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President Asif Ali Zardari said on Sunday that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) would continue rendering sacrifices for the rights of the masses and strengthening state institutions through democratic measures. Addressing a large gathering here after inaugurating a modern transplant centre at the Gambat Medical Institute and the sixth draw of the Wasila-e-Haq programme under the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), he said the 18th Amendment would ensure that no dictator could trample the constitution again. “We will continue our fight for the rights of the masses without any fear of sacrifice,” he added. President Zardari said some people might have desired that the government should have adopted the constitutional amendments much earlier, but there was a time for everything and now it was being done as the necessary consensus was there. He said the party would continue to pursue the policy of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto for the welfare of the people who rendered sacrifices for the cause of the party. He said it was this philosophy that was getting overwhelming support of the masses from all over the country. The president said a country gained strength only when the people and the provinces were given their due rights. “We will continue to serve Pakistan and its people even at the cost of our lives,” he said, and added: “We raised the slogan of ‘Pakistan Khapay’ even at the time when there was a funeral at our home”.

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He said the BISP programme was aimed at empowering the women. He said the PPP workers and leaders were struggling for rights of the people. President Zardari distributed certificates among the women who were selected in the fifth draw. He handed over keys of auto rickshaws to them and hoped that it would not only increase their financial position but also open up a brighter future. BISP chairman Farzana Raja paid rich tribute to President Zardari for transferring all his powers to the prime minister and restoring the 1973 Constitution to its original form. She said all those who had unleashed criticism against the president without any justification had to eat a humble pie. Farzana Raja said families selected through a draw from the 2.7 million families under the BISP were provided loans of Rs300,000 each to help them start their own small business, increase their income and earn a respectable income. She said a poverty survey across the country would help the government determine the number of real needy and to start health insurance schemes. She said the scheme would be launched on April 15 from Balochistan. Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, federal and provincial ministers, parliamentarians, party leaders and workers attended the event.
By: The News