Pakistan People’s Party respects institutions, always confronted dictators to uphold rule of law, Constitution: Prime Minister Gilani

Kail: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Friday said Pakistan People’s Party, which gave the country 1973 Constitution and has a history of confronting dictators to uphold the rule of law and Constitution, always respected the national institutions and will continue to follow this path.

“We are accused that PPP does not respect the institutions. Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto gave the country 1973 Constitution, which teaches the respect of institutions: be it judiciary, parliament, media, army or civil society,” he remarked.

The Prime Minister while addressing a large public gathering here in this picturesque Neelum valley of Azad Kashmir said the PPP founder Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto faced the dictatorships of Gen.

Ayub Khan and Gen. Zia ul Haq, while Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto challenged the dictators Gen. Zia ul Haq and Gen. Pervez Musharraf and Co-Chairman PPP President Asif Ali Zardari confronted the dictatorship of Gen. Musharraf.

“How we can be blamed? PPP is the party of masses, the poor, downtrodden, women and children and cannot support the dictators,” Gilani stressed.

Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo, AJK President Raja Zulqarnain, Barrister Sultan Mahmood, PPP leader Chaudhry Manzoor were also present on the occasion.

The Prime Minister said that despite the assassination of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and when it was being propagated that PPP will be eliminated, the party won the 2008 general elections and formed the coalition governments at centre and provinces.

“I want to tell those imprudent people that PPP is a vision, a philosophy and a thinking. You can assassinate someone, but you cannot eliminate the thinking. Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto is no more alive, but her philosophy and vision is there”, he remarked.

The Prime Minister said the PPP which was created by Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto on the basis of Kashmir issue has always championed the cause of Kashmir and its peaceful resolution in accordance with the wishes of Kashmiris.

“The PPP and the people of Kashmir are one like a body and soul”, Gilani remarked and said the party has always been working to secure a peaceful solution of the Kashmir dispute, adding, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto highlighted the Kashmir dispute at all international fora.

The Prime Minister assured that the PPP will continue to strive for a peaceful solution of the Kashmir issue through dialogue and peaceful means.

Referring to the resumption of Pakistan-India talks, Gilani recalled his meetings with the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in Sharm El Sheikh, Colombo and Bhutan and said that he impressed upon the Indian leader that the two countries should resume dialogue to settle all issues including Kashmir and utilize their resources to tackle the common challenges of poverty, hunger and inflation etc.

The Prime Minister said Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto initiated the observing of Kashmir Solidarity Day on February 5 every year, the day when the people from across Pakistan express solidarity with their Kashmiri brethren.

Prime Minister Gilani said the PPP contrary to its political opponents, who were promoting their personal agendas, was promoting and working for national interests, adding, the people from whole of Pakistan were united on the cause of Kashmir.

He said the PPP-led government due to its reconciliatory policy succeeded in restoring the 1973 Constitution through 18th and 19th Constitutional Amendments and purged the Constitution of the amendments introduced and injected by the dictators.

“As the 1973 Constitution was given by Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and it is duty of PPP to maintain and protect the Constitution,” he remarked.

The Prime Minister said it was owing to the prudent policy of the present government to ensure the holding of free and fair elections in AJK with the participation of all political parties that these elections have secured a spot-light at international level.

Gilani also recalled the free and fair holding of elections in Gilgit Baltistan last year and said the PPP won those elections with thumping majority.

The Prime Minister said Kail and Neelum Valley has a lot of development potential through the promotion of tourism, timber, precious stones and hydel resources, adding, the federal government will take every measures for the socio-economic development of this area.

Gilani expressed his grief over the deaths and injuries caused by a road accident in the area and announced Rs. 500,000 each for the heirs of dead and Rs. 100,000 each for the injured.

Later during a telephonic address to public meeting in Kotli, Prime Minister Gilani said he will visit Kotli after the elections in Azad Kashmir and will fulfil demands of the people for development in their area.

The Prime Minister was due to visit Kotli but could not reach the venue of the public meeting due to inclement weather.

He said the government of Pakistan belongs to the people of Kashmir and it is their responsibility to serve the people.

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