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Bhutto and I

Published Apr 04, 2012 07:17am


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On the morning of April 4, 1979, the military dictatorship of General Ziaul Haq hanged to death Pakistan’s first popularly elected Prime Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Today is the 33rd anniversary of what turned out to be perhaps one of the gravest judicial and dictatorial crimes in the history of the troubled nation of Pakistan.

If you are as much of a maniacal reader on the political and social history (rather, histories) of Pakistan as I am, then I’m sure you’ve already noticed that after Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the second most discussed Pakistani leader in such books is Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

Punjabi bulletin of Bhutto's hanging.

So much has been written about the man. His achievements and follies; his charisma and eccentricities; his accomplishments and blunders. I can’t really add more to what is already out there in the shape of whole books, chapters, papers and articles written on the man, even though, of and on, I did attempt to do my bit in this respect.

I was barely six years old when Bhutto rose to become Pakistan’s President (in 1972) soon after the departure of what was once called East Pakistan.

Bhutto’s left-leaning and populist Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had swept the 1970 general election in West Pakistan and it became the country’s majority party once East Pakistan broke away (after a violent and tragic struggle with West Pakistan’s military-establishment).

I somehow do have a vivid memory (rather random images) of the 1971 Pakistan-India war and of Bhutto’s first address to the nation on PTV when in early 1972 he took over the reigns of a defeated and demoralised nation.

What I remember of the war were the blanket blackouts, sirens and terrifying sounds of artillery fire and jets zooming over our house near the coastal areas of Karachi in Clifton; and how one evening there was a huge explosion that shattered the window panes of almost every house in the area after which (in the morning), the war was over (December 1971).

We trickled out of our darkened basements and make-shift bunkers only to see a number of oil refineries visible from our house and a series of war ships on the horizon on fire.

The flames rose so high it seemed (at least to a 6-year-old kid) that their thick black smoke was about to darken the fluffy white winter clouds hovering over Karachi.


Then Radio Pakistan announced that the Pakistan armed forces had surrendered.

We kids were too busy collecting the smothering splinters of the bombs that had been dropped by Indian jets only miles away from our area of residence, not knowing that the country had acutely been split into two separate states.

Bhutto was no stranger in our house. In the early 1960s my father was a student of psychology at the University of Karachi (KU) and a member of the left-wing National Students Federation (NSF). He was also a bosom buddy of famous student radical (and future PPP minister and politician), Miraj Muhammad Khan.

Though my father came from a large, conservative and well-to-do business family from North Punjab, he was a rebel. He was the first in his family to who bypassed the studying for a business degree; the first to marry outside the family (to a ‘mohajir’, an Economics major at KU, my mother); and the first to join journalism (instead of the widespread family business) after he graduated from the university in 1964.

Like many passionate young men and women in the late 1960s, he too became a Bhutto enthusiast and remained to be one until his death from respiratory failure in October, 2009.

When Miraj Saheb, these days himself facing serious health issues, called and spoke to me at length soon after my father passed away, it reminded me how in January 1972 my father returned home from the Karachi Press Club and told my mother that Miraj had told him Bhutto would be speaking to the nation on TV.

Being just six years old, I only distantly remember my parents, cousins, younger sister, grandparents and paternal uncles gathered in front of our Russian-made ‘Mercury’ TV set listening to that address.

In those days we were one of the few homes in the country that actually owned a TV, so the address was largely heard by Pakistanis on the radio, in spite of the fact that Bhutto spoke in English.

It is said that the speech remains to be one of the most widely heard addresses from a head of state and government in Pakistan. A small snippet of it is now available in cyberspace:

In February 1972, my father moved our family to Kabul in Afghanistan where he agreed to heed my paternal grandfather’s advise to set up offices of the family business in that city.

Instead my father became the Afghanistan correspondent of the PPP’s newspaper, Musawat. It was a Kabul that would today seem like a totally different planet compared to what happened to this city at the end of the Soviet-Mujahideen war in the 1980s and beyond.

I remember Kabul to be a pleasant and clean city, with hordes of western tourists (mostly hippies) roaming its streets and markets.

My father became a regular visitor to a popular coffee house in central Kabul where the city’s most animated leftist intellectuals met for coffee, tea, beer and most importantly, to strike passionate discussions on the state of Afghanistan.

One day my father brought home an intense looking and stocky Afghan Pushtun for dinner. The Afghan was bald, had thick spectacles on him, chain-smoked and spoke both English and an accented Urdu. The gentleman was Sardar Daoud: The former Prime Minister of Afghanistan (1953-63) and the future President of that country.

Daoud, who was a cousin of Afghanistan’s monarch, Zahir Shah, had resigned as PM in 1963. He was also a passionate advocate of ‘Pushtunistan’ – a movement that wanted to merge Afghanistan with the Pushtun majority areas of Pakistan.

My father later told me that Daoud – who’d been banished by the monarchy and had become a radical pro-Soviet republican – befriended my father at the coffee house and told him about a ‘coming revolution in Afghanistan.’

‘Bhutto was not very happy with my friendship with Daoud,’ my father told me many years later. Bhutto as well as Pakistan’s military establishment was very anti-Daoud, especially due to his views on ‘Pushtunistan.’

Though we returned to Pakistan in mid-1973, Daoud would go on to topple the Zahir Shah monarchy in a military-backed coup and declare Afghanistan to be a republic (in 1974). He was himself toppled in a Soviet-backed coup in 1978.

In Pakistan, my father began publishing a radical pro-PPP Urdu weekly called Al-Fatha (the name was inspired by Yasser Arafat’s militant left-wing Palestinian outfit).

Now back in school in Karachi I fondly remember how small kids (especially boys) loved to imitate Bhutto’s antics as a public speaker. At first I just couldn’t understand, until I rediscovered Bhutto on TV.

You see, Afghanistan didn’t have any TV, even though I remember accompanying my parents to a host of Rajesh Khanna and early Amitabh films at Kabul cinemas.

I particularly remember one Bhutto speech on PTV that he made in late 1973 (or early 1974) that finally made the now 7-year-old me understand what all those boys at school were up to.

It was during a public gathering in Lahore. It set the nation on fire! Drunk on passion, patriotism (and his favourite brand of whisky), Bhutto was canvassing to ask his supporters to help him regenerate Pakistan’s lost pride. To my delight, a small section of this speech too can now be found in cyberspace:

Newspaper reports of this particular rally suggest that the crowds began dancing like ‘intoxicated malangs (Sufi fakirs)’ when Bhutto, himself shaking with unabashed ardour, knocked down the microphones with his fists.

Another memory I have of the period is watching my father discussing the passing of Pakistan’s first real constitution (the 1973 constitution) with his cousins and brothers. Later on when I entered my teens in the early 1980s, I asked my father why the Bhutto regime declared the Ahmadis as non-Muslim.

His explanation was that since Bhutto wanted to bag the support of Islamic outfits like Jamat Islami and others before the historic 1974 International Islamic Summit in Lahore, ‘he threw them a bone they could get busy with and get distracted by.’

I continued disagreeing with him on this issue, and he continued defending Bhutto’s action even many years later.


I remember the Islamic Summit very well. PTV ran a marathon transmission of the event and I also remember watching speeches by a number of leaders from various Muslim countries.

The Summit was explained as part of Bhutto’s ‘Islamic Socialism’ and ‘vision’ of turning the Muslim world into a ‘third force’ (secular, mind you), between western capitalism and Soviet communism.


My childhood unfolded in a very different Karachi. TV was a joy to watch (even though it was entirely one-sided); men and women were crazy about cinema as the Pakistan film industry churned out an average of 25 films a year; and people loved staying outdoors without any fear and at all hours.

Bars, nightclubs, cinemas and other recreational sites were always illuminated with bright, shimmering lights. I remember accompanying my elder cousins and their friends to the edges of the Clifton area on weekends (on bicycles) where people would gather to drink, chat, take long walks on the Clifton beach and especially eat chaat and ‘gola-gupas’.

Some would order ‘special gola-gupas’ whose liquidy chatni was laced with a heavy dose of tamarind but mixed with whisky or beer. I certainly do not remember the alcohol making men going berserk and indulging in rape and plunder or the Godly lighting of wrath striking them from the skies!

At this edge of Clifton was a house called ‘70 Clifton.’ This was the spacious residence of Z A. Bhutto and his family. From 1975 onwards, when I turned 9, my father began to often take me with him to this house whenever he had to meet Bhutto or other PPP leaders. By now he had also joined the Soviet Embassy (on Bhutto’s suggestion). Bhutto had wanted to him to use his position to strengthen the media and cultural ties between the Soviet Union and Pakistan.

It was, I think, in the summer of 1975 when I first met Bhutto in real life.

I saw a very young Benazir Bhutto as well, lurking in the background (but don’t remember her talking to this 9-year-old); but I do remember a tall, lanky guy shaking my hand as my father stood talking to the lad in the garden of 70 Clifton. He was Murtaza Bhutto, then just 21 years old.


I found Bhutto’s wife, Begum Nusrat Bhutto, to be the warmest and closest to my father. I would last meet this amazing woman in 1993 when (as a journalist) I made my last trip to 70 Clifton on the evening Murtaza returned from exile.

As a PPP sympathiser and former member of its student-wing (PSF), I had sided with Benazir in her little tussle with Murtaza. And I continued siding with her. She was to my generation of young ‘radicals’ in the 1980s, what her father had been to the generations before us.

But the fondest ever memory of those visits with my father to 70 Clifton was of one evening in early 1976 (I was now 10) when, as my father and I entered a roomy hall, Bhutto, smartly dressed in a suit and a tie and with a cigar in hand, approached my father and with a mischievous smile loudly asked: ‘Aur Paracha! (So, Paracha); how are the Soviets treating you?’

My father smiled back and answered something to this affect: ‘Sab sahi hai, Bhutto saab (All’s well, Mr. Bhutto); the Soviets are fine as long as one keeps appreciating their Vodka!’ Bhutto burst into laughter.

How I now wish I was old enough to ask Mr. Bhutto right there, why he ditched the Ahmadis and consequently, why he was carelessly laying the grounds for the Islamists to take over with the help of a once tarnished military that his regime had reinvigorated?


My saddest childhood memories of the time were not exactly the shutting down of schools and the curfews that were imposed during the right-wing Pakistan National Alliance’s protest movement against Bhutto in early 1977.

Nor do I remember what I felt when I saw this weird looking military man with a strange handlebar moustache talking about ‘Islami nizam’ on PTV (in July 1977). A man against whom I would eventually spend all of my college years fighting as a student activist in the mid and late 1980s. A tyrant who would retard the political and social evolution of Pakistan for years to come. A man called Ziaul Haq.

My saddest memory regarding Bhutto is, of course, of April 4, 1979. I was 12 years old and now smart enough to understand what was going on. My father had been blacklisted by the Zia regime (in 1977) and was out of a job. He still refused to join the family business.


