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ADDRESS TO

PAKISTAN PEOPLE'S PARTY CONVENTION

BY

MOHTARMA BENAZIR BHUTTO PRIME MINISTER ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN

AT

AL-HAMRA HALL

LAHORE

DECEMBER 5, 1993


 

Mr. Secretary General,

Mr. President, Punjab,

My brothers, sisters and workers,

Today we have assembled in this historical city of Lahore to celebrate the Founding Day of the Peoples Party. It is a day for us, to rejoice, to pay homage to the martyrs and the party workers.

Today we must pay our gratitude to the Almighty. Historically, Lahore is an exemplary city. It was in Lahore that the Pakistan Resolution was adopted. It was in Lahore that Allama Iqbal dreamt of Pakistan and it was in Lahore that the Pakistan Peoples Party was founded. It was in Lahore that my and your leader, Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, for the first time, announced his resistance against Dictatorship. It was from Lahore that Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto won election in 1970. In 1977 when his government was toppled, it were the people of Lahore who extended a historic welcome to Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto on his arrival and in view of that tumultuous welcome the October, 1977 elections were postponed. After remaining in exile, when this sister of yours returned to Pakistan in 1986, people from all over the country gave her such a massive welcome that the BBC had to say that only Imam Khomeini in Iran was accorded such a big welcome.

There is no example in the sub-continent to compare with the Pakistan Peoples Party. The kind of struggle waged by every worker of the Peoples Party against every dictator and oppression, will be written in golden letters. This party in 1987 held such a wide-scale elections in its own organisation that Pakistan aside, not even Congress Party in India could ever hold its own elections on such a big scale. Thrice we got democracy restored and made the people master of their country. For the first time against Ayub Khan, for the second time against Yahya Khan, for the third time against Ziaul Haq. What is the reason behind our success against Nawaz Sharif, for a fourth time as well?

Firstly, the people are valiant and they do not fear the state power. Secondly, the people are ideological and are prepared to offer any sacrifice for their ideologies. Over and above all, our workers do not bargain their loyalty. Barely a few who did bargain their loyalty, are now left in isolation whereas we have unity in our ranks. We are not to be deceived by misleading propaganda. The Peoples Party is the only party in which an individual belonging to any class can gain success. The poor worker is rather the main force of the party.

Reactionary forces have the money. They have the propaganda. They have the politics of character assassination. But they do not have prudent and sincere workers. They are, all the time, engaged in conspiracies to inflict cracks in our rank and file, but they themselves are now breaking down. I am proud of being the leader of a party which has a good reputation not only in the sub-continent but in the whole world. I am proud of being the leader of a party which represents the voice of the oppressed, the voice of the laborers and farmers, the voice of the intellectuals and the women, the voice of human rights and democracy and the voice of equality. In Russia, communism has died down and Socialism is now a battered concept. But we have reinvigorated the concept of equality by coordinating it with human rights and democracy.

Dear Elders and Brothers:

Last year also we had celebrated the Party's founding day in Lahore. When we were celebrating the Silver Jubilee, a Long March was continuing. There was tear-gassing, lathi-charging, oppression and government-imposed restrictions. Today all those restrictions are gone. There will be no more use of lathi-charge and tear-gas. Nobody will now be able-block the path of the people. Those who were defeated in the Presidential and Prime Minister's election, those who lost their government in the Punjab and were routed in the recent bye-elections in the Punjab will find no possibility to resort tear-gassing and lathi- charging. This situation has been brought about with the help of the people. All this has been possible with the efforts of the gallant and great workers of the Party.

Today we are once again assembled in Data Nagri. Here we pledge to the people that we will always endeavor for progress and reconstruction of the motherland; we will always work for welfare and well-being of the people; we will always continue to struggle to bring an end to force and oppression, to eliminate ignorance and hatred based on caste and "Biradari".

Let us take this day as the beginning of the great historic journey towards fulfillment of our dreams and building our future. In fact, this journey had begun twenty-six years ago when your aspirations had transformed into the shape of Pakistan Peoples Party, when your aspirations got expression through the words of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, and when you had gathered under this tri-colour banner. Its first colour denotes that you will rule your country through the power of your votes. The second colour underlines the point that you will build a society based on social and economic justice. And the third colour warrants that you embrace the real spirit of your "Deen" and become an example of the greatness of Islam for the entire world.

The first objective has already been achieved after an arduous and long journey. This is proved by the fact that the party formed by you is once again ruling the country with your mandate and with the cooperation of like-minded allies. In fact, you yourselves are the real ruler today. Today I am the Prime Minister simply because the workers of the Pakistan Peoples Party are with me and this companionship, my countrymen, will never break. This is because our years of common struggle is involved in this companionship, the historic struggle that we jointly waged to realize our dreams. But this common struggle of ours owes its colour and shine to the blood of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Shaheed. The colour and shine of that blood is before you all.

