History disgraces Zia Haq who killed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto

History disgraces Zia Haq who killed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto

Lahore, Pakistan: The 44th death anniversary of founding chairman Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was observed on April 4, 2024.

According to visitors to Bhutto’s grave, over 10,000 Khatm al-Qur’an ( reading the Qur’an from the beginning to end) are performed at his grave at Garhi Khuda Baksh Larkana, Sindh Pakistan every year, and over 1.5 million poor people get their meals every year who visit his grave.

   

Bhutto, who was killed extra-judicially is still honored and remembered in Pakistan while those who were directly involved in his murder like Justice Mushtaq have become symbols of disgrace not among only the public but rather in the history of Bench and Bar late General Ziaul Haq was buried outside Faisal Mosque Islamabad hardly finds anybody to visit his grave respectfully.

Recently, on 6 March 2024, a nine-member Supreme Court Pakistan’s bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan, Qazi Faez Isa, in response to the presidential reference submitted on April 2, 2011, provided an opinion that Bhutto was not provided a fair trial as mentioned in Article 4 and 9 of the Constitution of Pakistan.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is that political character of Pakistan who has many admirers and detractors. He became a traitor and a patriot, but what made him immortal was his historical decision that it is better to be hanged by a dictator than to die at the hands of history. This decision in his case was manipulated but now the Supreme Court’s seal has also been registered on it that this decision was wrong and Bhutto did not get a chance for a free trial. The Supreme Court delivered its decision on the presidential reference regarding the Bhutto case on according to which the bench gave a unanimous opinion that former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto did not get a fair trial.

The last attempt to save Bhutto was made by former Prime Minister Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi, but when Bhutto found out that an “NRO” was being discussed, he sent a message to his wife Nusrat Bhutto stating “Why do you people want me to be killed by the hands of history, the decision to hang me has been made long ago, you people make me weak”.

Bhutto was hanged, but his popularity was later witnessed by those who strongly opposed him. He is remembered every year also because he remains immortal in history. Even today we remember him because he was a popular leader, he was a people-friendly leader. We killed our popular political leader with our own hands.

If we talk about Bhutto, 44 years have passed, but everyone still remembers the atrocities that happened to him. The extreme of his abuse was that after his judicial murder, his body was handed over to a photographer in Rawalpindi jail, and this photographer kept taking off the body’s pajamas and taking pictures of Bhutto’s hidden organs. In his book “Bhutto’s Last 323 Days”, Colonel Rafiuddin, the security in-charge of this prison, wrote that these photos were taken to find out whether he was circumcised or not. General Zia-ul-Haq’s government had told the prison authorities that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s mother was a Hindu who was forcibly married by his father and that Bhutto’s real name was Natha Ram. However, Colonel Rafiuddin has testified that when the photographer took Bhutto’s close-up photo of the middle part of the man’s body, it was found that he was circumcised in the Islamic way.

It is also said about Bhutto that he was killed in jail by slow poisoning. If you are not sure, then read the book of Colonel Rafiuddin, who wrote that when Bhutto was hanged, he was on a hunger strike. Begum Nusrat Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto were sure that Bhutto was killed before the execution. The statements of several eyewitnesses, including Maulvi Mehmood Ahmad Bhutto, who led Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s funeral prayers, and Abdul Qayyum Tanoli, an employee of the Bhutto family, indicated that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s neck was intact and there were no signs of execution.

In 1979, Brigadier Tafazul Hussain Siddiqui was the chief of ISPR. He gave one of his young officers, Captain Solat Raza, a film for editing, in which Bhutto’s dead body was visible. When Saulat Raza retired as a Brigadier, he wrote in a column that “This was the scene before Ghusl-e-Meat”. In the same column, Brigadier (Rtd) Saulat Raza wrote that “Allah is witness that the hanging shorts were not in this film”.

During Bhutto’s rule, the constitution of Pakistan was made, the nuclear program was started, industries like Pakistan Steel Mills and heavy mechanical complexes were built, and various development works were done including legislation for the rights of workers. He waived school fees till matriculation. He provided 10 paisa with travel facilities to the students, he provided protection to the laborer, he gave protection to the tenant in relation to the landlords and he gave protection to the kiln workers.

But after his departure, General Ziaul Haq changed the face of the country. The essence of his 11-year rule was that he prepared jihadis for the Afghan-Russian war on the American side, who later set fire to Pakistan, radicalized the country unwillingly, and made the Kalashnikov culture common.

The biggest political blunder Zia did in 1985 by holding non-party elections as General Zia-ul-Haq banned political parties from participating in the elections. The political parties demanded the restoration of the 1973 constitution. Many laws and regulations were changed before the 1985 elections and the system of separate elections was introduced. According to the results of the general elections, 207 independent candidates were successful, and then Muhammad Khan Junejo from Sindh was made the prime minister. The big loss of this election was that non-political people joined the election. The train of money started in the election, and could not stop till today. Prominent politicians were pushed back and they were replaced by businessmen. And then each set started selling and getting selected for crores of rupees.

Then in the ’90s, governments came and went, Pakistan became unstable, and then Musharraf came, Pakistan’s economy was a bit better during his time, but he also left no stone unturned to bring the Taliban to Pakistan and even today we are suffering the consequences of the “war on terror”. The performance of the governments that came after him is also in front of everyone that today Pakistan has a debt of more than 150 billion dollars. Who does not know how to be taken down?

The lesson from Bhutto’s extra-judicial murder is simple—History is Callous and it brings the truth and sometimes it takes 45 years and sometimes 400 years.

Late Benazir Bhutto, the daughter of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto used to say:

Har Ghar say Bhutto Niklay Ga

(Bhutto would come out from every home of the country)

Tum Kitnay Bhutto Maro gay

(How many Bhutto you can kill?)

Bhutto would remain in history as a futuristic and charismatic leader while Ziaul Haq is known for bringing radicalization, extremism, drugs, and gun culture and deformed the beautiful face of Pakistan that it had before the 1977 Martial Law.

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