I’d had a terrible morning at school two days before Bhutto’s hanging. My mother was summoned by my teachers and told that I would be expelled for giving a fellow student a big fat black eye! Thankfully I wasn’t.

The bugger had been waving a picture (cut out from Jang newspaper) of a cop flogging a man in public. He was mocking the flogged man, saying that all PPP supporters would be getting flogged this way.

Suddenly, bam! I smashed my fist in his faces, knocking him out in 5 seconds flat. My anger was purely the result of the depression I was feeling from the economic pressures and uncertainty my family had been facing ever since the Zia regime blacklisted my father making it impossible for him to get a job in any newspaper or magazine.


Saddest was when on the night of 4th April, some 12 hours after Bhutto’s hanging, I entered my parent’s bedroom and found my father sitting on his bed, his palms cupping his face, his head hung low, as he heard a special programme on Bhutto on BBC Radio’s Urdu service.

I quietly sat on a chair opposite him, my knuckles still sour from punching my classmate. Then it happened. A sight I shall never forget.

My father removed his palms from his face to light a cigarette. And for the first time ever, I saw this cool, calm and stoic fellow who reminded me of a Clint Eastwood character in those spaghetti westerns, wiping tears from his cheeks. His eyes were swollen and red, as if he’d been actually weeping for hours.

I was stunned. I had no clue what to do. It was only then that I realised that Bhutto really was dead.

Scene after scene was related over the years in articles and books by so many people of how Bhutto’s death had actually made grown-up men and women cry.

I saw one such person do that right in front of my eyes. That evening I wanted to hug my father. But I somehow couldn’t. I just got up and left. The age of apathy had arrived in Pakistan.


Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Author Image

Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and He is also the author of two books on the social history of Pakistan, End of the Past and The Pakistan Anti-Hero.

