She Died As Her Father Did: Bravely

By Tarek Fatah

It was the summer of 1966. We were mere teenagers meeting Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who had just resigned as Pakistan’s foreign minister and was about to launch a new left-wing political movement, the Pakistan Peoples Party.

Continue reading She Died As Her Father Did: Bravely

Shaheed Rani; Remembering Benazir Bhutto

BibiBy Omar Ali

Hasan Mujtaba’s famous poem on the occasion is an absolute classic. I have translated it with his approval (I have taken some poetic license at places, and I am not a poet… so beware):

How many Bhuttos will you kill?

A Bhutto will emerge from every home!

This lament is heard in every house

These tears seen in every dwelling place

These eyes stare in the endless desert

This slogan echoes in every field of death

These stars scatter like a million stones

Flung by the moon that rises so bright tonight

How many Bhuttos will you kill?

A Bhutto will emerge from every home!

The one you killed is now fragrance in the air

How will you ever block its path?

The one you killed is now a spell

That is cast upon your evil head

Every prison and every lock

Will now be opened with this key

She has become the howling wind

That haunts the courtyards of this land

She has come to eternal life by dying

You are dead even while being alive

How many Bhuttos will you kill?

A Bhutto will emerge from every home!

You men in Khaki uniforms

You dark and long bearded souls

You may be blue or green or red

You may be white, you may be black

You are thieves and criminals, every one

You national bullies, you evil ones

Driven by self or owned by others

Nurtured by darkness in blackest night

While she has become the beauty that lives

In twilights last glimmers and the break of dawn

How many Bhuttos will you kill?

A Bhutto will emerge from every home!
She was the nightingale who sang for those who suffered

She was the scent of rain in the land of Thar

She was the laughter of happy children

She was the season of dancing with joy

She was a colorful peacock’s tail

While you, the dark night of robbers and thieves

How many Bhuttos will you kill?

A Bhutto will emerge from every home!

She was the sister of those who toil in the fields

The daughter of workers who work the mills

A prisoner of those with too much wealth

Of clever swindlers and hideous crooks

Of swaggering generals and vile betrayers

She was one solitary unarmed girl

Facing the court of evil kings

How many Bhuttos will you kill?

A Bhutto will emerge from every home!

She was the daughter of Punjab

Of Khyber and Bolan

She was the daughter of Sindh

Karbala of our time

She lay drenched in blood in Rawalpindi

Surrounded by guns and bullets and bombs

She was one solitary defenseless gazelle

Surrounded by packs of ruthless killers

O Time, tell the long lived trees of Chinar

This tyrant’s worse nightmare will come true one day

She shall return, she will be back

That dream will one day come alive

And rule again. And rule again.

How many Bhuttos will you kill?

A Bhutto will emerge from every home!

To read complete article, Shaheed Rani; Remembering Benazir Bhutto – By Omar Ali, Click HERE

Courtesy: Brown Pundits
http://www.brownpundits.com/2011/12/26/shaheed-rani-remembering-benazir-bhutto/

More details » BBC
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/legacy/urdu/2008/01/post_262.html

Listen General (r) Naseerullah Babar, rare interview, Who Killed Bhuttos?

Courtesy » Geo News Tv ( Maray Mutabiq with Dr. Shahid Masood, 13 Apr 2008)

via » chagataikhan » YouTube

Marvi Sirmed remembers the day they killed Benazir Bhutto

BAAGHI: Remembering Benazir Bhutto, personally! – By Marvi Sirmed

One wonders what potent challenge she posed to the establishment that they had to invest all their might, money and resources to gather all the opposing political parties on one platform against BB’s PPP

“Is she okay?” I was screaming at the top of my voice on the phone with my husband while madly driving towards General Hospital, Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007. “It is over, Marvi,” my husband cried and the line disconnected. Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, twice prime minister of Pakistan, had paid the highest price anyone could ever pay for continuing to engage with people and carrying on with the democratic process.

