Even the staunchest of ZAB’s critics will agree that his weakness was not greed for money but political power and his likeness to surround himself with men who dare not question his policies.
We all know fate of men of intellect and integrity such as J A Rahim, Dr Mubashir Hassan, Rasool Bux Talpur etc, whom he could not tolerate for long, when he was in power, in spite of their contributions and political struggle to make the PPP a party that could get into power.
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto preferred likes of Masood Mahmood and Saeed Ahmed Khan who roughed up J A Rahim. Perhaps this was the remnant of feudal upbringing, which education and political exposure failed to overcome. It was his choice of pygmies like Ch Fazal Elahi for role of president and men like Kausar Niazi, on whom he had files full to checkmate, if they dared to challenge his authority. At the end of day, when he needed few men to stand up when the going got tough, there was nobody there to put up a fight and save him from clutches of a dictator bent upon sending him to gallows, totally unmindful of the fact that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was after all, a legitimately elected Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Had Ch Fazal Elahi dared to stand up and not resign from his post of president, he could have saved Zulfikar Ali Bhutto from being hanged, using his powers of a president, which were not revoked even after imposition of martial law.
What people in power forget is that you can only pump a limited amount of air into a small balloon, before it bursts under pressure, which is what happened in the case of Ch Fazal Elahi, who Bhutto appointed as president, never realising that when push comes to shove, he will fail to come up to his expectations.
This is a lesson from history, that nobody learns from it and those in power think that they are beyond approach and can get away with their crimes, which history tells us is never true.
The graveyards of this world are full of such men, who amassed their ill-gotten wealth, earned for themselves notoriety and ill-feelings of their population, but never had opportunity to spend all that they looted and plundered. Asif Zardari and Gilani need to learn from history, but will they?