He tweets @NadeemfParacha

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (222) Closed

Tahira Niazi Apr 04, 2012 01:09pm
I am awestruck by this article, Paracha sahib. You keep outdoing yourself, over and over again. A great fan.
Jilanee Apr 04, 2012 01:18pm
Arrogance especially when displayed through the tongue, is one's worst enemy. Only, if ZAB had controlled his tongue, perhaps NFP would not have to write this blog today.
Gul Metlo Apr 04, 2012 01:28pm
Unique write up on Z A Bhutto, reflecting very young and innocent feelings of the age
Kamal Memon Apr 04, 2012 01:42pm
Awesome .....
Iqbal Ismail Apr 04, 2012 01:44pm
I agree with Jilanee sahib. There is the time to sow in a to reap. A Gardner knows the difference.
Piyush Apr 04, 2012 02:01pm
Despite being an Indian - I had goosebumps reading this....
Rubina Apr 04, 2012 02:04pm
You are a unique talent, NFP. I am a huge admirer of your political satire as well as your pieces on the social and political histories of Pakistan. This article has shown yet another aspect of your writing. An aspect that is a lot more tender and empathatic, not that I do not mind your biting sarcasm and wit. :) I loved this article.
Shahbaz Jamali Apr 04, 2012 02:13pm
Nice article with some historical links. He is definitely after Mohammad Ali Jinnah Bhutto the most favorite political leader.
Junaid Iqbal Apr 04, 2012 02:13pm
NFP, I have had the privilege of interning with you when i was 16 and have read pretty much most of what you have written since "the news on friday' days. This has to be the most touching piece by you. Beautiful tribute to a legend.
adeel mumtaz Apr 04, 2012 02:17pm
paracha is of that generation,which saw bhutto,listened to his fiery and soul stirring speeches....but i was born years after bhutto had died...and as such does not belong to his generation...but i think the man's charisma continues to surpass the boundaries of generation and ages....paracha's write-ups are too good...but they reflet his desire to recreate a lost world....he often becomes nostalgic....but since,this write-up is about zab,and reminiscent of the good old its fine!!! but paracha shb may be you could come out of that leftist mold of yours..and take up some real time issues..and try to analyse them objectively....
Fawad Apr 04, 2012 02:18pm
Despite all his shortcomings he did not deserve to die. His was a judicial murder. Today will forever be a black mark in this country's (judicial) history.
Shoaib Apr 04, 2012 02:21pm
Really awesome peace, loving NFP for the first time. "Bhutto in the memory of a young kid". However, the article has another (hidden ) part. Explains well the phenomena how political ideologies are inherited in our society. Family politics and family follower-ship.
Jamil Apr 04, 2012 02:30pm
I am not big fan of PPP or Benazir or PPP leadership after Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. But what happened with ZAB is saddest chapter in politics and history of Pakistan. If you get chance, ask any living judge of Bhutto trial, they would say that verdict was given under pressure. We as a nation did not allow political process to run and now that is in the hands of people who we cannot trust. Even the educated or privileged people of Pakistan have learned nothing, what you can expect from poor or underprivileged.
Ayeshah Hasan Apr 04, 2012 02:32pm
I can relate to each and every word you say NFP! Being just a year younger than you and having a father who worked at the Pakistan Times when Zia took over, your story sounds like the story of our home.
Davar Abbas Apr 04, 2012 02:36pm
Jeetay raho, Paracha, jeetay raho. This just has to be one of your most heart-felt pieces. I knew your father very well. He was a very decent, thoughtful and spiritual man. It is so sad to hear that he is no more in this world. Thank you for writing this piece. I am an old PPP jiyala who escaped Zia's clutches in 1981 only to return many, many years later to a totally sad, destroyed and intolarant Pakistan.
Asad Shah Apr 04, 2012 02:40pm
How ironic. My mother tells me that Bhutto had a terror in the 70's, just like one of the main parties in Karachi nowadays. When my father broke the news of his arrest to my mother, she out of sheer fear looked around lest someone might hear my father. Such was his fear. And the PSF you proudly mention was no romantic rabels. They were thugs and always got their way irrespective of merits while PPP was in government. And just to clarify, I admire Bhutto for his vision and intelligence and for his public speaking. If only he had a little less evil in him. I also support your point of view on Ahmedis and I also believe that Zia put this country in the wrong direction. I hope you will take my comments in the right spirits rather than branding me as anti-PPP ( which I actually am)
Arshad Hussain Apr 04, 2012 02:35pm
Very balanced article. Thanks
Alu_Anday Apr 04, 2012 02:53pm
Dear NFP, We all are sad today, for a man, despite his failings, had a lot of promise; and if survived, would have made Pakistan sure of itself and its position in the comity of nations and not what it has become today, a confused security state. Well, we are hopeful, that bhuttoism shall keep alive in our hearts and minds. Long Live Pakistan!
M Ali Khan Apr 04, 2012 02:57pm
For all his follies, blunders, rashness, and panic-mode decisions in the mid-1970s (also including the Balochistan operation instigated by - of all people - Nawab Akbar Bugti), ZAB will always be a real giant of a man in Pakistani history. Sadly his daughter, for better or for worse, could not match his steely resolve and dedication. Army-ISI nexus has a significant blame, but they are just PART of the problem - not the whole problem.
Ali S Apr 04, 2012 03:00pm
We get the point - you're a Bhutto supporter. I have got nothing against your loyalty, but I'll be honest, that's an awful defense coming from a self-proclaimed progressive. Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of Ziaul Haq, but this blind despite-all-they-have-done-we-will-stick-by-them loyalty to Bhuttoism is nothing short of fanatical.
Azeem Apr 04, 2012 03:01pm
Hmm getting better and better all the time. You may just make a fan out of one of your sworn haters i.e. Me soon enough NFP. Good job
mystic Apr 04, 2012 03:02pm
"Note how the newsreader also says that Bhutto’s widow, Nusrat Bhutto, attended his funeral. This was a lie because not only was she denied the right to attend the funeral..." Well, what you wrote is not true.
Nadeem Khan Apr 04, 2012 03:22pm
Well said Ali. People like you are required to bring balance of opinions in our country.
zafar khan Apr 04, 2012 03:27pm
Not supporter but worshiper.
Abhishek Kumar Apr 04, 2012 03:29pm
Wonderful article. Thank you for sharing this piece of your life and history which I wouldn't have access to otherwise. Your description of a child in a war in 1971 was very profound.
mr jam Apr 04, 2012 03:42pm
Muhammad Naqvi Apr 04, 2012 03:35pm
Forgive me if I don't agree with living dead mantra. By all accounts the man lived by sword and died by sword. He and his party have given us Pakistan nothing but misery. His ME only ME ego lost us East Pakistan. He broke federation into provinces and lost us the concept of one Pakistan. And now his party would split Pakistan asunder into many small provinces and nations. Worst of all his followers gave us a "government" who are thieving Pakistan with both hands. And now we hear that Zardari's son want to join the action. What does he know about workings of Pakistan Supreme Court and in fact what does he know about Pakistan.
Shakoor Alam Apr 04, 2012 03:54pm
I 100% agree with you,Shah Jee,except the last written within brackets
punit Apr 04, 2012 03:56pm
Though sadly but i really enjyed the way the entire story was written..Also feel sorry for Bhutto Family becoz ..Pakistan people (government ,civilians and the army) have not done justice to there PM. How Could you guys hang your own PM and kill his entire family like this..? This can happen only in Pakistan...Sorry but Indian polity is much better ...Atleast there leaders are not killed by there government .
Naveed Apr 04, 2012 04:02pm
Thank you for taking me through a memory lane that I cherish the most. Bhutto inspired a lot of people, in fact majority of the country to move forward after 1971 humiliation. In his 6 year tenure Pakistan accomplished a lot. I remember that nation was energized, people were committed to put things right. He had put the country on the right footing. Holding 1974 Islamic Summit was a salient achievement. It not only lifted the Muslims of the Sub-Continent, it provided a new impetus to the global Muslims. That one event and his determination to make Pakistan a nuclear capable state made USA/Russia and Western Countries very nervous. That in my view caused Bhutto's eventual hanging. World really lost an outstanding leader.
Hayder Khan Apr 04, 2012 04:07pm
Bhutto was a great leader no doubt. Even though I am not a fan of PPP I admit that whenever I listen to Bhtto speeches it gives you a sense of motivation. Having said that the real issue remain and the naked truth is that no matter how many times you and I praise him, this current government who says it is the legacy of Bhutto, unable to even address the single agenda of his vision. I wonder if we keep praising Bhutto, his sacrifice; his vision and all that then voilance in Karachi will stop, load shading will reduced to 0%, Balochistan will be the land of peace and love, corruption will vanish forever, terrorism will finish once and for all..... We like to live in Past and believe that our past is sufficient evidence of our present but sadly this is not the truth.
Angry Apr 04, 2012 04:07pm
So in other words you are saying that no matter how much misery Bhutto's action brought for the people of Balochistan, he was a real 'giant' ---- what a sense of giantness!
Sami Apr 04, 2012 04:15pm
Nice Article. Bhutto died more than 30 years ago but we still have similar problems.
Shankar Apr 04, 2012 04:25pm
Great article! ZAB & BB were God's best gift to Pakistan! They had quite a large following across the border as well.
zafar Tabri Apr 04, 2012 04:45pm
ZAB... where we find your political legacy? hope ended when Benazir breathed her last..
Zulfiqar Ali Shaikh Apr 04, 2012 04:45pm
Great Article... wonderful recalling of those memories.. I especially liked the punch line : "The age of apathy had arrived in Pakistan."
Insomniac Apr 04, 2012 04:39pm
well, do you know what the truth was... pls enlighten us.
Bhasker Assoldekar Apr 04, 2012 04:50pm
Although I am from India, I remember that sad day very vividly. The unfortunate news was the only news for the entire 15 mins capsule on All India Radio. ZAB certainly didnt deserve to die this way.
ndchawla Apr 04, 2012 05:01pm
We, Sindhi Hindus, in India also cried that night.
I Khan Apr 04, 2012 05:03pm
Now I see where Parachaas venom flows from for PTI and all otheres except PPP!!
H__3 Apr 04, 2012 05:01pm
Written from heart. Good read. Its like whiskey of 1977. Tastes better 35 years later!
Mohammed Ejaz Rashee Apr 04, 2012 05:15pm
Altough I do not agree with you but I have to acknowledge that you are a excellent writer.
RIAZ Apr 04, 2012 05:14pm
By hanging the great Bhutto, we have in fact lost a founder of 'Modern Pakistan'. Pakistan would have been an asian tiger had ZAB lived today. Will be missed forever.
amjad Apr 04, 2012 05:35pm
Hats off to you NFP
Aik Pakistani Apr 04, 2012 05:42pm
Combaticus Apr 04, 2012 05:43pm
Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi would disagree....
Khushbakht Apr 04, 2012 05:44pm
Loved it, NFP!
Dr, Rahman Apr 04, 2012 05:50pm
Z. A. Bhutto - We simply miss you!
Bakhtawer Bilal Apr 04, 2012 05:55pm
Love him or hate him. There is no dearth of either. He was a human, no doubt about it. Despite the list of his legacies which contains achievements and fallacies, one stands out. He was the one, the first one on this land who gave the awareness to a common man. That awareness can not be taken away. That is his living legacy.
Qalim Apr 04, 2012 05:59pm
Good refresher of the time - but I trust the idea is not to revise history when you say Pakistan's first popularly elected Prime Minster for it was Mujeeb ur Rehman's party carrying the majority in what was then United Pakistan and by any standard he should have been offered the opportunity to form government whether you or I liked it or not.
Ramiz Apr 04, 2012 06:06pm
Sorry to say I would say Extremist Pakistan foundation was laid by Bhutto. because it was during Bhutto's Gov minorities were persecuted and Ahmedis were declared Non Muslims and until now Thousands of Ahmedis have fled Pakistan. So why Bhutto did that if he wanted modern Pakistan???
ali kazmi Apr 04, 2012 06:13pm
well written, i admire your enthusiasm but then again... im not really crazy about the topic, especially when half of the city is forcefully covered with bhutto billboards. bhutto, zia, benazir, nawaz, musharaf, zardari... aaah! is that all we pro-revolutionist and pseudo-political youth of pakistan are going to talk about for the rest of our lives? praise the past, loathe the present and dream-sequence the future... how abhorring!
Kazmi Apr 04, 2012 06:35pm
A sweeping statement. NFP is a known democratic and he has defended parties like ANP, MQM, Baloch and Sindhi nationalist parties on this forumn as well.
Salman Apr 04, 2012 06:41pm
Wonderful article NFP , I am a fan of your great articles, just to inform you that Ahmadis have declared every other muslim on earth as "Kafir" and outside the pale of Islam long before Pakistani assemble did, they did that in 1921 for ref see their book " Truth about Split" by Mirza Bashir udddin their second khalifa check page 56, you can download the book from their website, its shocking but its true, you always write great articles , keep writing
