Pakistan People’s Party of Canada

Pointing finger of blame for assassination at Punjabis with Jack Layton’s apparent approval

By —— Bio and Archives--December 31, 2007

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  It didn’t take long for opportunistic Canadian New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jack Layton to cash in on the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

  Taking time out from his anti-war activities and home for the holidays, Layton turned out yesterday at a Queen’s Park protest rally staged by the Pakistan People’s Party of Canada (PPP-Canada).

PPP-Canada leaders presented a five-point demand charter to the government, which, among other things, sought pressure on Musharraf to quit before elections are held.

  “Blaming Musharraf for the assassination, the protesters said Canada `should do more than just issue statements.’” (Hindustan Times, Dec. 31, 2007).
  In its media release, PPP-Canada incorrectly identifies Layton as Canada’s Opposition Leader, a title that belongs to Liberal Stéphane Dion.  The NDP, which garnered the least amount of party votes in the last election, is Canada’s fourth party behind the Bloc Québécois.

  “PPP-Canada convener Mansoor Mirza, who led the protesters and gave a memorandum to Jack Layton to be passed on to Prime Minister Harper, told IANS, “Through the opposition leader, we have requested Prime Minister Harper to press for an independent international probe into Benazir’s death and Musharraf’s ouster.”

  Mirza contends that free elections are not possible in Pakistan under Musharraf.

  “The army is well-entrenched in Pakistan and they would not allow the PPP to emerge victorious.  That’s why they have killed Benazir.  We also demand that the ousted judges be restored to their jobs and the media allowed full freedom,” he said.

  Layton, who actually addressed the rally, said Pakistan should be freed from dictatorship.  He promised to deliver the protesters’ demands to the government, saying that democracy and stability in Pakistan were very important for Canada which, along with the US-led coalition, was fighting the Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan.

  Though Layton accused Pakistan’s government of dictatorship, he did not mention Musharraf’s name.

  Nor did PPP-Canada protesters mention that Benazir’s controversial husband, Asif Ali Zardari, or `Mr. Ten Per Cent’ would be sharing power as PPP co-chairman with son Bilawal as Benazir’s successor.

“Haling (sic) the decision of the PPP leadership to anoint Benazir’s son Bilawal as her successor and contest the Jan. 8 elections, the protesters said the decision would pull Pakistan back from the brink of civil war.

  “By appointing Bilawal as PPP chairman, the party has doused the fires engulfing the country.  There is a huge bitterness among people towards the Punjabis in Pakistan because of what has happened.  We hope Pakistan has been saved once again,” said a party office-bearer.

  PPP-Canada’s press release makes Layton a party to racism in having the finger of blame pointed at Punjabis by an unidentified PPP member.

  Mirza added: “Only a Bhutto can bind all Pakistanis.  Though nobody can replace Benazir, we hope Bilawal will fill the vacuum with the passage of time.  He is a kid and will need to grow up fast.”

  Media reports indicate that Bilawal will remain studying at Oxford; is chairman in symbol only and will leave the day-to-day operation of the PPP to his father as party co-chair.

  Meanwhile, January 8 elections in Pakistan have been postponed until mid-February.

See Also: Why Al Qaeda Didn’t Kill Her And The Pakistani Military Did?

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Judi McLeod -- Bio and Archives | Comments

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Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years’ experience in the print media. A former Toronto Sun columnist, she also worked for the Kingston Whig Standard. Her work has appeared on Rush Limbaugh, Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com.

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