Dictators must be punished, says Zardari

Ex-president calls July 5 a black day, pays homage to martyrs of democracy

ISLAMABAD – July 5 is a black day in our national calendar when a dictator overthrew an elected prime minister and later executed him, decimated the constitution and destroyed state institutions and is a reminder to all to strive for the protection of democracy on the one hand and to punish the dictators on the other.

This has been stated by former president and Pakistan People’s Party Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari in a message on Friday, denouncing the abrogation of the constitution and take over by dictatorship on July 5, 1977. Paying glowing tributes to the democratic ethos of the people, Zardari said the people have consistently refused to be suppressed by force and have always bounced back to seize their democratic rights from the dictators.

Describing the voices calling for accountability of dictators as a manifestation of the democratic yearning of the people, Zardari said that the dictators and usurpers of people's rights and freedoms must be punished. He also paid homage to the martyrs of democracy.

“On this day, my thoughts also go to those martyrs of democracy who suffered and sacrificed during that black period of our national history. They suffered so that the future generations may live in peace and honour,” he said.

"Let us today resolve to strive for the preservation and promotion of democracy and the rule of law so that our people continue to march onto the road of progress and prosperity with hope and opportunity for everyone,” the former president said.

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