KOHAT: Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Sunday pinned hopes on Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa to right a wrong by doing justice to the much-awaited case of the ‘judicial murder’ of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, some 12 years after a presidential reference was filed seeking to revisit the death sentence awarded to him.

Addressing a party workers’ convention, Mr Bhutto-Zardari mentioned that his father, Asif Ali Zardari, had submitted a reference 12 years ago for the retrial of the case involving the “judicial murder” of late Mr Bhutto, and now the Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa has scheduled it for a hearing.

He said that the verdict must be given in a manner that the whole world should know the reality of the “illegal hanging”.

“It is a big challenge for the judiciary to wash the black scar on it and identify the involved judges, facilitators, lawyers, influential, and motive behind the horrific incident that led to awarding capital punishment to an innocent politician. His family and the nation still demand justice for him,” Mr Bhutto-Zardari said, adding that it would provide a big relief to them.

PPP chairman says he has no enmity with any political party; wants to fight poverty, inflation and unemployment

He expressed hope that the CJP would rectify the wrongdoing and ensure “justice”. He also demanded penalties for the accused who had deprived the nation of an outspoken, intelligent, and charismatic person with the international honour of gathering the Ummah at one platform, which had put the West under tremendous fear.

Mr Bhutto-Zardari said that the party harbours no enmity with any political party or player but with poverty, price hikes, and unemployment. He expressed his desire to put an end to traditional aristocratic rulers who have been merely protecting their vested interests, blaming them for the current crisis in every field.

The PPP chairman pointed out that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was consistently combating terrorism for the restoration of peace, facing economic challenges similar to other provinces.

He emphasised the need for a long-term policy to address the root causes affecting people’s lives and weakening the state.

He said that he had been warned not to hold conventions due to security threats, but the PPP was not afraid of them and had faced martyrdom. He also praised and thanked the workers who, despite being aware of the danger, participated in such large numbers.

Without naming anybody, he stated that one opponent was contesting to avoid imprisonment and to shut down corruption cases against him, while the other was contesting to get out of jail.

He accused Nawaz Sharif and his associates of attempting to tamper with the 1973 Constitution by seeking to change the 18th Amendment and denying a fair share in the NFC award to the smaller provinces. He said this constitution was crafted by his maternal grandfather, bringing leaders of all political parties to the table.

He stated that the 18th Amendment and NFC award were gifts given by the PPP, and anyone attempting to touch them would face stiff resistance from the party.

He promised to introduce farmers, health, labourers, and student cards, increase the BISP amount for women, and provide free kidney and heart transplant facilities to all divisional hospitals, gradually expanding them to the village level because poor people cannot afford costly treatments.

Published in Dawn, December 11th, 2023

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