday in Punjab. However, a large number of people had left to Sindh where main show of the anniversary would be held at Garhi Khuda Baksh, he said.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Central Executive Committee (CEC) Member Qazi Sultan in his speech at Liaquat Bagh said: “we are gathered here to pay tributes to the great leader in recognition of her life-long struggle for the cause of democracy and protection of the people’s rights.”
Addressing the gathering, Zamarrud Khan vowed to follow the path of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto to strengthen the roots of democracy and fight against dictatorship. Benazir Bhutto was fully aware of the threat to her life since she returned from abroad. However, she sacrificed her life for the cause of democracy and did not bow before any dictator, he said. He said that PPP leaders and workers would not remain silent and raise voice against any move if made to weaken democracy.
Fida Paracha in his address paid glowing tributes to Benazir Bhutto for her bravery at the time when her life was in danger. But she embraced martyrdom while struggling for the restoration of democracy. He demanded of the government to bring the culprits to book and award punishment to the people behind the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.
Zammarud Khan and Fida Paracha along with other leaders offered ‘fateha’ and distributed ‘langar’ and fruits among the participants of the anniversary.
Social, educational and literary organisations also arranged special programmes where speakers paid rich tributes to Benazir Bhutto for her meritorious services for the nation particularly for giving the supreme sacrifice of her life for maintaining national unity and solidarity among people and democracy.