Islamabad August 4, 2009: A Convention of the PPP office bearers from all districts of the country along with their spouses and children was held in the Presidency Tuesday aftern oon to bring the rank and file of the Party’s office bearers face to face in the same compound with Party Chairman Bilawal, Co Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Aseefa Bhutto Zardari and the top Party leadership.
Apart from Party’s central leadership those who attended the Convention included the Presidents, vice Presidents, General Secretaries, Information secretaries and Secretaries Record and Events of all districts from Zhob to Chitral and from Karachi to Peshawar .
As the Party leadership led by Chairman Bilawal entered the specially created pandal the workers burst into a spontaneous and prolonged applause and deafening slogans of ‘Jeeay Bhutto’, ‘Benazir charon soobon ki zanjeer’, ‘Zinda hai Bibi Zinda hai’, ‘Har ghar sai Bhutto niklai ga, tum kitnai Bhutto marogai’ and ‘Jab tak suraj chand rahai ga, Bhutto tera nam rahai ga’. The emotional slogans recalling Bhuttos and their sacrifices left many eys including that of Chairman Bilawal moist with tears.
Secretary General Senator Jahangir Badar who acted as stage secretary had to calm down the charged gathering of over a thousand workers whenever they burst into prolonged and spontaneous sloganeering that continued almost unabated and without end.
Party workers and leaders speaking on the occasion vowed to uphold the legacy of Bhuttos also endorsing the leadership of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari as the new Chairman of the Party. Bhutto and Pa kistan are inseparable, they said. Glowing tributes were paid to Bhuttos.
Talking to the media spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar said that the Convention was the second open air moot in the Presidency in less than a month of Party workers and office bearers in which their spouses and children also participated to make it an unprecedented huge family get together.
Farhatullah Babar said that last month the Co-Chairman had invited three generations of the Party leadership to a gathering in the Presidency tha t was similarly attended by the Bhutto children. In that meeting also the party leadership endorsed the new leadership of the Party.
Over one thousand Party workers, leaders and their families participated in the get together that lasted for over four hours.
Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Raza Rabbani and Aseefa Bhutto Zardari and Party’s secretary general Jehangir Bader and some central leaders were seated on the dais, he said.
Addressing the gathering Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari recalled the services and sacrifices of his mother and grandfather to the Party and the country and said that he too would not hesitate to offer any sacrifice for ameliorating the lot of the downtrodden people of the country. Farhatullah Babar quoted Bilawal as saying, “I want to see the children of Malakand get the same education and facilities of life as are available to children in Karachi , Lahore and Islamabad ”.
Farhatullah Babar said that Bilawal Bhutto was invited to the dais amid st anding ovation by Jahangir Bader as the ‘real and undisputed leader of the Party’.
Bilawal Bhutto began his speech by describing himself as “the third generation of a world wide family called the PPP”.
Bilawal Bhutto said that Bhutto was alive yesterday and he is alive today because of the courage and sacrifices of the workers.
Bilawal then asked the workers if Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Mohtarma had fulfilled their promises made to them.
Farhatullah Babar said that when the workers yelled a deafening ‘yes’ bilawal assured them that he too like his mother and grandfather will fulfill his promises.
“My grandfather, my uncles and my mother all sacrificed their lives for the cause and if need be I too will follow in the footsteps of my peers and not hesitate from making sacrifices Bilawal Bhutto said. And let us not forget the hundreds of Party workers who laid down their lives on July 17, 2007 in Islamabad on Oct 19, 2007 in Karachi and on Dec 27, 2007 -, Rawalpindi and on many other occasions in the past in the struggle for democracy, rule of law and empowering the people.
Today the present and the future of the Party meet at a critical juncture that enables us to carve out a new future that is shaped by the experience of the past and the hope of the future, he said.
At this point of time let us all pledge together to give hope to the people, Bilawal Bhutto said. “I promise to give the people hope”, he said.
Bilawal Bhutto said that the Party and workers were fated to succeed in their mission and recalled the words of his mother,” we did not suffer that much, we did not come that far to fail”
Speaking on the occasion Aseefa Bhutto Zardari said that her grandfather and her mother had made great sacrifices and so had the ordinary workers of the Party from Karachi to=2 0Khyber had made unprecedented sacrifices for the cause of democracy.
She said that her mother wanted to make a difference and she made it. I too have a dream to make a difference, she said and added that together we will build on the dream of my mother.
Aseefa Bhutto said that her mother would be very happy on seeing this gathering of the large PPP family that she led for nearly three decades.
She said that she was proud of her father her mother and the Party. She said that she dreamt for a Pakistan that is free of exploitation, hypocrisy and bigotry. The pandal burst into a thunderous applause when she concluded her speech with “Tum kitnai Bhutto marogai, har ghar sai Bhutto niklaiga”.
Speaking on the occasion Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani said that whenever he sits on the Chair of Prime Minister or meets foreign heads of governments he is invariably reminded of the pledges made y Shaheed Mohtarma Bhutto with the people of Pakistan.
He said that in accordance with the vision of Shaheed Mohtarma we will change the system to bring a meaningful change in the lives of the people. We vow to change the system in the light of the mission of the Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto so that no one is ground by the wheel of exploitation, he said
The Prime Minister also recounted the achievements of the present government following the footsteps of Shaheed Mohtarma and the Party manifesto.
President Zardari speaking on the occasion said that the PPP stood for egalitarianism, tolerance, democracy and constitutionalism. He said that the recent incident in Gojra where the minorities were vandalized by zealots struck at the root of tolerance and egalitarianism and warned that the full force of law will visit those who had taken the law into their own hands. The President said the government will ensure protection to all minorities indeed to all citizens.
He said that the history of PPP is a history of courage, of sacrifice and of determination. President Zardari recalled the prophetic words of Shaheed Mohtarma Bhutto on Dec 27, 2007 in Rawalpindi that the mili tants were taking over Swat but the PPP and the people would protect Swat from militants. He said Shaheed Mohtarma’s words had come true as the Party and the people reversed the tide in Swat and Malakand.
President Zardari said that the Party had come into power through elections but the remnants of
dictatorship could not stomach it and were carrying out a vicious propaganda against the Party.
He said that Shaheed Mohtarma was assassinated as part of conspiracy against Pakistan and the region. He said that the=2 0UN investigations into her assassination had unnerved the conspirators who now saw the writing on the wall. He cautioned the Party workers to be cautious and careful against the machinations of the conspirators.
The meeting also adopted a resolution expressing complete confidence in the Party leadership and vowing to continue the mission of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto.