Remembering Benazir Bhutto – a leader for all times
Remembering Benazir Bhutto – a leader for all times Remembering Benazir Bhutto – a leader for all times Remembering Benazir Bhutto – a leader for all times

PUBLISHED 7/14/2017
Sunday, January 04, 2009

By By Tahir Hasan Khan


The first death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto was observed last week. A national holiday was declared on 27 December as mark of respect for the PPP leader and to pay tribute to her sacrifices for democracy. Both the print and electronic media highlighted the achievements and sacrifices of the late leader and recognized her services to the nation.

A large number of people gathered at Naudero, Larkana, the hometown of Benazir Bhutto and paid tributes to their late leader. The PPP Chairman, Bilawal Bhutto, specially came to attend the first death anniversary of his mother alongwith Bakhtawar, Aseefa and Sanam Bhutto. President Asif Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani were also present for the occasion in Larkana.

However, people who went to Larkana to attend the death anniversary returned disappointed as they believed that Bilawal Bhutto and Asif Zardari would address them as per party traditions.

In the past, the party held a public meeting on every death anniversary of late ZA Bhutto and at that time, Ms Benazir Bhutto addressed them. When she went in exile, she addressed the rally through telephone and video system and this tradition has been going on for the past two decades. But this time no public meeting was held. Security reasons forced President Zardari and his children to stay home instead.

The only activity was the CEC meeting of the party and Bilawal Bhutto chaired this meeting. Most of the loyalists of Asif Zardari, however, were angry over the speech of Atizaz Ahsan who requested the party leadership and government to fulfill promises made by the late leader through the Charter of Democracy.

It may be recalled that the United Nations also awarded Benazir Bhutto with the UN International Human Rights Award and this was given at a ceremony held on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This UN gives this award every five years on Dec 10 and this time the award was received by the son of Benazir Bhutto, Bilawal Bhutto, on her behalf. He received this award from the President of the UN General Assembly, Miguel D’Escoto Brockman.

In its remarks, the UN President said that Benazir Bhutto was an ardent advocate for democracy and of the rights of the most vulnerable sections of society, particularly women, children and religious minorities.

Bilawal, who replaced his mother as PPP Chairman, said “My mother did everything humanly possible to ensure both democracy and human rights in Pakistan. Her governments were undermined by rogue elements within the establishment at the time.”

The UN Award to BB was a recognition by the international community of her services. It was awarded on the occasion of her first death anniversary. Benazir Bhutto, who was the target of terrorism, always pointed out that only an elected democratic government is the solution of the terrorism. But it was unfortunate that the UN awarded this prestigious award to a Pakistani leader at the time when the country faced great danger after the Mumbai attacks.

Terrorism is a post cold war phenomena and neither America nor other neighboring countries supported Pakistan in tackling this crisis. Foreigners who were brought to fight the war in Afghanistan did not go back to their countries and they established their state within a state in Pakistan. Now most of them seem to be dictating to Pakistan.

Benazir Bhutto was expert in foreign affairs. She has already informed her party leaders that the coming days would be dangerous for the country. She asked party leaders to be ready to face its worst crisis. Her predictions proved true and Pakistan is now in great danger. India has deployed its forces on Pakistan’s borders and its Navy and Air Force also in an alert position.

The Americans tried to force Pakistan to allow India to target some areas in Pakistan where they believed that people wanted by them were hiding. However, the President, Prime Minister and COAS declared that nobody would be allow to attack anyone on Pakistani soil and would react if India was attacked. Most political observers believe that there was remote chance of any war between India and Pakistan as both countries are nuclear powers. It was the dream of ZA Bhutto make Pakistan a nuclear power and Benazir Bhutto strengthened the nuclear capability.

Courtesy: The News