LARKANA:: The 69th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was celebrated in a befitting manner on Tuesday and her admirers and followers paid her rich tributes world-wide.
Main gathering was arranged by the party leaders and workers at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh Bhutto to pay tribute to Benazir Bhutto. Benazir Bhutto was not only the first female Prime Minister of Pakistan but she was also the first women Prime Minister from the Muslim World.
Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari pledged to continue struggle for her ideals Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has pledged that by adhering to the philosophy of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, he would continue struggle to eradicate poverty, hunger and unemployment from the country as well as ensure socio-economic justice by strengthening parliament and democracy.
Chairman PPP, in his message, said that Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto is the name of a way of thinking and a path that guarantees liberation of the people from deprivation and promises an egalitarian and progressive society to future generations. “It is the victory of the vision of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto that the democratic forces in the country today are united and determined to take the country out of the difficulties it is facing,” he pointed out.
The life and times of Benazir Bhutto
Benazir was a Pakistani democratic socialist who served as the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan in two non-consecutive terms from 1988 until 1990 and 1993 until 1996. She was the daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto‚ a former prime minister of Pakistan and the founder of the PPP.
In 1982‚ at the age of 29‚ Benazir became the chairperson of PPP, making her the first woman in Pakistan to head a major political party. In 1988‚ she became the first woman elected to lead a Muslim state and was also Pakistan’s first (and thus far‚ only) female prime minister.
Noted for her charismatic authority and political astuteness, she drove initiatives for Pakistan’s economy and national security‚ and she implemented policies for industrial development and growth.
Benazir’s popularity waned amid recession‚ corruption‚ high unemployment which later led to the dismissal of her government by then-president Ghulam Ishaq Khan.
In 1993‚ Benazir Bhutto was re-elected for a second term after the 1993 parliamentary elections. She is also respectfully referred to as B.B. In 1996‚ the charges of corruption levelled against her led to the final dismissal of her government by President Farooq Leghari.
Benazir conceded her defeat in the 1997 Parliamentary elections and went into self-imposed exile in Dubai‚ United Arab Emirates in 1998.
After nine years of self-exile‚ she returned to Pakistan on October 18, 2007‚ after having reached an understanding with Pervez Musharraf‚ following which she was granted amnesty and all corruption charges were withdrawn.
Benazir was assassinated on December 27, 2007‚ after leaving PPP’s last rally in the city of Rawalpindi‚ two weeks before the scheduled Pakistani general election of 2008 in which she was a leading opposition candidate.
Benazir Bhutto’s struggle for restoration of democracy. says Bilawal
Since the Imran Khan-led government got four years to rule the country, Shehbaz Sharif should get at least one year to “serve the nation”, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said on Tuesday while addressing a gathering at Larkana’s Municipal Stadium to mark the 69th birth anniversary of Benazir Bhutto.
“Give this government some time to carry out economic and electoral reforms. We will then hopefully come out of the mess left behind by the selected government,” he said.
The Peoples Party chairman expressed hopes that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) would remove Pakistan from its grey list by October.
“We fought our case against two FIRs: money laundering and terrorist financing.
“We were able to persuade countries with which the former rulers [referring to the PTI-led government] were at odds, that Pakistan has taken all steps sought by FATF for removal from the grey list,” Bilawal Bhutto said, calling it “just the beginning of our journey”.
He blamed former prime minister Imran Khan for the economic crisis and the country’s isolation. Bilawal Bhutto said further ‘good news is to come” regarding the country’s status in GSP Plus.
“Our slogan is ‘trade not aid’ and we are ready for economic engagement with other countries,” he said.
It was necessary to send the ‘selected government’ packing because it was a threat to our economy and democracy, Bilawal Bhutto said. “Imran Khan had inked a wrong deal with the IMF,” he alleged, adding that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his team had saved the country from default.
The PPP chief recalled Benazir Bhutto’s struggle for restoration of democracy and her defiance of Gen Zia’s government. “She was the voice of the nation. She fought for the youth and women. Her legacy is undying,” he observed.