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Thursday, June 11, 2009

55th Birthday Celebration of Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto.(2008-2)

The Muslim World's first elected Prime Minister Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was born on June 21, 1953 in Karachi to Pakistan\'s most prominent political family. She is the daughter of Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and the granddaughter of Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto, also a former Prime Minister. The Bhutto family played a critical part in the struggle for the independence of Pakistan and acclaimed worldwide for opposing dictatorship and oppression.Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto studied at Harvard University in the U.S. from where she received an honorary doctorate. She also studied at Oxford University where she is an Honorary Fellow of her Colleges.She was baptized in the fire of politics when her father\'s government was overthrown in a military coup in 1977. She spent many years in jail mostly in solitary confinement.First elected Prime Minister at the age of 35, the youngest ever elected Prime Minister in 1988. Shaheed Benazir Bhutto has been a living icon of the battle for democracy. She is the first female Prime Minister in the Muslim Nation.She also suffered great personal tragedies when her two brothers were killed following the judicial murder of her Father in 1985 and in 1996.Committed to the social emancipation of her people. Benazir Bhutto eradicated illiteracy by one third in her country, eliminated polio at a time when one child in five born world wide with polio was a Pakistani, brought electricity to the poor rural villages of her country, supported women\'s rights and hired an army of fifty thousand women to reduce infant mortality and help with population control. Her government introduced the digital world in Pakistan through the laying of optic fiber network in Pakistan as early as 1988.Bhutto\'s persecution began in earnest after the dismissal of her father\'s government in 1977 and his execution in 1979 as she intensified her denunciations of Zia and sought to organize a political movement against him. She has described the hellish conditions of her incarceration in her wall less cage in \"Daughter of Destiny\" thus:\"The summer heat turned my cell into an oven. My skin split and peeled coming off my hands in sheets. Boils erupted on my face. My hear which had always been thick, began to come out by the handful. Insects crept into the cell like invading armies. Grasshoppers mosquitoes, stinging flies, bees and bugs came up through the cracks in the floor and through the open bars from the courtyard. Big black ants, Cockroaches, seething clumps of little red ants and spiders. I tried pulling the sheet over my head at night to hide from their bites pushing it back when it got too hot to breathe\".General Zia\'s death in a mysterious airplane crash in August of 1988 instantly thrust Bhutto to political center stage. In November, she led the PPP to victory in the first free Pakistani elections in eleven years. Sworn into office as Prime Minister the following month. Bhutto acted quickly to release Zia\'s political prisoners and guaranteed basic civil and political freedom.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 elelctions. To ensure that her party would not return to power, the President and the Caretaker Prime Minister filed a series of references against Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. Her husband, Mr Asif Ali Zardari was arrested and imprisoned on number of trumped up charges, however none of the charges could be proved.On October 19, 1993, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was again sworn in as Prime Minister after her Party won in general elections. Once again, however, the President Mr. Farooq Leghari dismissed her government in November 1996. Once again false charges were framed against her government and Mr. Asif Ali Zardari to keep her out of power. She was forced to live in exile in Dubai from where she continued the great fight for democracy even as she was chased and hounded from court to court in Pakistan and abroad.As a result of her relentless struggle she succeeded in convincing the leaders of the world and Pakistan for holding fair and free elections under the civilian President and withdrawal of all the court cases instituted on political basis.After eight years in exile she returned to Pakistan on October 18th 2007 to a tumultuous welcome. Her convoy was, however, attacked near Karsaz in Karachi. killing 179 people and injuring several hundred but she escaped miraculously because of the ring of dedicated Party workers around her. Defiant, she refused to give in and continued with the campaign for democracy and free and fair elections.On 27th December 2007 she addressed an election rally at Liaquat Bagh Rawalpindi. After addressing the rally she was overwhelmed by vast welcoming multitudes that had thronged outside the venue to greet her. As soon as she popped out of the sunroof of the vehicle to respond to the cheering crowd she was mysteriously hit in the head and died.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.An enduring legacy of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto is her vision of peace in the region for which she and the PPP were dubbed as \"Security Risk\". She lived to see the same establishment that has been opposing normalization of relations with India finally taking a leaf from her philosophy and starting process of dialogue for normalization of relations and peace in the region.She has been mentioned as \"The world\'s most popular politician\" in the New Guinness Book of Record 1996.The \"Times\" and the \"Australian Magazine\" (May 4, 1996) have drawn up a list of \"The World\'s 100 most powerful women\" and have included Benazir Bhutto as one of themTo commemorate the 55th Birthday celebrations of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto (Shaheed), Pakistan Post is issuing two commemorative postage stamps of Rs. 4/- and Rs. 5/- denomination and a Souvenir sheet of Rs. 20/- on June 21, 2008