KARACHI - President of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) and Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) Maulana Fazlur Rehman said they had been struggling to uphold and strengthen democracy in the country since the martial law imposed by General Zia-ul-Haq.

He stated this while addressing a reference held to remember Sardar Attaullah Mengal (late) and his struggle for democracy, law and justice, and Balochistan at a local hotel here on Sunday.

Minister for Science and Technology Agha Hassan Baloch, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal and others were also present on the occasion.

While paying rich tributes to Attaullah Mengal, the PDM chief said they would have to contemplate on how to make the country prosperous for the future of the young generation. “We have to make and implement comprehensive polices irrespective of the political damages to steer the country on the path to the development and prosperity.”

He said some politicians played a considerable role in sapping democracy in the country for their own gains. However, he added, the remaining politicians were committed and serious in pulling the country out of authoritarianism and oppression.  Maulana said all the politicians had to work jointly for the supremacy of law and strengthening of democracy in the country. 

He said the previous government of PTI froze the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).  The PDM chief said the country was experiencing an unprecedented situation of monsoon rains and floods. The country had all resources which should be utilized for facilitating people and protecting their rights.  Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said Attaullah Mengal was a man of political wisdom, who did politics of principals and vision. He said, “We have to play our part for the supremacy of the constitution, and to make the economy of the country strong and stable.” He said the federal government desired to solve the issue of missing persons permanently. The minister also pledged to establish new universities in every district of Balochistan.  Balochistan National Party (BNP) President Sardar Akhtar Mengal said his father Attaullah Mengal had been struggling and sacrificing all his life for democracy, justice and Balochistan. “I am totally ineffectual if compared to the contributions of my father to Balochistan and Pakistan.”

The BNP chief said politics was considered a crime in the time of his father and now it had become a fashion. 

He said that the country only could develop and prosper if institutions play their part within their limits and jurisdictions. 

Besides others Pashtoonkhwa Mili Awami Party head Mahmood Khan Achakzai, PPP Senator Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Head of Sindh United Party (SUP) Syed Jalal Mahmood Shah, Journalists Mazhar Abbas and Shahzad Zulfikar, President of Balochistan Bar Abdul Majeed Khan Kakar, Advocate Ali Ahmed Kurd, and Senior Vice President of National Party Senator Kabeer Ahmed Mohammad also addressed the reference and paid tributes to late Sardar Attaullah Mengal.