President Asif Ali Zardari has asked the democratic forces in the country to gear themselves for the forthcoming elections which he said will be held in a fair‚ free and transparent manner within the constitutionally mandated time frame.

 

In his message on the eve of the 46th founding day of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), he called for continuous struggle to build a progressive and democratic Pakistan in which everyone lives with honour and dignity.

 

The founding day celebrations this year are taking place at a time when the democratically elected government is nearing completion of its term after having waded through a sea of vicious campaign to tarnish its image.

 

“Let us pledge once again today that we will continue to work for strengthening democratic institutions as envisioned by Shaheed Mohtarma Bhutto and for which she laid down her life”.

 

As the government nearly completes its democratic tenure it is useful to look up the score card and brace for the challenges that lie ahead‚ the President said.

 

Recounting the achievements of the government and democratic political forces the President said that these included restoration of the unanimous Constitution of 1973‚ opening the doors of political reforms for the first time in over a century reforms in FATA‚ democratic amendments in the FCR‚ empowering the Parliament‚ strengthening democracy through political reconciliation‚ taking the militants head on and launching a massive poverty alleviation program the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP).

 

These are some of the great victories and the people of Pakistan can be genuinely proud of it‚ he said.

 

Paying tributes to the political workers he said that the courageous and devoted political workers are the pillars of the political process and the nation. They have never wavered in their quest for a modern‚ progressive and democratic Pakistan‚ the President said.

 

The President said that democracy has survived and flourished on the sweat‚ blood and tears of political workers. It is because of their sacrifices that dictatorship has not been able to take roots in Pakistan.

 

The heroic struggle for safeguarding democracy and democratic institutions and empowering people must continue‚ the President said adding‚ “It will”.

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