Adnan Apr 04, 2012 07:00pm
Paracha Saheb, Thanks for writing this awesome piece. The way you disagree with Bhutto's decision of declaring Ahmadi's non muslims is remarkable. I agree with you. Bhutto actually laid the foundation of the "hate castle" that was built during Zia's time.
mnahbub Apr 04, 2012 07:01pm
yah killing is no good.ziaul huq did it .pakistan politics is responsible for it.yahia and zab and pakistan mill itary is resposible for bangladesh genocide .as you are young 1971. zab role for power may not known to you, i do not think zab was a prograssive leader.
ghazi Apr 04, 2012 07:05pm
Ofcourse he should have been prime minister. And Mujeeb said in a few public rallies. I know what happened to the 4 prime ministers from East Pakistan in the 50s. I want to make Bangladesh. The Army is to blame for the breakup and not tranfering power to the elected represnetative.
Ghalzai Apr 04, 2012 07:14pm
You are one of the best writer, thanks for sharing.
Fahad Javaid Apr 04, 2012 07:25pm
Great Article, Paracha sahib, since then the misery continues....
Changez Apr 04, 2012 07:36pm
Awesome piece of satire
Mahmood Apr 04, 2012 07:38pm
Can't agree more. Bhutto has done more damage to Pakistan than good...Wish he would have let Majeeb become the PM as he was the real elected choice of people...
SAYED FARAZ ALI SHAH Apr 04, 2012 07:52pm
Does Mr. Iftikhar Chaudry has time before his retirement to take up the judicial murder case of great leader Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Mr Chaudry kindly get out of mindset of memo / NRO / Balochistan etc. Do not try to protect the old murderer judges of supreme court who had blessing of military dictator and helped him to murder Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto
Rumasa Apr 04, 2012 08:02pm
NFP you should write a book, seriously. You're awesome. I usually don't read books but if you write one, i'll definitely read it. Thank you for this great piece.
IK Apr 04, 2012 08:14pm
Bhutto deserved it and it should also be documented in the history accurately. He began the islamization of this country and Zia continued it.
AK Apr 04, 2012 08:19pm
Agree with Ramiz. Lets also not forget that the highly aggressive attitude towards India was also promoted by Bhutto... he was the one who declared that we will fight India for a 1000 years. The first intervention in Afghanistan and a vicious operation against Balochis in 70s were also initiated by him. His only key credit was his being the first 'awami' leader, due to which his supporters ignore all his damaging policies
AHA Apr 04, 2012 08:21pm
So true. There was no problem in East Pakistan before March 1971. The (former) East Pakistanis lived in a perfect harmony and brotherly love with West Pakistanis, and the West Pakistanis treated the East Pakistanis as their equals before March 1971.
Zulfiqar Apr 04, 2012 08:23pm
It was bhuttto who relaased 93000 Pakistani' Soldiersfrom India and gave Pakistan its Atomic Bomb... Jea Bhutto.
Fouad Apr 04, 2012 08:41pm
NFP... you don't have to continue to be apathetic... the age of passion has returned to Pakistan politics. Don't hate on Imran just because he's politically on the right... in demanding economic and social justice, he is as far to the left as Bhutto had ever been, even more so because unlike Bhutto he doesn't have three generations of feudal blood running in his veins. Hear the voice of the people... come back to the light my man.
I. Khan Apr 04, 2012 09:01pm
Just a correction on the caption of the first photograph: The aircraft do not appear to be Indian; they appear to be PAF F-86 Sabre Jets delivering napalms on a practice run at a bombing range.
joe Apr 04, 2012 09:04pm
Read again sir.. "not killed by their govt." The Indian state didnt sponsor killing of any of these unlike Pak dictators
Nadeem, USA Apr 04, 2012 09:14pm
I have objecion on very first sentence, "Pakistan’s first popularly elected Prime Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto." Mujeeb won the elections, he should be the First Elected Prime Minister.
Mahine Apr 04, 2012 09:19pm
A personal tribute to a great politician and leader of Pakistan. Shame that the legacy of the PPP today has been destroyed by the current lot of politicians.
Amir Apr 04, 2012 10:05pm
Yaar Paraacha, I may not agree with all your assertions but I would love to get together with you one day and raise a glass of some fine Scotch. The scotch is on me.
Achoo Wehshi Apr 04, 2012 10:05pm
NFP... Thank You for this!
omar Apr 04, 2012 10:11pm
Not that I favorer the hanging of Bhutto. Just a simple question can someone tell me what Bhutto achieved while being the priminister, or his daughter for that matter? Please don't give me a rational that they died for the country because Zia's supports can say the same (who I equally dislike).
Suhrab Apr 04, 2012 10:36pm
They were killed by extremists, not by Indian Government. The culprits were found and were hanged or are rotting in jails.
Guest Apr 04, 2012 11:02pm
Read again - he said "not Killed by GOVERNMENT"
manish Apr 04, 2012 10:54pm
sir, do i have to remind you that they were not killed by the sham judicial rulings. their death was cold blooded murder
Gurdeep Apr 04, 2012 11:12pm
Totally agree with you @Nadeem. What @Ali portrays is the rational thinking. Calling the right thing right and wrong the wrong. You guys can be a tribe in Pakistan which can bring about a change in mindset.
Bishen Singh Bedi Apr 04, 2012 11:27pm
Shakespeare wrote: The good that one does is interred with the bones but the bad lives on forever. In the case of ZAB, it is just the opposite. People have forgotten the real ZAB and developed a mythical memory. This is the real Bhutto: 1. Responsible for the break up of Pakistan in collusion with the Army. Famous words: "Hum tangan tor dain gai jo Assembly attend karnay jai ga." and "udhar tum idhar ham" 2. The events that it precipitated led not only to the most humiliating defeat of the Pakistan army - unparalleled in Islamic history. 3. Gave up Pakistan's right to agitate the Kashmir issue in the United Nations. 4. Destroyed the burgeoning industrial base by privatizing the industries and handing them over to be run by corrupt, incompetent bureaucrats and cronies. 5. Nationalized schools and colleges thus reducing to mediocrity many fine educational institutions e.g. F.C. College Lahore and Kinnaird College. 6. Systematically introduced cronyism in Government with the introduction of lateral entry and wrecked the fine semi autonomous bodies like PIA. 7. By declaring the Ahmadis as non Muslims through bowing to the religious extremists, he laid the foundation of his own demise and the subsequent radicalization of Pakistan from Islamic extremists.
Vanishing smoke Apr 04, 2012 11:28pm
I have always followed NFP. I can understand your sentiments piranha sahib but Bhutto sahib was implicated in a murder case. He layer the grounds for ISlamists in Pakistan. He is responsible for the debacle of Dacca and annihilating the economy under the pre fix of roti Kara Makaan. So what if he was hanged??. During his time he had secret security service that would kidnap and arrest his opponents. He is the one who raised the slogan idhar hum udhar tum. I think in his arrogance he has received what he deserved. The same thing with zia. He got what he deserved. Both of them were never loyal to the interests of Pakistanis.
Azim Apr 04, 2012 11:31pm
All I can say is that remembering Bhutto and all the Bhuttos for that matter as benevolent do-gooders is a true trajedy. If your recollections stray from the facts due to your politcal leanings to the PPP, then this is a fine peice of composition as a party mouth peice. As a person of Bengali origin, being born to parents that left the country prior to 1971, ZAB is nothing more than an oppurtunist as are most all politicians. He had the blood of a million countrymen on his hands when he was hung, he may have been hung for the wrong reasons but he deserved the senetence non the less. The unraveling of the Pakistan the founders envisioned in the Muslim League of India started after Jinnah's passing but most definetly was on solid ground of sectarian strife fueled by ZAB and the PPP's sectarian politics. May Pakistan emerge as a vibrant nation soon InshaAllah, I pray that the current state of affairs remedies itself soon.
Jamil Apr 04, 2012 11:54pm
Great piece of writing, I really enjoyed, your father really was a proud and honourable man. May Allah bless his soul.
Khalid Sheikh Apr 04, 2012 11:59pm
Born in Lahore (1943), British India, I left the Country before independence and never returned to that part of the world except for two weeks in 2000. Hence, I cannot, and do not, claim to be a Pakistani. But I am a historian and have followed the Pakistani politics since before independence. Many like Mr Paracha have attempted to rewrite history involving Z. Bhutto. A key historical fact can not be disclaimed, twisted or rewritten, that Bhutto, in his arrogance and hunger for power was to exclusively responsible for the separation and loss of what was East Pakistan. Had he consented to share power with Mujib, the result would have have been entirely different. He was a traitor and deserved to fate he met. PPP supporters would understandably continue to see the episode through a clouded emotion rather that accept historical facts.
Surrayya Apr 05, 2012 12:03am
I rarely read Pakistani media but reading Nadeem Paracha gives me hope that Pakistan has great writers and what can I say about the people power of Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto? He was in the political world what Rumi was in the spiritual world, the undisputed king whose words moved and continue to move masses. That Lahore speech is electrifying to anyone who listens to it, the sheer eloquence is mesmerizing. I wasn't around when he made this speech but listening to the Martin Luther King Jr. "I have a dream" speech does to Americans what Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's speech does to Pakistanis.
a f butt Apr 05, 2012 12:18am
@NFP, that was another brilliant timeline article, i just felt ive read an extract from the Mr.Bhuttos memoir and if anyone ever gets chosen to write a book with a different perspective , i think you are the best candidate. I like your analogies, your though-provoking dramas of his rise and fall of ZA Bhutto that you have put together in a nutshell. I think Mr.Bhuttos personality and what his rivals say about him resembles the strange case of Dr.Jeykll and Mr.Hyde, he has die-hard admirers and the harshest critics; i wonder who is right? Guess in the end, Pakistan does need closure on the whole ZA Bhutto episode, the real him, we need a conclusive answer or it will be same arguements and disagreements as each year progresses.I hope in the future, independent gathering of facts and events can give us a better understanding of a political figure who passed away and let behind a midst of controversies.
Maria Shaikh Apr 05, 2012 12:29am
Took me down memory a 4 yr old, I do remember my aunts weeping away the morning of Bhutto's death...then growing up listening to all those stories told by my Dad on how Bhutto energized masses and why he was the greatest leader of Pak...then us rejoicing Benazir's victory in '87, dancing in Boat Basin, Karachi, then fearing driving around 2 Talwar/70 Clfton after Murtaza Bhutto's assasination....I left Pakistan soon after and ironically was back there on vacation...driving back from Larkana to Karachi, when news of Benazir's assasination broke..then saw the masses appear out of nowhere..on the national highway on those barren roads...what a trip that was! Thanks to your article...I relived all that...but when a great leader and a political dynasty ends this ask the question...was it worth it??
Humayun Apr 05, 2012 12:34am
i completely agree with Ali. this bhuttoism has developed into a mania these days. people still believing that ZAB will come from the grave to answer their miseries. no doubt he was a visionary leader but its high time to go on. stop looking at the past with the golden glasses, it will always look good, whatever it may be in actual.
Shahzad Kazi Apr 05, 2012 12:53am
Nadeem, a good read. I can relate to a lot of what you have written. ZAB truly was the greatest leader that Pakistan has produced. Our family was friends with the Bhutto family and I knew Benazir and Murtaza as well. My father was one of Bhutto's legal advisors and I used to be a member of the PSF at NED and got elected to the students union as JS in 1980. It would be good to connect and share war stories sometime.
Shahzad Kazi Apr 04, 2012 07:23pm
Nadeem, a good read. I can relate to a lot of what you have written. ZAB truly was the greatest leader that Pakistan has produced. Our family was friends with the Bhutto family and I knew Benazir and Murtaza as well. My father was one of Bhutto's legal advisors and I used to be a member of the PSF at NED and got elected to the students union as JS in 1980. It would be good to connect and share war stories sometime.
Shahzad Kazi Apr 05, 2012 01:00am
I tend to disagree with you on this. While there were a number of atrocities committed during ZAB's rule, it was nothing like today. People were not afraid to go out nor were there any extortionists. Crime rates were low. Young people could go and spend the night at Hawkesbay or Sandspit without any fear of kidnapping or robbery. Cinemas were functioning and night clubs and bars did a roaring business.
Usman Apr 05, 2012 12:50am
