Righting a wrong


It seems that the time for the great injustice done to the Pakistani public and their beloved leader, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, to be redressed is here. Mr Bhutto lost his life but the ordeal that his family went through can never be made up for. The damage done to Pakistan as a result is also beyond rectification and no matter how meticulously the reference is discussed or dissected in detail, determining the real people responsible for this unjust murder will be quite impossible.

During the Cold War, the intelligence networks of both superpowers were effective and strong. All the details regarding that have surfaced now. They had infiltrated each other to such an extent that KGB often forwarded reports drafted by American agents to higher state officials in the Soviet Union believing that they were made by KGB agents. I am mentioning this nugget of information to show that the US was already well aware of the impending socialist revolution in Afghanistan and it also knew that the game it (the US) wanted to play in Afghanistan under the guise of revolution would not be aided by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Quite the contrary, he would try for its failure. Which is why it was decided to remove him from the scene and hence the allegations of electoral rigging. This being followed by a protest movement and then that movement acquiring religious connotations was all part of a well-laid out plan and was for the sole purpose of removing Mr Bhutto so that Zia could replace him and do the CIAs bidding. If Mr Bhutto had been alive, he was fully capable of thwarting the CIAs machinations from within a prison cell.

My opinion is that Zia-ul-Haq made the decision to hang Bhutto according to a plan to stave off possible action against the so-called Afghan Jihad. Nobody had the gumption after Bhutto to raise their voice against this proxy war. This so-called jihad is what became the basis for our social and economic destruction. There are dangerous arms spread all over Pakistan. The trade of drugs has reached every little town and village and almost 50 lakhs Pakistani are involved in some kind of dangerous substance abuse. Terrorism is everywhere. Sectarianism continues unabated. Blasts take place in mosques and imam bargahs. Schools are being destroyed. Our officers and jawans are laying down their lives. The GHQ itself has been the target of a terrorist attack. The person responsible for all these things is General Zia-ul-Haq. If he hadnt deprived Pakistan of political leadership and taken over the leadership and hadnt acted as a CIA stooge to put Pakistans resources and future on the line to fight somebody elses i.e. the US war, we would never have come to this.

I have had the opportunity of being privy to Mr Bhuttos strategic musings. While assisting Maulana Kausar Niazi in his book Deedawar (The farsighted and perceptive one), I conducted many interviews with Mr Bhutto. There is a chapter in the book called Mustaqbil ka Soorat-gar (The architect of the future). If one reads this chapter, one can ascertain what he thought about Pakistan security situation and the regions future and where he wanted to see Pakistan in the future. Based on these meetings, I can say with certainty that Mr Bhutto would never have let anyone create hurdles in the Afghan Revolutions success and would never have created the circumstances which necessitated the entry of the Soviet Army in Afghanistan. If that hadnt happened, the US dream of becoming the sole superpower wouldnt have been fulfilled so soon as it was after defeating the Soviet Union. General Zia-ul-Haq will never be forgiven for the ghastly game that he played merely due to covetousness of power.

In reality, the Pakistani nation has two big debts to pay to history. The first is the redressing the judicial murder of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and the second is to address the national crimes of Zia-ul-Haq. We have made the move to pay only one of these colossal debts. To pay off the other debt, we will have to constitute a judicial commission to ascertain the extent of General Zias wrongdoings and the depth and nature of their injuriousness. By pushing Pakistan into the Afghan war, the blood of how many Pakistanis and Afghans is on his hands? How much of our countrys ruin is due to his actions? As far as punishment is concerned, Zia was punished by hi own masters. But as far as the crime is concerned, the charge-sheet has never been properly compiled. This is a huge debt that must be paid by the Pakistani nation.

The extreme reaction by Mr Bhuttos detractors on this reference is beyond comprehension. Whatever they needed to do, they did it with the help of Zia. Whatever debasing and baseless allegations they wanted to level against Bhutto, they did so with abandon. The media was in their power. The government was under Zia-ul-Haq who himself was desirous of this smear campaign and finishing Bhutto. By imprisoning Bhuttos supporters, throwing them into torture cells, Zia did all he could to appease Bhuttos opponents. He was hanged in the most barbaric of ways. His wife and children werent even allowed to see him one last time. No common man was allowed to take part in his funeral and he was buried like an heirless orphan. His wife is a walking corpse today. Aside from one daughter, all her children have met their end. What more can be the punishment of being innocent?

People who have started a character assassination scheme against Bhutto with the filing of this reference, what end do they want to achieve? Who do they want to hang now? Then what is the purpose of maligning somebody already six feet under. All the allegations that they had against him, they have been employed in electoral politics for the last 32 years. Have they ever benefited anyone? Has the PPP ever suffered due to these tactics? Then why go about this exercise in futility.

This reference will be restricted to court. The law will be discussed. That ignominious decision which is incontrovertibly hated will be brought under discussion. Who do the people running this character assassination campaign want to pressurise? The PPP, for one thing, has not been and will not be pressurised and the courts, for the other, which could once be presssurised by these tactics were extinct the day Musharraf imposed the emergency. The judiciary of today will not be affected by these habitual propagandists. All the people who support the cause of justice want to wipe this ugly stain from the record of Pakistans judiciary. Even the army couldnt be less interested in upholding this dark decision of Zia. History has isolated the opponents of Bhutto, both in the courts of justice and the annals if power. They are destined to live in their own din. Bhutto shall be avenged and God willing, the dark chapter added to the countrys history by Zia shall be repaired.

The writer is one of Pakistans most widely read columnists.


  1. Bhutto's era came before I was born. I don't think he was a saint but what was done to him was also not appropriate.

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