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Thursday, February 15, 2024

THROWBACK: Murtaza Bhutto rails against ‘looting’ of country under PPP

An old video of Murtaza Bhutto's 'jalsa' has resurfaced on twitter in which he can be found saying that the PPP government is looting the country

An old video of a Murtaza Bhutto ‘Jalsa’ has resurfaced on Twitter in which he is found saying that, “There is only one reason that this government (talking about PPP’s government 1993-1996) has come into power, to loot, to loot the rice, the wheat, the zakat.”


The post was put on Twitter by @KhurramDehwar; he went on to say that, “Begum Nusrat Bhutto is seen here clapping the fact that Benazir & Zardari’s only objective in gaining power is to loot the people & make themselves wealthy Murtaza Bhutto warned people of Pakistan against voting for PPP & Begum. Nusrat Bhutto was kicked out of PPP by Benazir Bhutto.”

The unresolved case of Murtaza Bhutto’s death

Murtaza Bhutto the eldest son of the late Prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, was killed in a dubious police encounter on 20 September 1996. The case has never been resolved and no one ever punished.

The falling out of Murtaza Bhutto, his sister Benazir and her husband Asif Ali Zardari, became very public knowledge by the end of Murtaza’s life.

In an interview published in the Herald in 1994 he describes why he felt distanced from Benazir and Zardari, “Earlier, there were constant questions as to whether there were any differences between me and Zardari. There were no personal differences. I had only met him twice and had not developed any relationship with him.

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But as events occurred, I realized to what extent he and his group have hijacked the party. That is when political differences arose. We do not want cronies, we want democracy in the party. We felt that the party had gone through a long struggle and many deserving people were not given tickets for the October elections.

Those who had struggled for the party deserved to sit in the assembly. But they were superseded by Zardari’s cronies. Party funds were usurped, these had to be accounted for. These political differences became more pronounced as time passed.”

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About Benazir, he had said in the interview, “I am finding it more and more difficult to differentiate between the two. Either she wholeheartedly endorses the misdeeds going on within party ranks or she does not have a say in running the party. In either case, she has made herself the chairperson of the party, she has to take the ultimate blame and responsibility.”

Murtaza also repeatedly said that the PPP headed by Benazir and Zardari was not the party of his father on multiple occasions, in this interview he said, “The party that has emerged now has no resemblance to the party that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto founded, neither in principle nor in politics. The party ideology has been watered down. All sorts of adventurers and muckrakers have been brought into its ranks.”

He had further in the interview said that the party was not a democratic institution anymore, it ran on the orders of ‘Mohtarma’ and Zardari and not through mutual consultation.

In 1996, 20th September, Murtaza was shot outside his house in a ‘police encounter.’ His daughter, Fatima Bhutto in her book, Songs of Sword and Blood writes how she in the aftermath of the shooting, not knowing that her father had been shot yet, called her aunt, Benazir Bhutto, and describes a bizarre series of events that followed.

“The music on the other end of the line was soon interrupted by a click and a silence. ‘Hello? Wadi?’ I said, calling my aunt the name only I used for her. ‘No, she can’t come to the phone right now,’ came the reply. It was Zardari. It was no secret that none of us in the family liked Asif Zardari, my aunt’s oleaginous husband. On the few social occasions where I saw him, we shared nothing other than a cursory hello. ‘I need to speak to my aunt,’ I said tersely, not wanting to speak to Zardari. ‘You can’t,’ he replied, equally brusque. ‘It’s very important, I need to speak with her now.’ ‘She can’t come to the phone right now,’ Zardari replied.

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‘It’s very important and I don’t want to talk to you, I need to talk to her,’ I insisted, my voice quickening. I had wasted enough time on this phone call already. ‘She can’t speak, she’s hysterical,’ Zardari replied. As if on cue, there was a loud wailing sound in the background. It had been quiet before, with no indication that anyone was in the room with Zardari, and all of a sudden there was an almost desperate crying shattering the silence. ‘What? No, I have to speak with her, please put her on the phone,’ I continued, growing confused at what seemed like a theatrical attempt to keep me from talking to the one person who was in charge. ‘Oh, don’t you know?’ Zardari responded. ‘Your father’s been shot.’”

Murtaza Bhutto’s murder has never been resolved with multiple people, including Murtaza’s wife Ghinwa Bhutto, blaming the government at the time. Asif Zardari Co-Chairperson of the PPP was arrested as a suspect but let go on a lack of evidence.

GVS News Desk