ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday said that the government did not want clash of the institutions and deemed that “democracy is the best revenge”.
Speaking at the 21st All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) award distribution ceremony held at the Presidency, Zardari said, “We strengthened the institutions by giving more powers to parliament and we are willing to work and fight for a better democracy.”
Zardari said that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) did not take the path of aggression after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto because it could have threatened the institutions. “I am here for a larger cause to fight the mindset – which is definitely going to harm our coming generations if not fought now,” he said.
The president said, “We will have to take this challenge. It is the mindset which took away Benazir Bhutto, Salmaan Taseer, Shahbaz Bhatti and thousands of Pakistanis. We are not against mardrassa but we are against the mindset.”
President Zardari said that the government is going to file a reference in the Supreme Court to revisit the judgment of the “judicial murder” of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. “Pakistan People’s Party has decided to get the case of ‘judicial murder’ of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto reopened,” the president told the 21st awards ceremony of APNS. He said that “it is in the interest of democracy and public, and we do not ask anybody to be punished”. The constitutional experts have termed the execution of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (ZAB) illegal and a judicial murder.
They said the president enjoys powers under Article 186 of the constitution to send a law question of public interest for consideration of the Supreme Court. According to constitutional experts, Article 186 reads,”(1) If, at any time, the president considers that it is desirable to obtain the opinion of the Supreme Court on any question of law which he considers of public importance, he may refer the question to the Supreme Court for consideration. (2) The Supreme Court shall consider a question so referred and report its opinion on the question to the president.”
President Zardari said the first PPP government of Benazir Bhutto in 1988 had put the country on the road to democracy and freedom of press. She lifted a ban on import of printing paper and made it free for everybody, he added. He said Benazir Bhutto introduced SPTN, CNN, BBC, optic fibre, which were revolutionary ideas in those days and the government did not use it for personal propaganda or projection but only used it for information and entertainment.
She wanted to open up Pakistan, the president said and added that the PPP was never afraid of criticism and wanted to give more freedom of expression to people. The president invited the elders, media and younger generation for dialogue, adding that it is the only way for resolution of problems.
He asked the APNS to set up a body for rationalising the distribution of advertisements to media. Later, the president gave away awards to the APNS members, journalists, advertising agencies for achievements in their respective fields. app