Bhutto was another crook that shouldn't have happened to Pakistan. Sorry to say but your personal history proves even more the bias that is visible in your writings. Now it becomes clearer that your loyalty was never to rational thought , but seems it was all along venom filled revenge against anything and everything that's anti-PPP. Sad!
Laeeq, NY Apr 05, 2012 01:02am
I am not agreed many of the views expressed by the author and the people on this forum. Ther were lot of blunder made by the ZAB. Unfortunately we are a very emotional nation and we like the emotional leaders and we forget or we are short memmoried remembring the things he did which are still haunting us: He gave the slogan of Roti, Kapra and Makan by nationalizing all the factories and educational institutions. This was just the revenge from his boss Ayub Khan, who spent 10 years of brilliant development of our industrial infrastructure. He destroyed all that progess with in one year. Our factories taken over by workers, schools taken over payed emploees of the government. You know the rest of the story. We are still in a state of no progress forward. Bringing religious matters in the assembly, and giving free hand to the Mullahs led his own hanging. Thats where you mis politics with religion. Modern democracy have no palce in islam. When a man just govern for the sake of power and control, he can not be a hero of this country.
Dave Apr 05, 2012 01:11am
Brilliant NFP. No wonder you have a great writing skill on subjects.
Rahat Apr 05, 2012 01:17am
Arshad Hussain! Balanced??? Where is the balance in this article? It is totally one-sided, verging on Bhutto-worshipping. It would have been balanced, had Paracha mentioned about the Baluchistan operation, the FSF atrocities, how did Bhutto deal with his political opponents( including Miraj Muhammad Khan), how he single-handedly destroyed the 1973 constitution ( even before the ink with which it was written had dried) and above all not making the army top-brass accountable for the 1971 debacle.
V Apr 05, 2012 01:19am
All three were assassinated by extremists, ZAB was tried in a court of law and executed by the state, there is no comparison,
Ali S Apr 05, 2012 01:23am
Wow my comment was edited. I originally stated that NFP is a Bhutto supporter just because his father was. Can't believe Dawn is censoring comments. I hope this one is published.
Niazi Apr 05, 2012 01:44am
The sad part is that you actually believe the lies fabricated by our dear corrupt and power hungry army & establishment. I am not going to waste my energy in trying to convince you or say that ZAB was incapable of making mistakes (as NPP points out his decision to declare Ahmedi's non-muslim was a clear cut mistake); however I will state the following: a) Power before, during & after the 1971 elections was held exclusively by Pakistan Army. Even if ZAB uttered the words "Hum yahan, tum wahan" what stopped Pakistan Army from transferring power to the Awami League? b) We do hear a lot of praise of the "impartiality" of the present Supreme Court - however I would love to ask a) under what credibility does our Chief Justice hold his office given that he himself is a PCO judge 2) the clear cut impartiality of the supreme Court judgement that hanged ZAB is adamantly refused to be challenged while the word of Mansoor Ejaz are fawned on & 3) how come the convicted Sharifs of this land are given a clean slate while a person who spent 11 years in jail on unproven charges hounded? ( this list is inexhaustible but for sake of brevity I will leave it here)
Antigone Apr 05, 2012 02:00am
Everyone has their own idols. That remains a right for all. As regards to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto after 33 years one would have hoped that a perspective could have been developed around his acts. Granted he shouldn't have been hanged for a murder. What he should have been tried for was orchestrating in conjunction with the military of Pakistan the genocide of East Pakistan. The disgrace he wrought on Pakistan in one of the most selfish speeches (serving to solidify his political position) in the history of the Security Council As regards to his socialism it was perhaps of the same ilk as that of other socialists of this era, Qaddafi, Hafiz ul Assad, Soharto etc. Murderous socialism that lined their own nests. And even today it is impossible for comments like the one's I make to get published. Just like the comments of the thousands of Bengalis whose voices were silenced forcibly without a funeral afterwards. Pakistan shall continue to suffer violence until it acknowledges and accepts responsibility for the massacres at the time of the partition (thousands of Sikhs and Hindus) and those at the time of the East Pakistan debacle. The Generals and the Politicians who were instrumental in the instigation of and the failure to prevent need to be remembered for what they did, Bhutto included. History shall bear witness and if there is a God then let him be the judge.
Fahad Apr 05, 2012 02:50am
At first I was just a PPP sympathizer and I liked Bhutto Marxist ideology and other stuff, but this article has even brought me more closer to the Bhutto's legacy. How wonderfully have you written about your own personal affiliations and political and personal legacy of Bhutto and his family along with your disagreement with Bhutto on certain issues such as the Ahmedi's issue. Although a staunch Marxist and PPP supporter, you really are the most impartial, logical and critique writer I've ever seen in Pakistan. Kudos to you Sir. A big fan always!
noorali Apr 05, 2012 03:10am
This is not satire my friend.
Zeeshan Apr 05, 2012 03:05am
me too.
Hannah Apr 05, 2012 03:35am
I know very little about ur country,even less about ur politics & history..i am however of the same human race & reading this(and the comments that follow) brought tears to my heart & a longing to hug many..most of all your father.
Rashid Chaudhry Apr 05, 2012 03:37am
I completely agree and I believe that ZAB was one of the factors in separation of united Pakistan. Mujeeb should have been the prime minister, rather than ZAB who was the first civilian martial law administrator of pakistan.
Imtiaz Khan Apr 05, 2012 03:54am
Please go back and check your history. 1971 election was held in United Pakistan, there was no such thing as West Pakistan, One Unit was broken and there were 5 provinces. Mujib-ur-Rahman won the election fair and square. It was Mr. Bhutto in connivance with the Military and the Establilshment got Pakistan involved into a Bloody civil war. The reason I blame Bhutto for the break up for Pakistan, becuase he refused to attend the National Assembly session in Dhaka, and threated anyone going from the Western Pakistan to attend the session, will have his legs broken. He tore up the UN resolution introduced by Russia to stop the Pakistan-India war becuase it sutied him. If the war had stopped and Pakistan remained united he would have never become the Prime Minster of Pakistan. He single handedly destroyed the economy of Pakistan by nationalizing all the major industries like the banking, insurance, steel, textile, ghee, etc. Bhutto became the first Civil Martial Law Administrator in the whole wide world. He was also responsible along with all the failed Pakistani leaders for letting 2 million Pakistanis rot in the refugee camps of Bangladesh. This leader brought nothing but bad news for Pakistan. I really curse the day when Ayub Khan picked him as Pakisan's Foreign Minister. Look what these jokers and the so called followers of Bhutto has done to my beloved country.
Erfan Ahmed Apr 05, 2012 04:14am
Well written, NFP, as always. Bhutto was a great visionary and his death was and is a massive loss to Pakistan. Nevertheless, his branding Ahmadis non-Muslim, in my opinion, is at the root of all evil that is in Pakistan today. A state that refuses to protect one section of it's society, ceases to protect all sections of the society.
Sudy Apr 05, 2012 05:05am
Would the punjabi and pathan dominated establishment of Pakistan had allowed Mujeeb to become PM? I guess not!!
Sudy Apr 05, 2012 05:13am
Paracha is a true liberal and democratic person and it is clear from his writings that he is against all right wing parties like PTI. PTI has still the chance to change company and become a truly democratic party like PPP. I am sure that Imran Khan, deep in his heart is a liberal person (I am not sure about democratic because at least in cricket he and his family were truly autocratic) and because of this, he is likely to face the same fate as Bhutto's because the right-wing fascists (in his company) will use him as a "useful idiot" and then stab him in the back once their target is achieved.
Saad Salman Zia Apr 05, 2012 06:16am
Couldn't agree more. I'm sick of this grave worshipping cult they call a government. Charismatic as he was, he had a huge role to play in the partition of Pakistan, his terror through the FSF and being a champion of democracy he was the first 'civil martial law administrator'...A very biased article indeed. Almost extremist even.
Bakul Apr 05, 2012 06:17am
Mathatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi or Rajiv Gandhi - none of them were killed by Indian Government
Chiwawa Apr 05, 2012 06:16am
The newsreader never says Nusrat Bhutto attended ZAB's funeral. In your unabashed love for him, you don't mind distorting the truth. Get a grip on your emotions.
Haroon Apr 05, 2012 06:53am
I like Bhutto but he had many flaws. Nationalization policy was a disaster. Zia was from a middle class simple family and evoked a sense of normalcy in not belonging to a fashionable and westernized family.
B. Sridhar Apr 05, 2012 07:01am
Good piece, as usual, NFP. I recall the sadness with which I picked up the afternoon papers in mumbai to read about the execution. I felt sad for Bhutto as one human being to another. I was outraged by the blatant act of Zia and his cronies. Having said that I do not share such a lofty assessment of Bhutto as a democrat, fair and well-mannered. He was bellicose, anti-democratic (not respecting the election verdict in favor Mujib), and his vendetta against anyone who crossed the PPP line is well recorded. Even with such a baggage he deserved a fair hearing by the Frankestein General he appointed under the mistaken belief that he would be his lap dog.
Humaid Khan Apr 05, 2012 07:24am
I have left Pakistan 33 years ago but am concern about the future of Pakistan. Why we continue to show affection and adore those leaders who have done considerable damage to our country? We are know Bhuttos of past and present were/are corrupt and ZA Bhutto has split the country to fulfil his desire to PM. He has done more damage to Pakistan than good
juniper 13 Apr 05, 2012 07:26am
ZAB started the unnecessary 1965 war, he treated people like dirt, he was the biggest dictator, he lost Bangladesh. i guess Pakistanis today have such bad leaders that ZAB looks good. what apitty. where are lawyers who took to the streets against Musharraf. by their inaction, they are party to the corruption and misery of the people and the rape of the country. shame on the people of Pakistan who keep taking the abuse day in and day out.
Usman Apr 05, 2012 07:44am
Bhutto was a crook and amongst the many unfortunate things to have happened to Pakistan. His eloquence and oratory is the only miniscule good that fails to impress given the many facets of his evil doings: depriving the east-Pakistan of their promised democratic rights, genocide and ultimately it's breakup, nationalizing the country's best institutions by bringing in corrupt socialist policies and setting the country back by decades, and leading to the ultimate persecution of Ahmedis (which is about the only part you mentioned I guess). We are not even counting giving this country BB, Murtaza and Zardari. Your personal history sadly only makes it clearer that your loyalty was never to rational thought but has always has been biased with vengeance. I agree with a comment above with regards to Bhutto and ppp supporters, this is as fanatical as the irrational mullah's spiel. Really hope the sane ones at least can call spade a spade. Sad!
saleem Apr 05, 2012 08:02am
sad day in pakistan history...nice pic in 1974 of sheikh mujeeb and bhutto...
Usman Apr 05, 2012 08:08am
Bhutto was amongst the many unfortunate things to have happened to Pakistan, probably one of the biggest. His eloquence and oratory is the only miniscule good that fails to stand up to the many facets of his evil doings: depriving the east-Pakistan of their promised democratic rights, leading to genocide and ultimately it's breakup, nationalizing the country's best institutions by bringing in corrupt socialist policies and setting the country back by decades, and leading to the ultimate persecution of Ahmedis (which is about the only part you mentioned I guess). We are not even counting giving this country the likes of BB, Murtaza and Zardari. Your personal history sadly only makes it clearer that your loyalty was never to rational thought but has always has been biased with vengeance. I agree with a comment above with regards to Bhutto and ppp supporters, this is as fanatical as the irrational mullah's spiel. Really hope the sane ones at least can call spade a spade. Sad!
Kanwaljit Apr 05, 2012 08:30am
I heard the new on the radio in Australia and I still remember 'zamin parron se nikal gayi'. Never believed such a thing could happen. It was very sad and wrong. On the other hand, Bhutto was the culprit for Pakistan's problems. Both Ayub and Yahya Khan admitted that the wars with India were started on Bhutto's insistence. If I were a Pakistani, I would hold him as the primary culprit for the break up of East Pakistan and setting the foundations of Islamic fundamentalism, from which the country sadly suffers from today.
