Remembering Daughter of East, On Her 13th Death Anniversary

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Kamran Khamiso Khowaja   
(Parliament Times): Daughter of a Brave Father and Leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto laid down her life like her father to let democracy prevail in a country where the curse of totalitarianism had usurped the rights of people. She emerged as the leader of poor masses when they had lost hope, after eleven long years of despotism, autocracy, and tyranny. That decade of hopelessness and iron hand rule had badly dented the administrative structure and political setup of the country. The young Benazir accompanied his father at the ceremony of the historical similar agreement as a daughter she must have learned the tricks of maintaining diplomatic relations, from his father, who was probably one of the foremost diplomats Pakistan has ever had. As a leader, she was brave, audacious, courageous, intuitive, and more importantly attached with her people. On the other hand, she also faced severe criticism from her opponents who were against her political existence. They kept alleging her of being “Western” throughout her political career because of her modern and rational approach towards politics. She did not choose this path but the path chose her because she committed to carrying her father,s legacy so she followed him too. Those who were at the peak of their lives in the late 70s and early 80s would have tested the tyranny of General Zia who,s sole aim of life after the assassination of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was to put hurdles in the way of Benazir so that she can not achieve her ultimate goal that was to make Pakistan Peoples Party a political for again.

A bid of her assassination was also made. After Zia had perished everybody would have thought that it was now going to be all easy and facile for her but a less severe and more challenging period of her political Journey started. On 2 December 1988 she became the first woman to hold the office of Prime Minister in a Muslim country, but could, not last long in that office and her government was dismissed after two years by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan. The role of Nawaz Sharif, her political rival was also instrumental in her dismissal from the office.  During that brief tenure, she lifted bans from trade unions and also gave independence to the media. Because her rival was Chief executive of the biggest province of the country so it became for her to introduce any uniform method or policy for the country In 1993 She again rose to the office of Prime minister but this time with a weak majority. During that second term, she attempted to resolve the economic crisis and tried to form a steady foreign policy. She was also optimistic about resolving the issue of unemployment in the country. Benazir who had been facing tragedies and deceptions throughout her political journey was stuck by another perfidy when her most trusted ally who also was near to her father, Mr. Farooq Laghari the then President of Pakistan dismissed her government using the same sword of article 58( 2 b) She remained under house arrest imprisonment and suffered acute torture and persecution, despite all these hardships and austerities she always believed that democracy is the best revenge On 27th of December in the year 2007 she embraced martyrdom in the same city Rawalpindi where her father was hanged. I would like to conclude with the words of Hameed Alwani who assisted her during her days of exile; ” People say that democracy in Pakistan is shambling but even that shambling democracy is just because of Mohtramma BB Shaheed,s oblations”.

-The writer is a  Law Student and Columnist  based in Sujawal.