It has been four years since BB, as she was commonly called, has left us but there has not been a single moment in the crisis-ridden politics of Pakistan that she was not missed. Without going into the achievements and failures of her governments, I just want to remember her as she was — a strong leader with a political vision not paralleled by any living politician. The struggle that she chose for herself when she was just 23 years of age was not an ordinary one. At a broader level it entailed dealing with an all-powerful military dictator, being imprisoned and later exiled, losing family, organising the most popular political party of the country during the worst times of persecution, etc.

At a personal level it posed many additional challenges to a young Pinky. Her being a woman never hindered her; so much so that when the forces opposing her tried to use her biology against her, she turned it around. When she was expecting Bilawal, they announced elections around the dates they thought she would be in maternity. I cannot forget her coming to the political rallies with her intravenous drip in her hands. She later wrote in her book, Daughter of the East: An Autobiography, that Begum Nusrat Bhutto, her mother, had advised her to never let her physiological issues come in her way. When she was expecting Bakhtawar during her premiership, the crisis was once again carefully chosen to coincide with the dates of her delivery. She did not make herself absent from her office for more than 48 hours.

All through her political life, she struggled against the hegemony of the oppressive deep state that used every jape that they could, and from right-wing rhetoric that was nauseatingly misogynist and anti-people. From scandalous attacks on her character, assaulting family, facilitating all odd political characters of the country that had only one common thread among them — hatred of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Bhuttos — the establishment put to use every antic. What they could not do was separate BB and the people. When I was growing up, I did not understand the love people had for her. I was in high school when BB came to power for the first time. I did not even pass my higher secondary when her government was dismissed on charges of corruption. Like every youngster, I hated corruption but was amazed to see people from the lowest of the lower strata who were crazy for BB and her PPP. In an industrial exhibition in Lahore, I met an artisan woman selling her handmade fans. She had woven BB’s picture on one of the hand-fans. She broke into tears while telling me how every cruel oppressor in this country has joined hands to bring BB down.

At the Lok Virsa last year, I met a family from southern Punjab who had brought their snakes and were showing snake tricks to earn meagre money. One of their children was wearing a locket bearing BB’s picture. The woman of the family was swearing against Musharraf, the army, feudals and extremists who had snatched their beloved leader. The anger in her voice was so intense that I for once thought she must be a blood relative of BB. She was not.

I recall women of my own family when BB took oath as the prime minister in 1988. My family, being a landholding Punjabi orthodox religious family, has been strongly against a progressive and socialist Bhutto. The men in our family frequently borrowed right-wing arguments against a woman head of the government being un-Islamic, while equally conservative and religious women including my grandmother vociferously confronted the argument. It was amazing to see these women drawing power from a woman prime minister with whose political views they did not even agree. Our village women, very conservative in religious and cultural views and who were made to believe that the PPP was an anti-religion party, could not help loving BB. Women, I can still remember, got new dreams of playing a powerful role in society.

Her struggle did not end when her party came to office in 1988. Seeking office was incomplete without power, which still rested with the all-powerful establishment that had delayed nominating her as prime minister despite her party’s clear majority. They did never rest after that. One wonders what potent challenge she posed to them that they had to invest all their might, money and resources to gather all the opposing political parties on one platform against BB’s PPP. Her clear-headed vision that led the country throughout the years of crisis distinguished her from the rest of the lot who started appearing pygmies in front of her.

My last meeting with her was in November 2007 when she calmly heard our criticism on various recent decisions that we thought would give a lease of life to a dictator. How patiently she heard, how diligently she took notes and how sagaciously she responded to every single concern of ours. When she arrived in October 2007, she had changed in many ways. One could see the strength of her resolve seeing a sea of people ready to sacrifice their lives for her. Despite strict security warnings, she would not stop from going to the hospital to visit the survivors of the October 18 terrorist attack on her rally.

Prior to that, she was the only leader among the entire bunch of expedient politicians of Pakistan who spoke openly against terrorists and their apologists. She was the only leader who tried to lead people’s opinion against the militants who had forced the tragedy of Laal Masjid (Red Mosque), instead of criticising the military action against the militants or terming the Laal Masjid militants as ‘innocent students’ like almost every politician did.

