Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has said that July 5 will always be remembered as the ‘Black Day’ in Pakistan’s history.
The military coup that toppled the first democratically-elected people’s government, led by Prime Minister Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, by General Zia-ul-Haq, marked the vicious assault on the democratic aspirations of the people of Pakistan.
In his message on the anniversary of the coup, Bilawal said that Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had united the nation by picking up the pieces following the fall of Dhaka, and bringing together the nation in a vibrant democratic system with strong economic ambitions.
He said that as the first democratically elected prime minister, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, oversaw the passage of the constitution with unanimous support, laid the grounds for Pakistan’s macro-economic foundations, gave the right of citizenship and passports to every Pakistani, and set the country on the road to becoming a nuclear power.
The Shaheed prime minister also empowered the people by democratising the state, taking power from the select few, and passing it to the people, he added.
Bilawal said that the 1977 martial law was the worst-ever attack on the people of Pakistan, and it still continues to haunt this nation decades after the dictators demise. “The coup of 5th July 1977 sowed and watered the seeds of intolerance, extremism and terrorism, allowing their roots to grow and embed themselves across our society, plaguing us till this day,” he added.
He pointed out that Prime Minister Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto united the Muslim ummah and led the Islamic world with foresight and political sagacity. “He faced and challenged two dictators, and bravely fought the battle for the people’s rights, never once wavering, even when faced by the gallows. His supporters and followers were subjected to inhuman torture including lashes, solitary confinement, imprisonment and hanging,” the PPP chairman added.
Bilawal said that even today the war between democratic and dictatorial forces continued to rage on, and the philosophy of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto has become the rallying cry of all democratic forces. “Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto said, ‘either power must pass to the people, or everything will perish’.”
“His words remain as true as we fight for Pakistan’s democratic survival today. It is a truth that is at the core of every democratic Pakistani, and it is why Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto lives on, while his tormenters have been condemned to the dustbin of history,” he continued.
The PPP chairman paid glowing tributes to Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto for laying down his life instead of compromising on the rights of the people as well as the country.