PESHAWAR, Apr 04 (APP): Many politicians die in bed and some in exile but a few make their way to the hearts and minds of the people and become immortal by fighting for the rights of the people, supremacy of the constitution and democracy.
Former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was considered among such leaders and a charismatic politician of Pakistan, who accepted gallows 44 years ago on April 4, 1979, but did not compromise on the rights of people and supremacy of the constitution and democracy.
“Death was meaningless for Z.A. Bhutto, who gave the 1973 constitution and devoted his entire life to the people of Pakistan and died for them,” said Malik Azmat Khan, former Minister of State and PPP leader on Tuesday.
He said that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto did not bow before dictatorial forces and refused to beg for mercy for a crime that he had never committed. “When Bhutto Sahib heard about his death sentence as a result of an unfair trial, he said, ‘I am not afraid of death. A Muslim’s fate is in the hands of God. I can face Him with a clear conscience and would tell Him that I rebuilt His Islamic State from ashes into a respectable nation’,” Malik Azmat recalled.
He said the strong courage and determination of Shaheed Zulfiqar Bhutto were also reflected throughout his life and political career besides giving ordinary Pakistanis a voice.
“Quaid-e-Awam has earned dignity for the country at regional and international levels due to his great political stature, intellect and vision,” said former MPA, Nighat Yasmin Orakzai while talking to this news agency.
She said Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto broke all the shackles and rejected a compromised foreign policy. She said that Bhutto Shaheed, in a short time, had made Pakistan a strong, progressive and independent nation of the Muslim World.
“He had managed to unite Muslim leaders in the historic Islamic Summit Conference hosted in Pakistan in Lahore in 1974 and also spoke about the Kashmir issue in the UN and always defended the oppressed Kashmiris at all international forums,” she said.
Orakzai said ZAB started the nuclear programme of Pakistan and saved Pakistanis from all external and international threats and made Pakistan’s defense impregnable.
She said that even today, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was remembered as a man of principles, true statesman, real reformer and a great master of dialogue, adding that he brought together people from across the political spectrum and developed consensus on the 1973 constitution.
Besides his land, labour, industrial, corporate, legal and economic reforms, Nighat Yasmin said that ZA Bhutto health and education reforms had provided quality services to millions of Pakistanis, besides significant relief under peoples’ work reforms and national volunteer development program.
She recalled that Bhutto Sahib managed to bring back around 93,000 Pakistani war prisoners and ceased territories exchanged after the 1971 war, without compromising on the interests of Pakistan.
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who came from a comfortable background, attended Christ Church College, Oxford, and briefly practiced law in London. After returning to Pakistan, he started practicing law in Karachi. He was a well-off young lawyer who turned into a politician and won people’s hearts due to his pro-poor policies.
Despite the pro-US policies of Ayub’s government, she said ZA Bhutto as a foreign minister gave a new spirit to the Pak-China relationship and later resigned as a foreign minister and founded the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).
After Bhutto’s untimely death, she said his legacy was passed on by his wife Begum Nusrat Bhutto and daughter Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed in difficult times. Following the footprints of her illustrious father, Benazir Bhutto fought for the supremacy of democracy in Pakistan and became the first woman prime minister in the Muslim world.
She said both the leaders considered Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as their second home and loved Pashtoons from the core of their hearts. On December 1, 2007, when BB Shaheed came to Peshawar, she was welcomed by hundreds of thousands of PPP supporters and said, “I seek your help and cooperation to turn this land of Pakhtoons who suffered greatly in the war against terrorism, into a peaceful zone.”
The untimely death of ZA Bhutto and Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed was a great loss to the country and had these leaders been alive today, the existing economic, political and geopolitical challenges would not have confronted Pakistan,” said former Senator Sardar Ali Khan .
Sardar Ali said that Benazir’s martyrdom had weakened the dictatorship and restored genuine democracy in the country. After her martyrdom in Rawalpindi on December 27 outside Liaquat Bagh, the torch of Bhutto’s political legacy was now with Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who was determined to carry forward his grandfather and mother’s legacy.
The Pakistan People’s Party is still an undeniable force in national politics. Despite the passage of four decades to Shaheed Bhutto’s murder, he still lived in the hearts and minds of people and those who wanted to wipe him out from Pakistani politics themselves are not remembered in good words in today’s political landscape.
Although ZAB and Benazir Bhutto Shaheed are not among us today, however, their guiding principles and visions are a great source of inspiration for people, political workers and future generations to take the country to the safe shore of democracy.