by: Dr. Javaid Laghari
Quaid-e-Awam Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto strode the national scene like a lion king. For the past four decades he towered over the nation’s politics. It is a measure of his greatness that today the politics of the country revolves round his name.
Shaheed Bhutto was an intellectual of the highest order. He was a thinker, author and orator. He was deliberate, discreet, and competent; honest, upright and keeper of his covenants. He was a principled friend to the poor, downtrodden and oppressed. He was a man of the people, fearless in his beliefs who refused to bow before any man or power other than the Almighty. His courage was such that he preferred to face death for his beliefs and embraced martyrdom. Core to his belief was his faith in freedom and the liberation of humanity.
He gave voice to the voiceless and power to the powerless of the country. He helped them shape their own destiny and the destiny of their country. As he trekked along the path, he illuminated it for generations to come.
He was a man of honor who gave honor and raised the honor of his country and his people. He was able to do this because the people of the country from the Khyber Pass to the shores of the Arabian Sea in Karachi loved him and supported him.
It is not easy to encompass his achievements. Whether it is the unanimous 1973 Constitution, which has protected the federation from implosion, or the nuclear programme, which has protected Pakistan from external aggression, or the crowning achievement of the holding of the Organization of Islamic Countries Summit in 1974 at Lahore , the stamp of Bhutto is largely written over it.
Shaheed Bhutto brought back 90,000 prisoners of war, prevented their war crime trails and also restored the territory lost on the battlefield. He laid the foundation for an enduring and honorable relationship with India on the basis of the Simla Agreement. He negotiated with the President of Afghanistan in the signing of the Durand line as a border between Afghanistan and Pakistan , but was overthrown before it was signed.
He spread knowledge by building colleges and universities, especially of professional studies. He opened the way for the middle classes to develop and prosper in the fields of medicine, engineering law and other specialist studies.
He was a brave and dauntless leader. With his charisma, his intelligence, his wisdom, his knowledge, and his compassion, he was in many ways an ideal man. Tested through fire, he never abandoned his ideals and belief in the freedom of humanity from tyranny. He was killed at the young age of fifty. He walked to the gallows rather than abandon the people. He shall live forever in the pages of history.
He who gave his blood, and the blood of his sons and daughter, Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, knew that there can be no sacrifice greater than the sacrifice for the people whose respect, honor and dignity is the respect and dignity of the Nation.
Quaid-e-Awan made the people proud of themselves and their Nation. As his followers say, “Zinda Hai Bhutto, Zinda Hai” – Bhutto lives, he lives. Indeed he does, in the heart of all those who dream of a better tomorrow.
April 04, 2008