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Zardari reiterates to protect democracy, provincial autonomy at all costs

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday reiterated the commitment to uphold democracy, citizen’s freedoms and autonomy of the federating units.

The former president released a statement on the eve of 39th martyrdom anniversary of former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

Zardari stated that Bhutto gave the country a consensus Constitution based on the principles of respect for human rights and autonomy of federating units.

Furthermore, the PPP unanimously government gave the 18th Constitutional Amendment to remove distortions introduced in the 1973 Constitution by dictators and to protect and strengthen rights of citizens and provinces.

He reminded that the 18th Amendment has the consensus of all federating units and provinces, and warned that disrespecting the political consensus and tinkering with it in any unconstitutional manner will be a political disaster.

“Today as we rededicate ourselves to the political ideals of Shaheed Bhutto we also pledge to protect and defend democracy, individual freedoms and provincial autonomy,” he stated.

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“All power belongs to the people and it must flow from the ballot box and not from the bullet, is the political lesson bequeathed to us by the Party’s founding Chairman” he said adding that it is imperative to imbibe the true meaning of this everlasting lesson in politics.

Zardari praised the illustrious former premier saying that Bhutto was an extraordinary leader and innumerable ordinary people who came in contact with him themselves became extraordinary.

He stated that Bhutto’s greatest achievement was that he gave hope to the people at a time when hope seemed to elude and lit the path with his blood when there was darkness all around.

“Bhutto was a beacon of light and hope. He will remain so even in a distant age and clime,” he stated

Zardari also paid homage to all those who laid down their lives and suffered for the cause of democracy and to protect the country.

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