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Unity sought against Pakistani extremists

Dec. 27, 2012 at 4:27 PM   |   Comments

GARHI KHUDA BAKHSH, Pakistan, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the son of slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, Thursday urged Pakistan's political parties to unite to fight extremists.

In a speech marking the fifth anniversary of the assassination of his mother, Zardari, 24, the head of the Pakistan People's Party whose father is President Asif Ali Zardari, said his party's policy of political reconciliation works against extremism, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

"We want to take along all the parties and have adopted the process of reconciliation to ensure progress and prosperity in the country," the younger Zardari said. "We invite them [all political forces] to come and work together unitedly and we will change the winds."

He said those who oppose the PPP's call for reconciliation are anti-democratic and are intent on establishing a dictatorship.

"We are followers of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and all those who sacrifice their lives for the democracy and rights of the people," he said.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, his grandfather, was executed in 1979 for authorizing the killing of a political opponent.

CNN reported the speech also sounded a warning to his party's enemies.

"To those who attack Malala [his mother], I say, if you attack one Malala, thousands of Malalas will be born," he said. "We are the followers of Bhutto. If you kill one Bhutto, a Bhutto will emerge from each household.

"You will stamp out one lantern, then millions of lights will burn bright.

"Our party will never fear any terrorist. Our road is the road to democracy."

Several other PPP leaders expressed similar desires for political cooperation and vowed to work for all Pakistanis.

DawnNews reported Information and Broadcasting Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said Thursday one of Benazir Bhutto's suspected assassins was killed in a drone strike. Other suspects are in jail, Kaira said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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