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Asif Zardari pays homage to the martyrs of Karsaz tragedy

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Battle lines drawn in Karsaz in 2007 have only sharpened

Islamabad October 18, 2016: The 18th day of October is an important day in our national calendar as on this day in 2007 battle lines were drawn between democracy and pluralism on the one hand and religious fanaticism and bigotry on the other. Those battle lines have only sharpened during the past nine years and beckon us to continue the fight till final victory.

This has been stated by former President Asif Ali Zardari in a message on the 9th anniversary of Karsaz tragedy on Tuesday October 18.

Nine years ago on this day Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan from exile, defying all odds and warnings, because she sensed that Pakistan was faced with existential threat from the bigots and religious fanatics on the one hand and dictatorship on the other.

It was on this day when the enemies of democracy and Pakistan who were waiting brutally attacked her caravan. Nearly two hundred Party workers and democrats embraced martyrdom in the cause of democracy and freedom from dictatorship, religious bigots and extremists.

Today we salute the martyrs; they are the heroes and heroines and the strength of the nation. In laying down their lives they have raised our hopes and steeled our determination.

The 18th of October is also an occasion to reiterate the pledge to fulfill the mission of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto to uphold democracy and defeat militants and those who flaunt their bigoted version of religion to advance their anti democracy and anti women agenda.

The Salam Karsaz Shuhada Rally organized by the Party on 16th October in Karachi was aimed at paying homage the nation’s heroes as well as reiterate the pledge loudly and clearly. I wish to commend all those who helped organize it.

Leaders lead the fight from the front. On this day Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto led from the front the nation’s fight against dictatorship and religious fanaticism.

The extremists and their political backers who could not face her politically are continuing their attacks on the progressive and democratic forces behind the façade of religion. The battle lines drawn on this day have only sharpened. We will continue this battle till final victory inshaAllah.

Today let us also rededicate ourselves to fighting extremism and the enemies of democracy.

As we remember the martyrs of Karsaz let us also remember in our prayers the personnel of the armed forces, civil law enforcing agencies and the people who have made untold sacrifices in the fight against extremism, he said.

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