The defiant Begum and the continuing battle


Almighty God,
Let Mother’s sickness not worsen in exile
Trapped in a mind wanting to forget
A heart weeping for young sons killed
O let Mother first her homeland see

These lines written by Shaheed Benazir Bhutto on June 21, 2003 describe the pain of a daughter for her mother. A mother, who, till her death, was unaware that her beloved daughter had also been killed by the enemies of democracy, Pakistan and the Bhutto family.
On Monday, another Bhutto was buried in the graveyard of martyrs, Garhi Khuda Bux Bhutto. In 1996, after Murtaza Bhutto was murdered in front of his home, Begum Nusrat Bhutto came out of a hall of the 70 Clifton, the Bhutto family residence in Karachi, along with the coffin of her son. A large crowd surrounding the home of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto were mourning. Begum Nusrat Bhutto sat beside the coffin of her son in a vegetative state. She looked at all those crying around her, but her eyes appeared as if her tears had dried up. She could not even cry.
After that, many journalists in Pakistan did not see Begum Nusrat Bhutto again. After the murder of her son, she went into a coma.
After Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged in 1979 by General Ziaul Haq, Begum Nusrat Bhutto called a press conference at the 71 Clifton, which is adjacent to the 70 Clifton. All national and international media covered it. After the press conference ended, Begum Nusrat Bhutto was returning to the 70 Clifton when a group of four journalists including Sabihuddin Ghausi and GN Mughal approached her.
Ghausi asked her “Begum sahiba do you see any silver lining?” She replied: “Bhutto has gone,” and went silent for a while and started speaking again “…but I can assure you one thing, the battle started by Bhutto against the generals will continue. Bhuttos will continue this battle from generation to generation. Now I am in-charge of this battle. If I go, Benazir will come forward, If Benazir goes, Mir will continue, if Mir goes, Shahnawaz will take over… the battle will continue.” Benazir Bhutto in her poetry prays that her mother sees her homeland. But she could not. Begum Nusrat Bhutto returned home, but in a coffin.


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