ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Tuesday said that the country cannot survive without democracy.“Under the umbrella of dictatorship, the so-called economic progress led to ethnic divides,” the PPP scion told a huge rally in Islamabad organized to celebrate the party’s golden jubilee.Bilawal said that the resources were limited to feudal lords and a particular section of the society in the past. “Benazir raised voice and stood against martial law … she ended Martial Law Regulations,” he said, adding it was his party and late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who laid the foundation of democracy in Pakistan and revolted against the dictatorship. “Whenever rights were usurped, PPP raised the flag of rebellion,” he said.Bilawal said that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto provided the country with a unified constitution which was still functioning in the country. He said that Bhutto had refused to bow before a dictator while Benazir spoke out against Musharraf’s hypocritical policies. He accused General Zia-ul-Haq of usurping the rights of women in the name of Islam and stated that he promoted terrorism in the country.Bilawal lashed out at Nawaz Sharif, accusing him of amending the constitution in a bid to become the Amir-ul-Momineen. He vowed to restore the state’s writ, adding that the way it was eroded in recent events was alarming.Islam rejects the notion of extremism, said Bilawal, adding that the PPP will not let the society move towards extremism. “People are centre of power in Pakistan,” he said, and asserted that only democracy could strengthen Pakistan.The PPP chief shed light on the party’s future strategy in his address. He said that keeping in view Bhutto’s legacy, the struggle against dictatorship will continue until Pakistan is made a true social democratic state.Bilawal said that when PPP comes to power, reforms will be introduced to end poverty and unemployment. He added that under the guidance of former president Asif Ali Zardari, steps will be taken for the welfare of the public. While giving an example of the 18th Amendment, Bilawal said that importance will be given to the National Finance Commission Award, Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan package and KP-Fata merger.He reiterated the party’s agenda and said the struggle, whose basis was laid by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto, will continue and the power will be vested in the public.He said that it was the third generation of the PPP which was carrying on the legacy for the sake of democracy. “I congratulate those who have laid the basis of the PPP and stood against the dictatorship,” said Bilawal.In his address, former president and PPP Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari said his party would not make any efforts in future to save the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), adding that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had emptied the national treasury.Zardari said PPP had saved PML-N government twice, but would not save them again in future. He said whatever would unfold in the future will be on the basis of public’s vote.Zardari claimed that the PML-N president had bankrupted the country, adding Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan had nothing to offer to the people of Pakistan. He asserted that both ‘Godfather’ and the ‘bogus Khan’ were unable to understand that workers matter the most in any political party. Zardari said that PPP gave identity to Pakhtoons during its rule. He said that economic growth was better during the party’s government in the Centre.Zardari said India could not treat Pakistan as it does to Nepal owing to being a nuclear power. He said that Kashmir remained the jugular vein of Pakistan and would never be compromised over.While talking about Pakistan’s terms with Afghanistan, he requested that Afghan brothers must listen to Pakistan’s stance. He urged the Afghan people to not misunderstand Pakistan’s motives. He asserted that Pakistan wanted to see Afghanistan prosper.The PPP co-chairman said on every Foundation Day he remembered late Benazir Bhutto, who would have been proud to see her son Bilawal Bhutto today. “I present to you Bilawal,” he said, adding, “I believe you people would be loyal to my children the way you were to Benazir and me.”The former president said throughout the five-year rule of the PPP, the government fulfilled Benazir’s vision.Published in Daily Times, December 6th 2017.