Sultan Apr 05, 2012 08:55am
A brilliant read
Mansoor Akbar Apr 05, 2012 09:08am
What an article to refresh the memories of old men like me. April 04, 1979 could never erase from my mind. I had my own tradegy on that day. First my wife's 95 year old Gread-Granfather had past away a day earlier. In the morning of 4th, When my alarm came on the first thing I heard on the news was hanging of Mr. Bhutto. I didn't feel like to do anything but I had to drive taxi that day to make a living. On the way to the Airport I smashed into a car from behind, broke my ankle winding up in a hospital with an injured passenger also. I always think the accident happened because I was very depressed about the news and was not paying attention. A little advice to young Pakistanis who are dying to reach the shores of AMERICA, I came here in 1972 with a B.Com,LLB degree and finished my MBA in 1977 but still had to work odd jobs till starting my own thing. Just be aware of the hardships to be faced in the land of EVERYTHING. Long live good memories of Mr. Bhutto.
Aziz Bhatti Apr 05, 2012 09:29am
The greatest blunder by Z. A. Bhutto was declaring Ahmadis NOT-Muslims and the same card played by Gen Zia which ultimately gave extreme power to mullahs in Pakistan. Long live Pakistan.
Muhammad Fiaz Apr 05, 2012 09:29am
Thanks for sharing the beautiful things about a beautiful leader after the dismemberment of Pakistan. It is right that history always remembers the names of both hero & Villon like Tipu Sultan & Mir Jaffar & many many others........ Just for a while think about the unforgettable incident in the history of Pakistan... Who was responsible for this loss?.......What were the motives of our own Muslims of west Pakistan? Do not expect any favor from your enemies...India, USA, Israel, Russia, Uk...many others. Just think what we did with ourselves? Do we call our Heroes as Villon or tag with other name..........
Abida Apr 05, 2012 10:04am
This was beautifully written.
Lady MM Apr 05, 2012 10:16am
When is the movie coming out?
Faraz Apr 05, 2012 10:28am
Hats off to you!. Besides, i have a number of family members flogged in zia regime. The only reason PPP wins elections is the same loyalty of die hard fans of bhutto towards PPP as your father had. I fear the day when last of these fans leaves this world.
yawar Apr 05, 2012 10:29am
mystic will tell you in 90 days, or is it 9?
FA Apr 05, 2012 10:30am
Excellent article, really informative for the people of later generations. Heads off to NFP.
Khalid Apr 05, 2012 10:46am
Fantastic NFP! Keep up the gr8 work!
Asif Apr 05, 2012 10:47am
So you want us to appreciate a person who divided Pakistan for his personal interest?
Riaz Apr 05, 2012 10:53am
I totally agree with you. I absolutely have no clue as to why Bhutto supporters do not see the evils he and his family have done to Pakistan
Hasan Apr 05, 2012 10:54am
A very good piece. Like many people Bhotto was an enigma. He is charisma, vision, and passion was made him a unique leader in our history. He should have lived. I would have made Pakistan a better place. Unlike many, I do not blame him for East Pakistan secession. In that 'crime' all of us were equal partners. Bhutto could have delayed the inevitable but who knows at what cost. My biggest critisim of Bhutto is that the history had given him a unique opportunity. He had the vison, he had the power, the devastated nation was behind him, he could have changed the course of history but the weaknesses in his character took over. Wish he was a little less self centred.
Fahad Arshad Apr 05, 2012 11:07am
Thanks for this recollection of memories of an overrated man through the eyes of a die hard PPP supporter. The sight of a drunk man leading Pakistan was surely something to behold back in the day, and its because of jiyalas like you that we are in the state we are finding ourselves today in.
Naveed Ikram Apr 05, 2012 11:20am
I dont' know Himalya wept or not at Bhutto's death but this country and inmates have cried every second since. A whole nation was led astray at the road of death, brutality and destruction after the murder of Bhutto. Your piece was so soulful so touching. It brought tears into my eyes yet again.
Srini (San Francisco Apr 05, 2012 11:20am
Great read. NFP, How do you manage to write both humor and serious stuff so nicely, usually require different skill set. I can't believe this and the past couple of articles are written by same the person who write the famous witty lines like "Uganda agrees"... Thanks.
Democrat Apr 05, 2012 11:30am
Perpetuating political myths is no service to understanding history. Embellishing it with one's and one's family's closeness with the man compromises the narrative's authenticity. His father's generation and that of his senior's were taken for a ride by ZAB, as his are being taken in by AAZ and by Musharraf (who connived to install the former as Pres). ZAB's was the original sin of civilian complicity with the military, the tiger he tried to ride on whose back and was later swallowed by. His worst sin was his refusal to share power with Mujib and to let Pak parliamentarians go to Dhaka. All this does not of course exonerate Zia and the military for treating him and his family and Party o brutally and unjustly. The truth is that he himself let the military dig his grave and send him to the gallows. There is no doubt he was one of the shrewdest and ablest politicians of Pakistan and its first pro-people leader, but his shortcomings far exceeded his virtues. The myth is only going to undeservedly help those who claim to inherit his mantle. Taking such an uncritical view of the man and indulging in such blind hero-worship is unworthy of an honest journalist. Democrat
Shahid Ali Apr 05, 2012 11:32am
Thanks for an excellent article. ZAB zindabad.
Truth Seeker Apr 05, 2012 11:38am
Even than state has no right to declare this. All muslim sects declare others kafirs and so on but why only Ahmadies.
Gauhar Mahmood Azeem Apr 05, 2012 11:42am
after a long time i enjoyed something written by NFP
STariqbS Apr 05, 2012 04:44pm
Ringing emotions in every ear... Bhutto was the worst that could happen to Pakistan, and Zia was just the icing.
Osman Apr 05, 2012 05:49pm
age of apathy is right. as a nation we spend too much time mourning the dead and gone instead of working for the future. jinnah, bhutto, fatima, liaqat are all gone and cant help us. time to move on.
Karachishehar Apr 05, 2012 05:53pm
The only thing I care to know is if Bhutto did or did not cheat in the 1977 elections. If he did, he deserved to be hanged, although that is not what he was tried for.
Qalim Apr 05, 2012 06:08pm
Look forward to reading your take on the irony that was/is Bilawal Zardari's speech - a speech made in rural Sindh, not in Sindhi let alone Urdu, but in English by someone with the arrogance if self-entitlement based on elite lineage. I guess the majority audience now comprehends English abd Dawn sales are booming ! And they have the temerity to call themselves progressive when te psycophants claim this is the Oxford educated (perhaps Oxford standards slipped in instilling logic) blood of Sir Shahnawaz and Bhutto speaking - what do these guys have in common with the ordinary Abdul on the Pakistani street?!
Zafar Iqbal Apr 05, 2012 06:09pm
He is definitely after M. Ali Jinnah. only difference is Jinnah was founder of Pakistan and Bhutto was instrumental in its dismemberment merely for his personal rule as he could not absorb Mujib"s. Was never ready to accept any position below premiership. He was responsible for debacle of 1971 in conjunction with military dictators; please stop misguiding the youth. Accept for a moment he was a great leader; who is carrying his legacy. Is it Asif Ali Zardari. How long we will keep bearing the plunderers. Dont hesistate to appreciate author's good english and his envious family history but please dont glorify Bhutto so much. Please dont attempt to bellittle Quaid-e-Azam by comparing him with Bhutto.
Abdul Ghaffar Apr 05, 2012 06:39pm
He only knows the last P party all night.
Asad Apr 06, 2012 12:11am
Modern? We would be lucky if Pakistan even existed under his leadership.
Asad Jahandad Apr 06, 2012 12:37am
Yes, please do. We are all ears. And if you can't remember the truth, then please read the lines again.
shershahcompany@gmai Apr 06, 2012 01:43am
Dear Paracha Sahib, Great Article!! But it could have been better , if you would have included the story of " Hand Written Script" written by Zulifqar Ali Bhutto taken away from Nusrat Bhutto , once she paid a last visit to Zulifqar Ali Bhutto...According to that script Mr. Bhutto himself wrote the script about who all got him into this "Mess" and precisely giving the account of whole saga , which got him on to the ropes of death. And even the message was passed to General Zia-ul-Haq , that "There are two coffins and one grave, choose yourself who wants to go in there " , well without any further suspense this message was conveyed to Zia through the everlasting contacts of C.I.A in top Military Brass. And Zia did what anybody could have done in his place, got Bhutto strolled to the gallops of death. Even it was written in some places, that General Chistie , did kick Bhutto so badly resulting in the death of Bhutto. One wonder how come " Tara Messiah" the guy who hung Bhutto was murdered surreptitiously. Well, this story doesn't end up here.
Nasr KiKi Apr 06, 2012 01:48am
Aleck Apr 06, 2012 01:56am
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was the root cause of all that's wrong and evil in Pakistan.
Qalim Apr 07, 2012 01:47am
Perhaps Ana can cite an example of Mr. Jinnah in any language - where he was ridiculing and taunting judiciary and was playing the ethnic card in such a crass manner such as Bilawal's. Pakistani politics will probably remain a mess as long as leadership is thought to be the preserve of Ivy league/Oxbridge educated elite instead of home-grown lot who create more leaders outside of their kith and kin......elections at all levels in all political parties professing to be democratic.
sja Apr 07, 2012 12:34am
it is the word shahadat that seals it all , ask no question, get no answers, keep shouting shahadat, and shaheed and that is the logo of the party since 1978, it started with Roti, Kapra, Makaan and with ""Adha Pakistan"", and expanded to include shahadat and shaheed and then the democracy stops there, like the famous quote of US President, who once said for responsibility --- the buck stops here.
Karachishehar Apr 06, 2012 02:30am
Bhutto was a Wadera with a vision. When the Wadera and the vision collided the Wadera won. When the Wadera and the Army collided the Army won. It was the petty Wadera within that made him so arrogant that no man with any dignity could associate with him. His arrogance had left him brainless minions for followers who didn't amount to a hill of beans when the generals came after him.
Mustafa Razavi Apr 06, 2012 02:36am
Looks like Bhuttos have a lot more fans in India than in Pakistan. Never saw a posting from India against the Bhuttos. May be Bilawal should try his luck in India, they too like dynastic politics.
Mustafa Razavi Apr 06, 2012 02:42am
Too bad the followers across the border cannot vote for him. PPP garnered only 10.5 million votes in a country of 170 million and a voters list of 36 million.
Mustafa Razavi Apr 06, 2012 02:50am
Guilty should be punished, leaders or commoners. If India had punished the murderers of the Babri Masjid riots, Narinder Modi would have not murdered 10000 muslims in Gujarat.
syed Apr 06, 2012 03:16am
Any tears for Mr. Qasoori who was murdered and the court found someone responsible for that? Any tears for J.A Raheem who was beaten to the extent that he could not talk for weeks and was physically incapicatated beacuse of the broken bones? Any talk of investigating the murder of Murtaza in day light during BB's regime? Please be balanced and fair.
Almoosa Athar Apr 06, 2012 03:21am
Declaring Ahmadis non-Muslims will remain one of ZAB's biggest blunder. A blunder that led the fanatic dictator Zia to put Pakistan on the road to theocracy contrary to the wishes of the Quaid-e-Azam, Allama Iqbal and other great Pakistani leaders. You are very brave indeed to express sympathy with Ahmadi Muslims in today's Pakistan
Bill Gates Apr 06, 2012 03:33am
This is the first time I read Dawn after a decade and enjoyed it. Bhutto was very inteligent and one of the educated leader in the history of Pakistan. Wish if he was still alive, he was taking Pakistan to next level. As this article mentioned about the 3rd world summit. If it was established with Bhutto along with Indira Ghandhi and Yasar it would have made a lot a difference in middle east and south east asia. But unfornate to say that people like Zia and his created groups (Talaban) had destroyed Pakistan, people of Pakistan. Pakistan's economy, well you all can see... where it is going you can see. Pakistani Businessman are moving to Bangladesh to do Business. What else is left in Pakistan. Yah, killing of our own people. No security and cost of life is Rs.1
Bill Gates Apr 06, 2012 03:38am
What do you know about Bhutto?? Do you know that people of Balochistan want to seperate Balochistan from Pakistan?? Try blaming your own Tribes for troubles in that era. If you need information study and research than say things what you trying to say.
Peer Sain Apr 06, 2012 03:41am