Those who were accustomed to look down upon the poor, have now started speaking for the poor and this is your victory. Those who used to avoid any talk of Kutchi Abadies, are now talking about them. This is also your victory. Those people have started talking about the rights of the dwellers of Kutchi Abadies. Whether they are sincere or not, is yet to be determined. But they have acceded to your strength, and this is a great success for you.

Generally, political parties first emerge and then they are formally launched. Afterwards, the party's Manifesto is contemplated, deliberated and framed. The Pakistan Peoples Party is the only party whose Manifesto already existed before the party was formally established. In other words, there was the manifesto and the party was launched to implement it. You all existed there. You formed the party later and the party was formed because you did not accept the poverty which was made your destiny. The desire among yourselves to eliminate poverty was so strong that it became your manifesto. The Muslim League which created Pakistan was also founded in the same way under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam, At that time also, the Muslims first realized their deprivation. Then developed an inspiration in their hearts to get rid of slavery. This inspiration grew so strong that it became the manifesto of their freedom. This was how the Muslim League came into

existence and was led by the Quaid-e-Azam.

My dear party workers:

The point I Want to make clear is that the Pakistan Peoples Party, even before its formal establishment, existed in your thoughts, aspirations and dreams. So long as your dreams exist and you cherish your aspirations, the Pakistan Peoples Party will remain there. The blood that you had given, has brought us to the point from where we can look forward to a bright and glorious future, full of many pleasant prospects. We are not ashamed before history. Rather in the court of our conscience, our heads are raised with the pride that we played our role with full responsibility.

When I use the term "we", I also include among us all those who are no more amongst us, those who were killed for our cause, those who kissed the gallows and those who spent their youth time in dark dungeons. Our responsibilities have now highly increased. Every party worker and every office bearer has to play a historic role. Each worker of the Pakistan Peoples Party will now become a model before the people. The workers of the Pakistan Peoples Party know that they have fought the battle for their own and your rights and struggled to change the lot of all. We are not afraid of struggling or fighting. But under the changed circumstances, our battle and struggle will be waged on new lines.

Economically, Pakistan is lagging far behind and your government has to go a long way to make up the losses. Agriculture is to be developed, energy resources have to be increased, unemployment is to be overcome, education must be spread, diseases have to be eliminated and the increase in population is to be checked. The people expect the government to do all this and the government also wants to come up to their expectations.

We have therefore, chalked out a programme and the government officials have been told to start implementing this programme soon. Your government is not the government of the Pakistan Peoples Party alone, it is the government of the whole of Pakistan. Other parties are also partners in this people's government. Parties outside the government are also assisting us. We respect the leaders and workers of all these parties. The parties opposed to us have adopted a bitter tone. But, to whatever extent they become bitter, we have to keep our tone free from bitterness. We have to play our part with sobriety and responsibly.


I congratulate you on completion of 26 years of the Party. I feel proud of being a worker of the Peoples Party. Governments come and go, but the Party always exists there and its platform is meant for all. It represents the strength and bright future of the people. Fifteen years ago, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was sentenced to death in Kot Lakhpat Jail. In reply to this act he had said, "Do whatever you like. The final victory is mine". This he did because he believed in the decision of history and he had faith in the people.

The Pakistan Peoples Party is a historic party and its principles will remain in tact even after a hundred years. I have to point out that many people come forward during the tenure of their government that they want to work and that their doors are open for all. Here we must remember that if the party has become a power, it is due to its workers who have been with us in thick and thin. Under all circumstances we have to give preference to party workers we have to take care of them. Honoring them will bring honor to the party, and of course, this will bring honor to me, as well.

Dear countrymen:

Our power is not the state power, because we are not an official Party. Our power is political power. After coming into power, we should not forget everything else. Every time we do not have to look towards the administration. During this period, we must increase our political strength.

On this 26th anniversary, I am not simply felicitating you. On this occasion, I salute Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and other martyrs whose martyrdom owes our lives today. I salute those workers of the Peoples Party who underwent the rigors and pains of imprisonment but kept the Peoples Party alive. I salute those women workers who were subjected to violence but who kept the Party in-tact. I also salute Begum Nusrat Bhutto for her struggle and services.

I would say that ours is a living party, and God willing, it will always remain a living party. The banner of this party which is the banner of truth will remain high. Our principles that Islam is our "deen", democracy is our politics, equality is our economy, and martyrdom we embrace — will be acclaimed across the world. With this acclamation will echo the slogan of Pakistan, the slogan of the Peoples Party and the slogan of " Jeevey Jeevey Bhutto Jeevey"

 

© Fayaz Sindhi 2010