The story of Benazir Bhutto, is fascinating and starts from Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who is the original Bhutto, the same Bhutto who is ‘still alive’.
Bhutto is first elected PM and was a very good politician. He studied at University of California, Oxford and Lincoln’s Inn. He was an ardent supporter of Martial law in beginning of political career but later opposed it vehemently. He is accused of the country’ partition but considered the great leader of the public at large.
He is the one who started the trend of spurring up emotions in politics of Pakistan. There is not one, but two Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s. One is standing here and second is you, each one and every one of you, So will you serve? Will you work hard? Will you fight? Will you die? Will you strive? Will you do it by faith? Do you swear on it by God?
Bhutto is an interesting character and a very popular politician as well. His government was overthrown by Gen Zia ul Haq. A murder case was also prosecuted on Bhutto in Gen. Zia’s government in which he was convicted and hanged till death.
When Bhutto was hung, his son Murtaza Bhutto was leading the PPP and a movement against Zia’s government, and it also carried out terrorist attacks. This movement was called “Az Zulfiqar”.
Murtaza Bhutto was getting popular due to his deed, at the same time Benazir Bhutto was kept under house. At the end Benazir left the country in 1984, when she was freed.
Like her father, she was graduate of some of the world best universities. She studied at Howard and Oxford hence knew diplomatic dealings very well.
She had become very popular in Pakistan even while outside Pakistan. She was greeted with such a grand reception in Lahore in 1986 that is still quoted as an example till this day. After this reception it had became evident that Benazir would be the next PM of Pakistan and it turned out exactly like that. Pakistan People’s Party formed government in elections of 1988 after Gen Zia’s plane crash the same year.
Pakistan is one of the 1st countries in the world to elect a female head of state whereas even the USA has not had one. Benazir was suggested to get married before elections as a married woman would seem more exalted, intelligent and close to the masses as opposed to an unmarried girl and hence would help in gathering votes. Benazir Bhutto agreed and decided to have an arranged marriage. Then her mother selected Asif Ali Zardari, the son of Hakim Ali Zardari.,
Benazir became the Prime Minister in 1988 but could not form her government in Punjab. And since officers loyal to People’s Party were singled out and eliminated by General Zia. There was no support for People’s Party in Military and Bureaucracy. Benazir’s 1st tenure went entirely into just stabilizing the matters. On one hand Punjab’s Chief Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif kept on disrupting her government and on the other hand some factions of the Armed Forces and Bureaucracy did not consider her loyal to Pakistan. When everyone opposes you then how can you govern and so her government ended within 2 years. ISI’s operation midnight Jackal is notorious for not only giving bribes to politicians but also telling them otherwise that if you side with People’s Party then we won’t support you. Since now ex chief of ISI has disclosed all of this so it is a part of record. Anyhow, the government was demolished. The only difference now was with the coming of a liberal and democratic government after an 11 years rule of General Zia-ul-Haq. The ban to show dance on PTV was lifted. The film and TV industry also thought that it was time for their revival.
Benazir won the election again in 1993. This time she was much more mature, had organized her entire party according to her requirements and was completely ready for all the circumstances.
But again, Asif Ali Zardari ruined Benazir. He did so much corruption that Amnesty International ranked Pakistan 2nd as the most corrupt country in the world. Every government department got people appointed without any merit. It was that time when PIA and Railways got completely ruined as co-operations. Zardari was labelled as Mr.10% meaning that if you gave him a 10% of the deal you can get anything from his government. Pakistan largest gold mine Reko Diq was also sold in this era without anyone knowing at all. Many artifacts vanished from many museums of Pakistan. Also, in this tenure the brother of Benazir, Murtaza Bhutto was shot dead. Since that time the niece of Benazir, Fatima Bhutto, who is Murtaza Bhutto’s daughter has been accusing Asif Ali Zardari out loud of her father’s murder. But Murtaza Bhutto’s murder has not been investigated till this day and this is one of the biggest allegations on Benazir that a woman who while being the Prime Minister cannot even investigate her own brother’s murder. There are many other similar things as well famous about Zardari but since we do not have their proofs, we won’t mention them. More over even if one has proofs of such things they ought not to be discussed. Anyhow, the result was that after 3 years Benazir’s own chosen President, Farooq Leghari dismissed her government. At that time Pakistan only had 17 days of reserves left and the rest of entire reserved account had been emptied.
Her 2nd government’s performance was such that Nawaz Sharif won 90% of the seats in 1997 elections. It seemed as if Pakistan People’s Party was finished but this is a part of Pakistani politics that corrupt people can always find space for themselves. After such a terrible defeat in the elections, Benazir herself left the country. Musharraf declared Martial Law in 1999 and Nawaz Sharif also left the country in 2000. Musharraf ruled without any hindrances but with time got fed up with his own forged party, the Muslim League Q. Obviously as he disliked Nawaz Sharif, he started thinking Benazir as an option. Benazir did strike a deal with him but not only for herself but also got a way for Nawaz Sharif to return as well. Till this day, this is considered as an example of democracy that she got a deal for her opponent’s return as well. After 9 years, Benazir returned on 18th Oct 2007 in Karachi to massive reception. A bomb blast was a also included in that reception rally. When the rally was passing the point of Kaarsaaz, a big explosion took place in very dense crowd and hence killed almost 200 people and more than 5000 were injured. Benazir was high in spirits even after such a big tragedy. Maybe she believed that until it was her time to go, nothing could harm her but her time had come. Just after 2 months of Kaarsaaz explosion, on the 27th of December Benazir had a rally at Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi. This is the very location where Liaquat Ali Khan, the 1st PM of Pakistan, was shot down by an Afghan citizen. Benazir also perished at this place. After completing her speech when she was going back in her car she came out from the sun roof to wave at her workers and the killer found his chance. She was shot at first and then the explosion took place. We all remember the day and the time when Benazir was killed especially those who were travelling because their travel had become a lot worse. All People’s Party workers had taken to the streets and things were looking to get very ugly but people’s party’s leaders did not let the situation get out of control.
Who was behind Benazir’s murder? Man, this is one tough question. Who benefitted the most? Mr.Zardari became the president. It is possible that since Benazir did not became Musharraf’s stooge so he had her killed. It is also possible that the religious extremists killed her because she was of a liberal mindset. At the end lets also talk about how she should be remembered. Benazir got votes because she was the daughter of Bhutto and not because of herself. Both of Benazir’s government s with herself as the Pm were accused of grave allegations most of which approved to be true later on. The biggest accusation of those was that she could not stop her husband Asif Ali Zardari from corruption. This is absolutely right that Benazir had a very tough life. Her father was hanged, she herself was imprisoned and Nawaz sharif also disturbed all the time in every manner. And when in Musharraf’s period things were getting a bit better, she was murdered. Benazir was a very strong leader; even grave sorrows could not break her but this does not at all mean that she was any Messiah. Her governments damaged Pakistan a lot. She was a very courageous and steadfast woman but if anyone of us tries to find in her anymore than these virtues than they are very mistaken.
The Rise And Fall Of Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto
Benazir Bhutto (Sindhi: بينظير ڀُٽو; Urdu: بینظِیر بُھٹّو; Urdu pronunciation: [beːnəˈziːr ˈbʱʊʈ.ʈoː]; 21 June 1953 – 27 December 2007) was a Pakistani politician who served as Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1988 to 1990 and again from 1993 to 1996. She was the first woman to head a democratic government in a Muslim majority nation. Ideologically a liberal and a secularist, she chaired or co-chaired the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) from the early 1980s until her assassination in 2007.