Pakistan Pres Zardari: Karsaz tragedy reminder against militancy, terrorism


Islamabad : President Asif Ali Zardari while paying tributes to the martyrs of Karsaz tragedy, said the tragedy served to remind that central battle in Pakistan was against militancy and terrorism which must be won.

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On the eve of second anniversary of Karsaz tragedy on Oct 18, President Zardari said, “Our thoughts go to the martyrs who laid down their lives and many hundreds more who were maimed and wounded while protecting the life of their leader Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto.”

On Oct 18, 2007, 179 Jan nisaran i Benazir and fans of democracy were martyred in Karachi when the terrorists struck the convoy welcoming her to the country from almost a decade in exile.

President Zardari said, “They died for democracy and for valiantly fighting the forces of militancy and extremism. They sacrificed their lives so our people could live in freedom, dignity and hope.”

He said, “We salute their courage, devotion and loyalty. They are the strength of the nation indeed they are our national heroes and heroines.”

“By laying down their lives they have inspired and motivated us to strive for worthy goals no matter what the odds,” he said.

“On this day Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto returned to the country to in her own words, ‘bring change to my country by empowering its people and building political institutions,’ he said.

He said, “My message on this day is that let us all strive to bring change and empower the poor people.”

He said the attack on Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was not an attack on an individual. It was an attack on forces of moderation fighting militancy and extremism, he said.

The attack echoed what she had said that the fundamental battle in Pakistan was against fanaticism and extremism and that this battle can be won only under democracy.

“Let us therefore, while honouring the martyrs, rededicate ourselves to fighting militancy and extremism by strengthening democratic institutions,” he said.

He said, “On this day, I wish to reiterate that we will root out militancy and extremism from our land no matter what the price. Let there be no doubt or mistake about it.”

Zardari said, “The government has taken measures to rehabilitate with respect the families of those who laid down their lives to protect Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. This is our duty and we will do more to honour the families of heroes of democracy.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Saturday said that education is his government’s top priority as illiteracy is the root cause of terrorism.

Speaking at the inauguration of upgradation of NUML College in Mianwali to university, the Prime Minister praised PTI Chairman Imran Khan for setting up the institute and said giving access to education is a noble cause as knowledge is power. Degree classes at the university have commenced from Saturday.

The inauguration ceremony held at the residence of Imran Khan here in Bani Gala was attended by a large number of parliamentarians, educationists and diplomats. The Prime Minister also announced 100 scholarships worth 200,000 each, and said it will help the deserving students of Mianwali to get quality education.

Prime Minister Gilani said that the government will strive to give best emoluments to the teachers, who are the builders of a nation, so that they can fully concentrate on educating the future generations of Pakistan.

Earlier Imran Khan, a former wellknown cricketeer, while speaking on the occasion highlighted the importance setting up of NUML College in Mianwali as well as his vision of promoting education in the country, particularly in theremote areas.