President urges nation to safeguard democracy

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President Asif Zardari has urged the people to stand firm and united for safeguarding and strengthening democracy and to work collectively for a progressive, tolerant, moderate and pluralistic Pakistan as envisioned by our great leaders.
In a message on the occasion of Independence Day, being celebrated today (Wednesday), the president extended heartiest felicitations to all the Pakistanis living within the country and abroad on the auspicious occasion.
He said, “This year Independence Day celebrations have special significance as the nation is also celebrating, for the first time, peaceful democratic transition from one democracy to another. While our heads bow in gratitude before Allah we should also, on this auspicious occasion of double rejoicing, resolve to make Pakistan a truly modern, dynamic, progressive and democratic country.”
Zardari said, “Apart from celebrations Independence Day is also an occasion to reflect whether we have moved towards or away from the noble ideals for which the state was created by our great forefathers.”
He said, “Unfortunately, our past history is marred by repeated assaults on democracy and abrogation of the constitution which was also endorsed by some state institutions. Repeated ambushes against the democratic process and abrogation of the constitution have resulted in the weakening of democratic institutions and the entrenching of non-democratic forces in a culture of secrecy. The civilian political structures were weakened as Pakistan was driven away from a welfare state to a security driven state with enormous damage to our body politic.”
He asked every Pakistani to resolve that they would never allow the constitution to be subverted nor the democratic process derailed.
In the fullness of time those who subverted the constitution and those who lent legitimacy to its abrogation and subversion should be punished; they will be. It is indeed for the democratic Parliament to decide on how to punish them.
“On this day we must rededicate ourselves once again to the democratic ideals and principles for which Pakistan was created,” he emphasised.
“Let us banish from our midst extremists and militants who wish to impose their political ideology on the people through the bullet instead of the ballot. Let us also reject those who exploit and misuse the name of religion for advancing their personal and partisan political agendas” the president added.
Zardari paid tributes to those valiant sons of the soil who sacrificed their lives defending motherland from threats. He also paid tributes to the courage of all those fellow citizens who laid down their lives or suffered grievously fighting against militancy and extremism.