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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Nation commemorates 12th death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto

Nation is paying rich tribute to Benazir Bhutto, the titular head of Pakistan People’s Party, after Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. On her 12th death anniversary, her advocates anticipates the course of Pakistan’s politics had been much different today had she been alive to lead democracy in the country.

The nation is commemorating the legacy of the charismatic leader Benazir Bhutto on her 12th death anniversary today on 27th December.

Benazir Bhutto breathed her last at the age of 54 on 27th December in 2007 following an attack on her during a public rally in Liaqat Bagh, Rawalpindi. Little did she know that it would be the last of many of her sturdy speeches in her dynamic political career.

The beleaguered Pakistan People’s Party is bracing up for a massive flex at the Liaqat Bagh, Rawalpindi today, led by BB’s heir, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at the infamous Liaquat Bagh – the same place where Pakistan’s first prime minister, Liaqat Ali Khan was also assassinated. PPP’s rally at Liaqat Bagh is set to evoke poignant memories of a fateful evening of 27th December.

Read more: Benazir Bhutto: A Phoenix that rose from Ashes

Caravans of party workers flocked in Rawalpindi from across the country to participate in the demonstration. While Bilawal Bhutto will deliver a fiery speech at the Liaqat Bagh, Bhutto’s daughter Aseefa Bhutto will lead the mourners and advocates at Garhi Khuda Bux, along with the recently released leader, Faryal Talpur.

The day commenced with a recitation from the Holy Quran at her grave, followed by the distribution of free food among the participants.

Foolproof security arrangements have been made for the day. People will be checked through CCTV cameras, walk-through gates, and metal detectors. Special Commando Force, Policewomen, Traffic police are deployed for the smooth flow of the traffic. The large screens have been set at the premises to watch the PPP’s chairman address.

Chairman PPP released a touching message on the eve of his mother’s death anniversary. He hailed her nerve-wracking fight against a bevy of detractors at a young age despite being distraught by the execution of her late father and popular leader, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

“She led the followers of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto into an untiring struggle against the brutal tyrant in the shape of Zia. She suffered solitary confinement, imprisonments and forced exiles while fighting for the restoration of democracy,” said Bilawal Bhutto.

Turbulent political career

Social media is also exuding veneration for the PPP’s slain leader Benazir Bhutto marking her an insignia of women empowerment and champion of democracy against repugnant dictatorship.

Benazir Bhutto, the firstborn child of Zulfikar Bhutto, in her twenties was the only family member besides her mother Nusrat Bhutto, to meet Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, hours before his execution in 1979. His execution marked the beginning of her rocky political career.

She endured house arrests from 1979-1984 and then went in exile from 1984 to 1986, before returning to Pakistan following the lift of martial law.

Aspiring to join foreign services for Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto was thrust into the mainstream politics of Pakistan to ascend to the highest serving office of premiership at the age of 35 in 1988 to become Pakistan’s first female Muslim Prime Minister.

Stymied by controversies, ploys, and smears, her detractors left no stone unturned to hound her, often stooping to the point of her character assassination. Encircled by conspiracies, her nascent government was toppled in 1990. Her leading detractor, Nawaz Sharif from PML-N, took the premiership.

Jeered with phrases like ‘Yellow Taxi’ by opponents in the parliament, Benazir was often left disheartened and broken.

Read more: A Memory of Greatness: Benazir Bhutto’s at UNGA Addressing Kashmir Issue

During these tough years, she also gave birth to her three children, while her husband Asif Ali Zardari was incarcerated on corruption charges. She once again assumed the premiership from 1993 to 1996.

An articulate student, she held academic degrees of B.A in philosophy, political science, and economics from the University of Oxford. She was also the first Muslim female President and second non-British President of Oxford Union.

While people complain that she did little work for the betterment of the barefoot and downtrodden masses of the society, her advocates attributed her failure to the non-democratic forces and detractors for obstructing the progress of her government.