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Sunday, June 14, 2009

1st Martyrdom Anniversary Of Mohtrma Benazir Bhutto.(2008-5)

1. Twice elected ex-Prime Minister Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was martyred in an extremely brutal incident on 27th December, 2007 at Liaqat National Bagh Rawalpindi, while she was campaigning ahead of general elections scheduled for January 2008. She breathed her last at 18:16 local time (13:16 UTC). At least 23 other people were also killed in the same incident. Shortly after her return from exile two months earlier, she had survived a similar attempt on her life that killed at least 139 people. 2. Born in Karachi on June 21,1953, Mohtarma completed her early schooling in Pakistan. She was later educated at Radeliff College and at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. While at Oxford she became the first non-British woman to be elected President of the Oxford Union, the University\'s prestigious debating team and was this included in the list of outstanding international leaders who achieved this distinction in their student days. In 1977, she completed Oxford\'s diploma course in International Law and Diplomacy and returned to Pakistan. From July, 1977 to 1988 as a leader of the Pakistan People\'s Party, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed waged a relentless exemplary struggle for the restoration of democracy in the country. She was imprisoned for long years and witnessed the trauma of the hanging of her illustrious father in April 1979 and the mysterious death of her younger brother, Mir Shahnawaz Bhutto before being exiled. 3. She faced the oppression with courage and determination, was arrested nine times and held in detention or in prison for more than five years. The dictatorial regime\'s response to the call for the restoration of democracy was a sustained period of repression and the arrest of political leaders, Including Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed, who was imprisoned in March 1981. She remained in detention until January 1984, when due to serious health problems she was obliged to seek medical treatment in the United Kingdom. Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed became an international symbol as she led the fight for the restoration of democracy in Pakistan from her prison cell.She played a key-role in the formation of nine-Party alliance for the restoration of democracy in 1981 called (MRD). The alliance mobilized the people to put pressure on the Government of General Zia-uI-Haq to hold elections in the country and hand over power to the Representatives of the people.4. From exile, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed continued to guide and lead the political movement against the military regime in Pakistan. Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed also played a significant role in espousing the cause of restoration of democracy at various international forums. She returned to Pakistan in April 1986. The reception given to her on her arrival in Lahore from exile was unmatched in the history of Pakistan.5. The turning point in the country\'s political set up came with the death of General Zia-ul-Haq in a plane crash in August 1988. General election were held in Pakistan on November 16, 1988. The Pakistan People\'s Party won majority of seats in the National Assembly and Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was invited by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan to form government. Declafring that \"Democracy was the best revenge\" she decided to guide people from anarchy to the management to democracy. She acted forcefully to restore constitutional freedoms. She lift the ban on student\'s and trade unions imposed under the military dictatorship, immediately restored freedom of the press and agreed to separation of the Judiciary from the executive. She also decided to restructure the PPP. Her objective was to strengthen the channels of communications and consultation process at gross-root level and to involve party cadres in the decision-making process.6. Although, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed became Prime Minister of Pakistan with popular vote and mandate to serve the people for full tenure, her stay was made difficult through back- door intrigues, silhouettes of dictatorship and martial law which continued to cast shadows over the nascent democratic system. On August 6, 1990, after having been in office for less than half of her tenure, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan dismissed her Government unconstitutionally and called for fresh elections.7. While ensuring that her party should not return to power, the President and Caretaker Prime minister filed a series of references against Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed. Her husband, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari was arrested and imprisoned on number of trumped up charges of which, none could be proved.8. On October 19, 1993, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed, was again sworn in as Prime Minister after success of her Party in general elections. This time also her government was dismissed by President Mr. Farooq Laghari. False charges were framed against her government and Mr. Asif Ali Zardari to keep her out of power. She was made to leave Pakistan again and exiled to Dubai where from she continued her struggle for the restoration of democracy.9. As a result of continued dialogue, meetings, speeches and articles published in western and Pakistan media, she succeeded in convincing the leaders of the world and Pakistan for holding of fair and free elections under civilian President and withdrawal of all the court cases registered for political victimization.10. Consequently she arrived in Pakistan on October 18th 2007, She was accorded a warm welcome at Karachi which was demonstration of self less dedication. As the procession reached near Karsaz two successive bomb blasts took place. Though, several political workers were martyred and injured but due to the human shield arranged by the workers of PPP she was saved. The event could not coerce her and she continued to address the election rallies all over the country without any fear, till the last day of her life.11. Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed is the author of three books Foreign Policy in Perspective (1978), Daughter of the east (1988) and Reconciliation published after her death.To commemorate the 1st martyrdom Anniversary of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed, Pakistan Post is issuing commemorative postage stamp Rs. 4/- and Souvenir Sheet Rs. 20/- on December 27, 2008.