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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

NA passed resolution seeks overturning of Bhutto’s Conviction

The resolution called for the annulment of the unjust verdict in the Bhutto case.

On Wednesday, the National Assembly unanimously passed a resolution urging the reversal of the death penalty imposed on Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the former Prime Minister and founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). This decision follows a recent ruling by the Supreme Court which determined that Bhutto, who was executed 44 years ago for murder, did not receive a fair trial.

In 1979, Bhutto was hanged following a trial conducted under the military regime of late General Zia-ul-Haq. Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa stated, “We found that the requirements of a fair trial and due process were not met.” The ruling came after President Asif Ali Zardari, during his presidency in 2011, submitted a judicial reference to seek the court’s opinion on revisiting Bhutto’s death sentence.

Except for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly, where the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) holds power, all three provincial assemblies and the Senate have passed resolutions honoring Bhutto as a national hero and martyr.

The resolution, introduced by PPP’s Shazia Marri in today’s National Assembly session, condemned Bhutto’s trial and conviction as a “gross miscarriage of justice.” It paid tribute to the efforts of Begum Nusrat Bhutto Sahiba, Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, and PPP workers who sacrificed their lives to establish this truth.

Verdict must be annulled 

Furthermore, the National Assembly commended President Zardari’s persistence in filing the presidential reference to reopen the case 12 years ago, as well as PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s unwavering pursuit of justice.

The resolution praised the Supreme Court for acknowledging the injustice done to Bhutto 44 years ago, noting that the trial proceedings in the Lahore High Court and the subsequent appeal in the Supreme Court failed to uphold the principles of a fair trial and due process.

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In light of this historic judgment, the resolution called for the annulment of the unjust verdict in the Bhutto case. Additionally, it urged the federal government to officially recognize Bhutto as a “shaheed” and “National Democratic Hero,” and to institute the “Nishan-e-Zulfikar Ali Bhutto” award to honor individuals who have fought and sacrificed for genuine democracy in Pakistan.