PPP observes July 5 as ‘Black Day’ISLAMABAD: The leaders and workers of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) observed July 5 as “Black Day” across the country to commemorate the sacrifices rendered by the party founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto for the sake of democracy and the poor people of the country, and pledged to bring Bhutto’s mission to its logical end.
On July 5, 1977, Gen Ziaul Haq, a dictator overthrew the democratically-elected government of ZA Bhutto and imposed martial law. He deprived the people of their fundamental rights and even disfigured unanimously passed 1973 Constitution by inserting amendments in it.
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in his message on the eve of July 5 said, “The multiple challenges facing the country today owe themselves to lack of continuity of the democratic system”. He said, “No nation can aspire to have any role at the regional and global levels unless its democratic institutions are strong.” The 5th of July reminds people of the heroic struggle waged by the workers of PPP against the dictatorial regimes and for the restoration of people’s inalienable right to determine their future through their elected representatives.
Taking part in a programme on the state-owned radio station on the occasion, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdaus Ashiq Awan described July 5, 1977 as the worst day in the country’s history when the voice of democracy was choked and a democratically-elected government was overthrown. Paying tributes to ZA Bhutto, she said that despite the passage of so many decades, Bhutto was still alive in the hearts of the people for his pro-public policies. The information minister further said that the present PPP government had given autonomy to the federating units under the 18th Amendment while giving greater share to the provinces through the NFC Award. She said the PPP enjoys popularity in all the four provinces, Gilgit-Baltistian and Azad Kashmir.
The PPP Secretary General Jehangir Badar said that the PPP would continue to follow the mission and philosophy of its founding leader ZA Bhutto for strengthening the democracy in the country. He said that the present government had restored the 1973 Constitution, disfigured by the former dictators General Ziaul Haq and Pervez Musharraf. Jehangir Badar also said that the PPP had always stood against the dictators but never raised voice against the military as an institution.
In his remarks, Minister for Law Maula Bux Chandio said that the multiple challenges faced by Pakistan today were the offshoots of the July 5 act. The pro-democracy people could not forget this worst day as following this, the democratic people were subjected to oppression and suppression and sent behind the bars.
Malik Mukhtar Awan said that we were paying a heavy price today due to the military takeovers in the country. He said that the PPP was the only party which had given its blood for the restoration of democracy. Speaking in a programme on state-owned radio station, former finance minister Mubashir Hassan said that ZA Bhutto was removed from office for pursuing pro-poor and public policies.
Activist IA Rehman in his remarks termed the 5th of July act as a theft on the basic human rights of the people. He said that the military dictator Ziaul Haq had made the 1973 Constitution meaningless by introducing several amendments in it. PPP senior leader, ND Khan termed July 5 as a satanic day full of darkness when Ziaul Haq imposed the martial law by overthrowing the democratically-elected government.
Senator Nayyar Bukhari said that ZA Bhutto was implicated in a baseless case. He said that the problems faced by Pakistan today were due to the imposition of martial laws in the country. Senior Minister Sindh Pir Mazharul Haq said that the problems of sectarianism and violence were the outcome of the military takeovers in the country. He said that General Ziaul Haq had violated the sanctity of the prime minister house by removing Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto from the office.
Taking part in a programme in Peshawar, Senior PPP leader Ayub Shah said that the basic aim of observing this day was to raise awareness among people about the dark chapter of Ziaul Haq’s martial law in which people were denied their basic rights.
PPP leader Azam Afridi said that undemocratic forces had collaborated with the dictator to choke the voice of PPP and downtrodden people of the country but they failed by the great sacrifice rendered by ZA Bhutto as everyone stood against the dictatorship.
President PPP Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Senior Provincial Minister Rahim Dad Khan said that it was the blackest day in the history of Pakistan when the prime minister ZA Bhutto had been deposed and the democracy de-tracked. Senator Farhat Abbas said that the dictator had cut the throat of democratic government and killed the democracy.