By Ilyas Hasan Choudry, MMNS
Houston â€“ Texas â€“ USA
When she was alive, Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto had many critics – When she is no more, those same critics are feeling sad the way she left: assassinated by a suicide bomber, where unfortunately BB and twenty other Pakistanis died. Previously BB was famously known as daughter of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, but with this assassination BB has left behind her own legacy leaving the world right after an electioneering public speech.
Majority of Pakistanis have been devastated not only thinking about the sad circumstances, but also the thought that if their countryâ€™s administration is unable to provide proper security to a former PM, how about security for general public? Life is indeed in the Hand of Allah SWT, but still people are asking has the life become that cheap in Pakistan?
This assassination happened a day after Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf met Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai. Although this meeting has no link with her assignation, it is important to note that on the wake of this meeting of the two Presidents, Independent News Media like â€œDemocracy Now of Amy Goodmanâ€ was reporting that within few months into 2008, U.S. Forces will expand their presence in Pakistan and start to train people in the tribal areas to fight extremist elements. Same reports suggested that U.S. Administration is not happy about the way $8 Billions given to Pakistan to combat terrorism were instead allegedly used by Pakistani Military to prepare weapons for any future war with India.
With all these above things slowly emerging in the news media and Benazir Bhutto, famously known as BB, clearly returned to Pakistan with welcome applause from U.S. Administration (meaning she had the support of U.S. with her); as such a lot was and also would have got at stake, once BBâ€™s PPPP would have been elected as the largest party in the then Elections January 08 â€“ 2008. With this background, after Elections of January 08 â€“ 2008, if BB would have started to raise these issues, it would have become extremely inconvenient for Musharraf.
After General Zia-ul-Haqâ€™s assassination, General Aslam Baig became Army Chief and he is on record to have said he created the political alliance of Islamic Jamhoori Itehad (IJI) against PPP, which shows how Pakistani Army and its senior officials do not like PPP (may be this goes back to early 1970s when Pakistan lost East Pakistan as Bangladesh).
Not only Pakistani Army and Musharraf as President of Pakistan were feeling uneasy with the thoughts of BB as Prime Minister, but political allies of Musharraf like Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q-Group) and Muttaihidah Qaumi Movement (MQM) were having nightmares just thinking they may have to sit with PM BB: Very prominent elements in PML-Q-Group have personal hatred for BB, while MQM says many of their workers were killed during and by BB Government Administration.
The interesting thing is that not only these above three or four entities were not in support of BB as PM, but AL-Qaeda elements were also against her especially after it became clear to them that she was somehow going to implement U.S. Government Agenda in Pakistan. BB used to say she is the mother of Talebans and that is some what true, since the time BB became PM twice in late 1980s and early 1990s, that was the time when Afghani people were abandoned by USA and the West and that was the time, when Government of Pakistan was one of the very few assisting the Afghanis.
Now that she is no more, although people will be feeling sadness, but at the same times what many feared as mentioned above for the time being is no more there.
Making a cursory look at her 54 years life, Benazir Bhutto (BB) was daughter of one of the most dynamic Prime Ministers of Pakistan Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. He was famous for his courageous remarks against the powers of the world: Once as Pakistani Representative in 1960s at the United Nations, he torn the papers in his hands and threw down the mic during a Security Council Meeting saying what is the use of having this fake orchestrated U.N. and then left the other countryâ€™s representative in the chamber dumbfounded. He later on went all the way to India and got thousands of captive Pakistan Army Soldiers freed by the Indians. Then with the 1974 Lahoreâ€™s Islamic Summit, he brought the Muslim World most nearer to each other for the first time after the abrogation of Muslim Khalifah in 1920s. But none of these things meant anything, when it came to his death sentence under General Zia-ul-Haq after a close decision of Pakistani Court.
Earlier the first Prime Minister of Pakistan Liaqat Ali Khan got assassinated in the same Public Park of Rawalpindi, where BB got killed, while her Brother Shahnawaz Bhutto was killed in France in suspicious circumstances and another Brother Mir Murtaza Bhutto during BBâ€™s own Government got shot and killed by unknown persons in 1996.
BB became the first Muslim PM in the history of the world. She was sworn in for the first time in 1988, but removed from office 20 months later under orders of then-President Ghulam Ishaq Khan on grounds of alleged corruption. In 1993 Bhutto was re-elected but was again removed in 1996 on similar charges, this time by President Farooq Leghari (who interestingly used to be from her own PPPP). Bhutto went into self-imposed exile in Dubai in 1998, where she remained until she returned to Pakistan on October 18, 2007, after reaching an understanding with General Musharraf by which she was granted amnesty and all corruption charges were withdrawn.
So like her father and brother, fifty four years old BB has been assassinated and like her father and brother it seems killed by people of her own nation 9 days after her 20th wedding anniversary. She has left behind in Dubai an ailing 78 years old mother Nusrat Bhutto, in Manhattan in poor health 51 years old husband Asif Ali Zardari, in Dubai three children (Bilawal, Bakhtawar & Asifa) and a shell-shocked PPPP.
May Allah SWT Gives Strength to her family to bear this immense loss and May Allah SWT Forgives her short-comings (Aameen).