The architect of the constitution demanding justice


Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is the most written about and one of the greatest leaders in the history of Pakistan. He was the heart throb of the masses during his life and his opponents were amazed by his achievements. If we analyse what he did during his five and a half years’ rule, we will come to the conclusion that his achievements were arguably unprecedented. His most astounding achievement was the unanimous constitution. He will be remembered as the architect of the constitution and the most beloved leader of Pakistan.
I vividly remember those days when this beloved leader of the masses was executed and our home was in mourning. People visited our home to condole with my father whom I saw crying while embracing the mourners. I wondered who had died that people were offering condolences to my father saying, we have been subjected to persecution, we have become orphans and we have lost a shadow over our heads.
Perhaps, a poet has said this couplet for such a personality “RUKEY TO CHAND, CHALEY TO HAWAONE JESSA HEY WHO EIK SHAKHS DHOOP MANE DEKHO TO CHHAONE JESSA HEY.” (While standing he looks like a moon and when he walks he is like soothing winds. And standing in the sun he looks like a shadow.) On 13th April, 2011, when the three-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by the chief justice, accepted this reference for hearing, the opponents of the government tried to politicise the issuem and forgot that after the martyrdom of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, PPP has been voted into power thrice and the party vote bank has increased.
We have only one objective i.e to erase the stigma of a murderer attached to his name. With this sole purpose, the cabinet approved the filing of reference on the judicial murder of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Today I only intend to give a rejoinder to those who question why PPP during its previous two governments, headed by his daughter Benazir Bhutto, did not file this reference. I may remind them that filing of reference is only the prerogative of the president. During her first tenure, Ghulam Ishaq Khan was the president. During her second stint as prime minister, Farooq Leghari was the president who repeated what Ghulam Ishaq had done and dismissed her government after two and a half years. Shaheed Benazir Bhutto wanted to reopen the case. After the statement by Justice Nasim Hassan Shah that there was a lot of pressure regarding Bhutto’s case, she spoke about reopening the case several times and the newspapers of that period can corroborate this claim.
Today, President Zardari has not sent the reference in haste. Before this the constitution has been restored to its original form. Today we have the original constitution.
The judiciary is independent and military institutions are doing their constitutional duty. Perhaps we could not have waited for a more propitious moment than this when the president of Pakistan is the PPP co-chairman of PPP and the prime minister also belongs to the party. It is also the demand of the time that we take the initiative to rectify the historic wrong, perpetrated on a national hero of international repute. Today after 32 years he stands tall as a non-controversial figure. All national leaders admit that this leader of the people was wrongfully convicted. Javed Hashmi recently said in the parliament, “If we do not atone for that wrong, we will be remembered as culprits.”
Some of the judges who gave the verdict in this case have also confessed that this verdict was obtained under duress. Today the architect of the 1973 Constitution is seeking justice from the court.
The hero of the masses, who was convicted for an uncommitted crime and who himself said he did not want to die in the history, is standing before the court. Let us pay our tributes to this great leader, atone for the injustice done to him, impart eternity to his words uttered in the death cell and make him immortal in the history.
In the words of a poet “JIS DHAJ SEY KOI MAQTAL MEIN GAYA WHO SHAN SALAMAT REHTI- YEH JAN TOW AANI JAANI HEY ISS JAN KI KOI BAAT NAHEEN” (It is the way one faces the gallows that really matters as it imparts immortality to the person. One’s life is nothing as compared to this trait for it has to end one day).
The writer is Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister.