Benazir’s First Anniversary

Fighting militancy best way to pay tributes to Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto

Islamabad December 26, 2008: PPP Co-Chairman and President Asif Ali Zardari has said that the best way to pay tributes to Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was to follow in her footsteps in fighting militancy and extremism and not to surrender before bigots who wanted to capture political power through bullet and impose their own world view on the people. He said this in a message today commemorating the first martyrdom anniversary of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto who, along with several party workers, was killed in a terror attack in Rawalpindi on December 27 last year.

“Those who laid down their lives for democracy and fighting the forces of militancy and extremism are our national heroes and heroines. They sacrificed their lives so our people could live in freedom and dignity”.

“She gave voice to the voiceless, strength to the weak and motivated workers and the people to strive for a goal higher than life. It is a measure of her greatness that ordinary people who came in contact with her became extraordinary. ”

Shaheed Mohtarma Bhutto was fully aware of the dangers to her life yet she had decided to return home to fight for the restoration of Pakistan’s place in the community of democratic nations, he said. “In the tradition of a true Bhutto she faced certain death rather than abandon her principles or the people.”

The attack on her was not an attack on one individual, he said. “It was an attack on the viability of the state and for undermining the efforts to build democratic structures for fighting militancy”. The tyrants and the killers have killed her but they shall never be able to kill her ideas that drove and inspired a generation to lofty ideals, the President said.

The recent events of militancy in the region bring to mind the words of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto “the fundamental battle in Pakistan was for the hearts and minds of a generation against fanaticism and extremism and that this battle can be won only under democracy”, the PPP Co-Chairman said and asked the democratic forces to rededicate themselves to fighting militancy and extremism by strengthening democratic institutions..

Militancy flourished in the country when dictatorship flourished giving rise to hopelessness that created the desperation that fueled religious extremism, he said. ..

December 27, 2008