It is all fine at the end of the day what is the accomplishment? His attitude and refusal to accept a fait accompli of Awami League having more seats split the country. Only Bhutto and Bhutto was responsible for this shameful surrender. That was a national shame. We can't be proud of such an achievement. Then instead of uniting the people and creating brotherhood he divided them and increased polarisation. He played the Sindhi card for narrow ends. He showed no vision of taking Pakistan to its logical Muslim glory and heights. Regionalism does not help the Muslim cause. He did not do away with land lords. The result is our parliament is still infested with land lords who make laws for their own perpetuation. The issues that affect the people are not addressed. He could have easily brought in land ceiling and done away with feudalism with one stroke as India did soon after independence thus freeing a whole nation. In Pakistan only the landlords and the sardars were freed from the bondage of law and order of the British. Tell what did Mr. Bhutto achieve? From a grander point of view nothing. But in fact harmed Pakistan more than any one else. He did not have the intellect to do something good for the people of Pakistan. Had he not forgotten why and for whom Pakistan was made he probably could have done better. Even small things he did not do. For example in Karachi, also in other cities, the cantonment which was once on the outskirts is inside the city now. Does it occur to no one that all cantonments must be moved out of the cities for their own better performance and convenience of the people. Were such things on his agenda? No. If one is slave and in awe of rich people yes you can write eulogies. Sorry I do not agree Sir with all due respect.
Bill Gates Apr 06, 2012 03:52am
At least there were no BLOODSHED. People of Pakistan are not getting killed in the middle of the road. Freedom was still there, where is the freedom now. If you think Bhuttoism is bad. What do you think about MULLAHISM, do you like that feeling?? Now a days when you go out of the house, it's 50/50 chance that you come back home alive or even coming back. Last when I visited Pakistan, I saw regular person very furstrated, scared and unsecured. At least I never felt this way when It was Bhuttoism. Ya, Bhutto made mistakes, don't you think a lot powerful leaders make mistakes?? Come on Mr. Ali, Mohammad Ali Jinnah; do you think he was a 5 time prayer person?? But he never thought Pakistan would be that scwered up as it is right now?? Do you feel secure now or when Bhutto was in power??
Peer Sain Apr 06, 2012 03:52am
@Syed You have hit the nail. The write up is too babyish. His atrocities were far t oo many. Why did he get Mr. Qasoori killed? There were so many other cases, this one came to light he got caught. Why did he supersede other generals and appoint Zia? When you break rules you pay for it. Big people should not be small minded. If only he had a large heart he would have ruled better and longer. Poor guy!
Haque Apr 06, 2012 03:59am
Butto is long gone. We must remember what was good about him. But We must also remember that he was power and hero worship hungry politician. He made huge blunders that not only cost him his life but did damage to psycic situation of country itself. There is no going back there are lots of political and moral lessons to be learned from rise and fall of Bhutto. Just like author, I saw rise of Bhutto as 24 year old. I had recently arrived from Gujarat, India and was working as an Engineer in Hyderabad. I was recent Mohajir. No matter what were the ehinic politics of that time, some how I felt welcome by Sindhis, Punjabis, Mohajir, Baloch and Pathans working in the factory. I spoke accented Urdu only and had faint idea about politics in Pakistan. However, I remember econmy of Pakistan was much much better than India. Even at that young age I was not impressed by Bhutto because to me his speeches aroused extreme passions, for as well as against. He was to me a hero of Indian movies who aroused human passion by his speeches and not by his deeds. The audience somehow know that the hero can do no wrong and he will win in the end. Somehow I could see under his leadership Pakistan moving towards disaster, I left Pakistan for USA only after five years stay. I feel guilty about my selfishness in leaving Pakistan. But as an Engineer, I knew leading an inocent nation only by emotion was not a right solution no matter how good a politician and an administrator he was. I also knew Bhutto had no real political roots other than in Sindh. Most of the people in West Pakistan got carried away because they saw Butto as lesser evil than Yahya Khan or Mujib. My time in Pakistan was really enjoyable. I fell in love with Pakistan. I stiil feel it as the homeland of Muslims of the subcontinent. I still go back to Karachi to meet my relatives. I feel sad. I am writing not to belittle Bhutto's achievement but my engineering mind tells me that Bhutto can not be included with Ginants of subcontinent's politics like Jinnah, Allama Iqubal, Liaquat Ali Khan, Gandhi, Nehru and others. His times did some good and some bad. But at the end his contribution as politician and leader of the young nation is on negative side just like fiery speakers of that time Gaddafi, Yaser, Nasar etc. Their emotional minds and hearts were very well manipulated by their opponents and taken advantage by big nation to further weaken young and incocent nations. May Allah bless Bhutto and others like him. They tried honestly but it is time for poor nations to elect practical as well as honest leaders not fiery speakers.
Guest Apr 06, 2012 04:17am
Beloved Leaders killed by "Their Own Peolple"...I think that is even worse.
Mustafa Apr 06, 2012 04:22am
Paracha! no (ill) views on tableeghi jamaat? I doubt you wrote this article...
Waqar Qureshi Apr 06, 2012 04:55am
I consider Butto Family the biggest guilty party when we talk about Pakistan's not-so-fortuanate fate for the following reasons; They had chrisma, will power, revolutionary vision and a massive mendate..all the right ingredients to bring a revulution in people's lives BUT they blew it badly. I am unable to undersatand the myth about ZAB being a great leader..Gandhi was great leader, Mohammed Ali Jinnah was great leader, not ZAB or BB they were just wanabes, who were selfish, reckless, and lacked the big heart the BIG leaders posess. ZAB's tenure gave us trouble in Blochistan, nationalization of the whole economy which was one of the fastest growing in Asia during Gen. Ayub's era, increase in crime..even Governer of punjab was involved in kidnapping of college girls, censorship of newspapers, political prisinors and political killings which ultimately was the reason of Bhutto's so-called "Political death sentence". Let me ask you NFP or other ZAB supporters this is the 3rd time that PPP govt is in power why they always talk about re-opening ZAB's judicial case but never ever tried anything further beyond uttering those shollow calims of ZAB's innosence. God Bless Pakista!
sja Apr 06, 2012 05:07am
Some people never grow with time because in their focus the old clock keeps ticking.
Aamir Apr 06, 2012 05:30am
A Good article and rightly pointed out Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to be the second most famous person in Pakistan's history after Jinnah.
sja Apr 06, 2012 05:45am
I agree with you there are two types of awarenesses --- constructive and progressive, and one regressive and indulgive. We got the type of awareness, that we are still lost in time, trying to find a lot that was promised, and still cannot be delivered or deliverable. We have yet to discover ourselves. So God help us all.
QAZI NAZIM NAEEM Apr 06, 2012 06:30am
Simply great memories shared, especially the 70 Clifton, I wish if ZAB would be alive , we would have been different today, we would have been like DUBAI, QATAR or MALAYSIA, but Alas! he was not allowed to live and his whole family was made target by the vested forces. May Allah save Pakistan. Qazi Nazim Naeem Fulbright Scholar Madison, WI USA
Usman Apr 06, 2012 06:42am
Famous or infamous? the man broke the nation and he's glorified by fools, pseudo-educated and uneducated alike. This nation will not progress until it's people end it's love affair with traitors.
Muskee Apr 06, 2012 06:56am
Amazing how much the author remembers from when he was 6-9 years old. I don't know who told him all these stories but those were tanks that caught fire not oil refineries. Couple of bombs fell in the Clifton area author makes it sound life india had bombed all of Karachi. Entire article appears to be regurgitated history. No 8 year old from that time remembers any of this.
sja Apr 06, 2012 07:06am
Nick Farahshah Apr 06, 2012 07:32am
Bhutto was a worse leader of Pakistan, whatever is happening today, him and his politics is responsible for this. In 1968, I was doing my metric in Karachi, when he arrived on his from peshawar to Karachi. Upon his arrival at Karachi can't station, I was there and was in that procession from the station to liary. At that time, I was 16 years old and I was naive like all the students of Pakistan. Bhutto was responsible for 1965 war, he was responsible for Tashkent declaration, he was responsible for the breakup of Pakistan, he was responsible for the destruction of the economy and he was civilian dictator. These so called liberals, seculars and socialist are worse enemies of pakistanis. In 1986, I was flying back to states from Karachi, a Bangladeshi was sitting next to me said that the three leaders who were involve in the destruction of Pakistan met their death violently, you people should learn a lesson from this, their whole families faced violent death and tragedies. They messed with Pakistan and ALLAH made them example like pharon.
Mustafa Moiz Apr 06, 2012 07:55am
I agree with you, except for what you have said about Zia sahib. However, I read all of Nadeem Paracha's articles on Dawn, and this was very well written.
M.Z,K Apr 06, 2012 08:00am
Buhtto was the enemy of pakistan, he was a killer. His words was pakistan need me I do not need Pakistan. The pakistani nation is paying the price for his selfish adventure of 1970. He was behind the division of the pakistan and same is the legacy of his family to rob pakistan.He was a drinker,womanizer and a killer of any one who was not aggree with him . This is the case now that all leaders of pakistan are criminal and killing their own people.
Sohail Dada Apr 06, 2012 08:22am
If Bhutto was alive today, what are the possibilities of him joining the ranks of Qaddafi, Gaffes Assad, Hosni Mubarak, Ali Saleh, Saddam Hussain and all these life long parasites. Instead of worshiping these jokers, we should read our history and look at our real heroes.
AK Apr 06, 2012 09:44am
NFP is living is selective nostalgia like many PPP stalwarts. So your daddy liked a politician. When you get to your 40s you should be able to take a critical look at dad's decisions also. There is no mention of ZAB being a martial law administrator, his role in division of Pakistan, and how started the economic downfall of Pakistan by his policy of nationalization but no land reform for pure political gains. ZAB's dream of a nation with nukes eating grass is being fulfilled by his son in law.
AK Apr 06, 2012 09:46am
Well said!
AK Apr 06, 2012 04:54am
The start of the article shows either NFP's lack of knowledge or laziness to research. "to see a number of oil refineries visible from our house" Karachi only had two oil refineries National refinery and Pakistan refinery. A few oil tanks were destroyed in the war but the refineries were not. Dawn seriously needs to replace NFP.
DanKhan Apr 06, 2012 10:30am
Finally some one to illuminate the important aspects of ZAB's regime !!! No doubt he wanted Pakistan to become powerful but at the risk its virtues and values. BB and his husband and soon their son, they all have one agenda: EAT PAKISTAN !!! Nicely written article, but he didn't highlight the reason for his death penalty !! can any mention that part here...!!?
Mustafa Razavi Apr 06, 2012 10:36am
Mujeeb and Bhutto were both executed, they both lost most of their offspring also. Indira lost her life too and all of her off spring. In fact everybody named by NFP in that photo was executed .
Karachishehar Apr 06, 2012 10:44am
No time for critical look. Being a Jiyala is a lucrative business these days. All this hunger and suicides you see on the streets, someone is stealing their bread and becoming awfully rich.
reformistani Apr 06, 2012 10:44am
Sir, aap ki kia baat hai. kia NAHEE khoobsoorat hai aap key barey mey? aap loge to paida hue hai farishte!
Truth Seeker Apr 06, 2012 11:16am
Please read the whole literature of Ahmadies which is on thousands of pages where they talk about brotherhood, unity and Love for All and Hatred for None
El Cid Apr 06, 2012 11:20am
A child's prespective and memory of what 'reality' happened. An adult's failure to weigh the complicated issues and overwhelming countervailing forces on the ground. Some of the 'facts' offered by the author are verfiably false. Others controversially untrue. Plenty of the usual unsubstantiated innuendo. Two conclusions can be drawn from this NFP article: 1. In his article NFP exposes the reason for his long time obdutrate stance with reference to Pak Army, ISI, and Pak ideology - that it was biased, predicated on his father loosing a politically granted 'largess' job - and his basis for anti-Islamic anti-Pakistan and pro-Indian communist leanings. [Please note the photo Indian planes bombing havoc on Pakistan...a heart that beats for Pakistan would select from from thousands of photos demonstrating courage and unity of the noble and brave Pakistani nation against an enemy many times its size] 2. Without fierce protection from the moderator, NFP will be exposed by reader comments that he is a liability to 'Dawn'. And other authors will have increased reader comments forcing NFP to mature or leave the field...time for stale buffoonery is surfeit for most readers,