The unusual courage she displayed was not without a vision of possible consequences. She knew the price she might have to pay. Nothing deterred her. She went on and lived up to every challenge. And boy, what a life she lived! Salutes to a leader par excellence, to a woman with unfathomable courage and resolve, to a politician of exemplary vision, to a committed democrat who never failed the test of pragmatic and inclusive politics. Rest in peace BB. Pakistan misses you.

The writer is an Islamabad-based commentator on counterterrorism, social and political issues. She can be reached at marvisirmed@me.com and tweets at http://twitter.com/marvisirmed

Courtesy » Daily Times

Time servers in Sindh are joining PTI

Who will join PTI in Sindh?

By Imtiaz Ali and Jan Khaskheli

Sindh: With the PTI’s momentous rally at the Quaid’s mausoleum in the city on Sunday, Sindh’s political landscape is likely to undergo significant changes within the next 15 days, as political loyalties are going to alter at an alarming rate.

Some influential political leaders of the province are likely to join the fast-growing Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf in the next few weeks. Liaquat Jatoi from Dadu may join the party by January 15 while Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid’s (PML-Q) Arbab Ghulam Rahim would jump on the PTI bandwagon during Imran Khan’s rally in Thar in January, sources told The News. The sources said that the change of political loyalties would see its climax on February 15. …

Read more » The News

Memogate: ‘Pasha stepped beyond jurisdiction when he briefed Kayani’

By Faisal Shakeel

ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Monday said that Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Shuja Pasha stepped beyond his jurisdiction when he briefed Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Ashfaq Pervez Kayani about his meeting with Mansoor Ijaz in London.

“He should have known who he was supposed to report to,” the federal government stated this in a reply submitted to the Supreme Court in the form of an affidavit. The nine-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, had asked the federal government on December 19 to “accept or deny” the statements filed by Kayani, Pasha and others in the memo case.

The reply said the COAS did not immediately inform the prime minister of his meeting with the ISI chief on October 24 with regard to the details on the memo. However, he chose to divulge the details to the prime minister on November 13.

Both Kayani and Pasha have taken an entirely different position to that of the government before the nine-member bench of the court on Memogate.

The generals insist that the memo is authentic and needs to be thoroughly investigated, while the government has termed it a conspiracy and urged the SC to dismiss petitions outright.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune

Showcause to Kayani’s Man Over Affidavit on Memogate

By Rezaul H Laskar

Excerpt;

At loggerheads with the powerful Army, the Pakistan government has issued a showcause notice to the Defence Secretary for submitting an affidavit on the memo scandal to the Supreme Court without seeking approval from the Defence Minister.

Lt Gen (retired) Khalid Naeem Lodhi considered to be very close to army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, was issued the notice last week, official sources said. …

… The PPP insiders further said Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s sharp criticism of the Pakistan Army on Thursday was triggered by Lodhi’s refusal to obey a directive from the government.

… Sources said Lodhi submitted the affidavit without getting it cleared by Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar.

… The following day, Gilani issued a directive that Lodhi should submit a fresh affidavit that was more in line with the government’s stance but the Defence Secretary refused to obey, officials of the PPP and other sources confirmed. …

… It was after Lodhi refused to obey the government’s directive that Gilani strongly criticised the military in two separate speeches on December 22. …

…. Speaking in parliament, Gilani said it was unacceptable for the army to function as a “state within a state” and questioned the military’s failure to detect Osama bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan for six years. …

Read more » Out Look

Ignoring history – By: Dr Mubarak Ali

Do it at your own peril

It is conventional wisdom that one can learn from history and avoid committing the same mistakes which were committed by our predecessors in the past. It is not wholly true. Of course one can gain an understanding of human nature by reading past history and can find the solution to problems of the present in its light. However, some people, particularly politicians of all ilks, try to find solutions to current problems by exclusively situating them in the present context believing that there is no need to learn from history. This approach sometimes leads to disastrous consequences. One cannot fully ignore the past. …

Read more » Pakistan Today