I.A. Siddiqui Apr 06, 2012 11:22am
Can Mr. Paracha through some light on Bhutto's slogan of UDHAR TUM IDHAR HAM, paving breakup of Pakistan. Please do not try to distort History, which is well documented. Go through DAWN archives to find the role Mr. Bhutto played in breakup of Pakistan.
Jiya governance Apr 06, 2012 11:45am
Don't bother with your grand round figure statistics. Never believe that Muslims are a innocent persecuted lot.The state of Gujarat is eternally guilty, as is modi, for not taking action rioters.However your now romanticised anti-heros like ZAB have constitutionally condemned communities forever. You ould do well to imbibe the centrist approach that all ideologies in India have to adopt because of it's polity.
Mustafa M. Apr 06, 2012 11:51am
Fantastic as ever. NFP shines again.
omar Apr 06, 2012 12:24pm
...... the man single handedly derailed Pakistan's economy ...
El Cid Apr 06, 2012 12:25pm
It is called FICTION!!!
Riaz korai Apr 06, 2012 12:28pm
a nice article wake up new generation be like a zulfqar ali bhutto .... fight for ur rights and fight for right.... when i see bhutto r listen his speech my soul wake up and want to join politics and save my Pakistan and be brave like the king of PAKISTAN ZULFIQAR ALI BHUTTO
El Cid Apr 06, 2012 12:31pm
Astute observation. That photo tells a whole lot more to the knowledgable and wise. Most photos have history and drama behind them.
Ana Apr 06, 2012 01:03pm
well bhutto had many ills which was includes his nationalisation policy where he forcefully took over private industries.....but his role in breaking the country is not much..yes he dnt care about bengalis going away, he just wanted to be the pm, but he isnt the main culprit in disintegration of Pakistan
Subhash Apr 06, 2012 01:21pm
Excellent observation
Ana Apr 06, 2012 01:29pm
Quaide Azam mostly spoke in English,,,most of his speeches were made in English
Rizwan Apr 06, 2012 01:30pm
Very good article!!! But you just forget that Bhutto is the man who hurt this country more than any one else. He was the most power hungry man and the dictator in his own. Before his regime, the GDP growth rate of Pakistan was above average and the industrialization of the country was flourishing (in the country which had barely inherited any industry at the time of partition). Even the western media was admitting that Pakistan could be the next economical power by the mid 70s. The pattern of industrialization was very similar to the industrialization of today developed countries. Just to remind you that economically India was way behind than Pakistan at that point in time and the shining India story was just began in 1991. He came on the scene to save the interests of Feudals as they were foreseeing a power of businessmen growing at that time. As in future those businessmen would definitely be threatening to the power of Feudals as they would definitely demand land reforms. He save the Feudals by privatization of industries and send the country 1000 years back. These Feudals are still ruling us and rob the country. The Feudals, who are dictator in their villages as the people in their areas are still starving from basic necessities of life and can’t even take breathe with their own will, how they could be democratic leaders. In his power hunger and to become the Muslim leader as was promised by the religious leaders and Muslim conference participants, he declared Ahmadis Non-Muslims. In the end, he became the victim of that extremism the birth of which was given by him. Now the whole country is burning in the agony of that extremism.
masud Apr 06, 2012 02:14pm
Tragedy of Pakistan, people have slave like mentality. How can you blindly keep on following a person who was responsible for so many wrongs as mentioned by so many contributors. He had a golden opportunity to help poor people of Pakistan and what he did is part of history which people like NFP choose to ignore. I am no fan of Zia as he is responsible for what is going on in present Pakistan. Bhutto let all the poor people of Pakistan and diehard supporters like NFP and his father down. He could have done wonders with the support of people like NFP and many others who were prepared to do anything for him. I am aware of all the good things he did but deep down he was not a democrat and used people around him to stay on the top at any cost. In his desperate attempts to hang on to power he declared Qadiani's non Muslims not worrying about the long term effects of his action. And people like NFP and his late father still are not willing to call it a wrong decision. And I am sorry to say if NFP was old enough to ask Mr Bhutto why did he do It ? then he would have met the same fate as faced by Mr J A Raheem and so many others who were founding members of the party.
AHMET ABDULAZIZ Apr 06, 2012 02:44pm
you are correct. But i think NFP is mentioning his personal feeling as a small boy. This is what he felt.
AHMET ABDULAZIZ Apr 06, 2012 02:46pm
and perhaps the most controversial politician in pakistan history so far, particularly due to his part in dividing Pakistan.
AHMET ABDULAZIZ Apr 06, 2012 02:58pm
i am sorry but i feel that declaring Ahmedis as non-muslim has got nothing to do with extremism in pakistan. We are supposed to learn living as a human being. Everything else comes after that. The division of our society as Mohajir, sindhi, baloch, punjabi, pathan etc has got nothing to do with religion. Those who want to fill their pockets through politics, do know that the best technique is to divide and rule. So far they are more than successful.
AHMET ABDULAZIZ Apr 06, 2012 03:20pm
very correctly said
shafi Apr 06, 2012 03:32pm
And who was responsible for the plight of Ahmadies?
shafi Apr 06, 2012 03:40pm
Has everybody in Pakistan got 'Roti Kapra and Makan', ZAB' slogan and promise? Far from it.
shafi Apr 06, 2012 03:46pm
'Bhuttoism' should be rooted out!
Badal Apr 06, 2012 04:17pm
Very beautifully written. Badal Bhubaneswar, Odisha
on4swing Apr 07, 2012 03:42am
By the way who will decide who is traitor. You or Hameed Gul or Hafiz Saeed or Kamran Khan or Hamid meer or Sheikh Rasheed etc. Common................
on4swing Apr 07, 2012 03:49am
Dont worry about his english speech. atleast he knows wat he is talking about.A sensible mature young man. YES he has to prove himself. and only time will tell if he capable or not. So unfair to evalute him now.
on4swing Apr 07, 2012 03:53am
He still is an inspiration for those who think that army can be challenged, can be beaten. His name still provokes hope among those who believe in civilian control over state affairs. It is just because of him that today man like Mian Nawaz (Military’s own creation) is fighting for the democracy.I am sure if Imran became leader or PM (less likely) he will also face exile or death by the hands of his creatures
Qalim Apr 07, 2012 03:51pm
Perhaps the speech needs to be heard again - not by ethnic years but by non-partisan ears, to evaluate the content. If he is sensible and mature enough to deliver a political speech then he is rightly to be queried and evaluate for the immature and unsensible content too...if he were to deliver such a speech at OU, more likely to have had plenty of boos.......if the heat is too much, stay out of the kitchen. Whatever his other failings, Mr. Jinnah's speeches did not have an ethnic colour and he is revered as a national leader. Perhaps some may say that was his major weakness, not having any provincial base.
Qalim Apr 07, 2012 03:55pm
Lets say a 30 year old closed case is taken up at the expense of current cases - how is it going to solve the problems of ordininary people who are suffering. Specially the missing in Balochistan today.... A live issue should take priority over dead ones - indeed go trying to set the old record straight when you have more time.
Salman Apr 07, 2012 08:29am
Thank you for a wonderful article. Bhutto was not a saint everyone has their faults and Bhutto has his. He was a patriot someone who unequivocally loved this country.Some scholars have equated his struggle against tyranny (From Zia) to that of Hazart Imam Hussain. Both stood their ground for upholding truth. Bhutto could have left the country (like Nawaz did) to save his life. Bhutto brought pride back into Pakistan (after 1971) made key defence initiatives (mirage rebuild factory and the bomb) and combined the Muslim leaders in Lahore. Does anyone have these achievements. Bhutto was the one thing that brought this country to life and had genuine ideas to improve it but munafiq (hypocrite) Zia and his cronies (Moulvi Mushtaq LHC and Justice Anwar ul Haq SC) dealt a blow to Pakistan from which it is still recovering.
Salman Apr 07, 2012 08:39am
Mr Rizwan, I humbly request that you study your history. 1970 was the era of industrailzation (even the IBRD agreed it as an economic policy). All great leaders are power hungry it their passion that dictates them. Bhutto had his faults like all people. However he was not financially corrupt like other institutions, he was not a munafiq (hypocrite) and finally he did some acts like Atom bomb, Mirage rebuild factory, Kanupp and the conference. His life was ended by a judicial murder. The radical agenda of Zia and Islamizination is now paying dividends. Our involvement in Afghan war is now coming home to roost.
Salman Apr 07, 2012 08:55am
Thank you Mr Paracha. You reminded me of Pakistan that I lived during my childhood and youth years. Pakistan that I remember was a fun loving country we loved our arts and culture as long as it was within the realm of religious limits. Islam was still the core value of Pakistanis. We were never and hated extremism, Mohajor lived and married with Punjabi Phatan and Sindhi. People were tolerant to others opinion (a great Islamic value). Prior to 1977 religious based parties only made noise but never won majority seats in the house. The situation in Pakistan today was born in 1977 and developed a firm root in 1979. Zia ul Haq to gain favour (and $) took Pakistan into Afghan Jihad. Pakistan is paying the price for that. It makes me so sad that my children can not enjoy the Pakistan where I grew up.
Mr Right Apr 07, 2012 09:55am
Salaam,Dear NFP Mr Bhutto came to Ahmady Scholar and said him to give vote to him in order to get victory in elections after that he won the election he declared Ahmadis as non-muslims when Mr.Bhutto was going to be hanged he commited that this was his mistake and he committed with his fellows who was near with him at that time.........
Ahmed MJ Apr 07, 2012 06:40pm
I guess you have said it all! Ahmedis being declared as non muslims was only a political move to please a particular section of the society to win popular support. Unfortunately for Pakistan and even Mr. Bhutto himself, this backfired tremendously. This move paved way for the radicalists and religious fanatics to the extent that they took complete control of a dejected society. This same section in the form of the tyrant Zia killed Bhutto and has now taken the countfry down the path of destruction. His whole family has reaped what he sowed, being killed by the same fanatics that he cultured and nourished in order to strengthen his rule.
TS Apr 07, 2012 10:16am
But some so called religious parties only apprecaite this decision. Infact this decision was to get appreciation of Mullahs.
sja Apr 08, 2012 11:27am
You are so right. It is a matter of time, then in Punjab with a pagar he will speak PUnjabi like his father, then in Sind he will speak Sindhi and in Karachi after hearing a lot of speeches from London he will start talking URDU in Liyari, from where his father said he will be Oxford return but Liyari MNA. That is very fair evaluations. Aspirations combined with dynastical lineage makes even the elders pay heed to his debut speech wordings, see how intently, the PM got instructions for his conduct of office from the party chairperson and heir apparent in the making. With the visit to the saint homage it is all SEALED.
ghazi Apr 13, 2012 03:36am
Mr Rizwan The GDP in west Pakistan was at 7% while that of East Paksitan was at pathetically 2.4%. Ayub regime had taken the resource of the poor Bengali and invested in West Pakistan at the cost of national unity. Thats why Awami league didnt budge on the issue of currency and central bank. This was the only clause PPP and AL couldnt agree on. PPP had said to have either the central bank or the currency the same for the both wings of Paksitan. NAtionalization was a must for the economy. It brought heavy industry to the public domain.
Asif paracha Newyork Apr 23, 2012 07:10pm
way to go NPF Cool . May Allah give Uncle farooq peace in heaven
Patriotic Pakistani Jun 10, 2012 11:18am
ZA Bhutto was the biggest hypocrite in Pakistan’s history! Bhutto just had a sharp tongue and loud voice, and that is enough to hypnotize the general masses of Pakistan!! One example of Bhutto’s hypocritical politics was that he himself was one the mighty landlords in Pakistan. He introduced the so-called Land Reforms to make the people happy, but never bothered to apply that ‘ land reform’ on his own hundreds of thousands of acres! Another example of Bhutto’s hypocrisy is that he showed himself as ‘the champion of democracy’ but at the same time, he opposed the democratic win of Sheikh Mujeeb of Bengal in the election, which eventually lead the way to separation of Bengal. Moreover, the economic regression that we are now facing is also the result of Bhutto’s wrong and insane policy of ‘nationalization’. And there is much more to be told against Bhutto!! And still you people support him? Hahaha.. After all, you are the ‘’Jiyaalas’’, right?? :-)