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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

17th Martyrdom Anniversary of (Late) Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. (1996-1)

To Sir Shah Nawaz Khan Bhutto, a respected statesman, and the head of an affluent landowning family of Larkana, was born a son, on the 5th of January 1928, whose brilliance, courage, resolution and leadership qualities were destined to give legendary -dimensions to the word \"Bhutto\".
Born with a sense of destiny, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto studied Political Science, Jurisprudence and International Law in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California. He acquired his Honours degree in Political Science in 1950 from the University of California at Berkeley and his Masters degree with Honours in Jurisprudence at Christ Church College, Oxford University in 1952. Called to the Bar at Lincoln\'s Inn in 1953, he subsequently practiced as a barrister at the then West Pakistan High Court, Karachi from 1954 to 1958. In 1957 he was a member of Pak delegation to the 12th U.N. General Assembly session. In February 1958, he led his country\'s delegation to the U.N. conference on the Law of the Sea at Geneva.
His rise to national prominence and international acclaim began with his appointment as Federal Minister for Commerce in 1958. In June 1960, he was made Minister for Minority Affairs, National Reconstruction and Information. In April 1962, Fuel Power, Natural Resources and Kashmir Affairs became his domain. He was elected unopposed to the National Assembly in March 1962. Later that year he headed his country\'s delegation in the six rounds of Indo-Pak talks on Kashmir.
In January1963, he became Pakistan\'s Foreign Minister. It was in this capacity that he was destined to carve out a new future for his country on the world map. His initiation of a new policy towards China and his role in finalising the Sino-Pak agreement on the boundaries opened new frontiers for Pakistan.
He led Pak delegation to the preparatory meeting of foreign ministers for Second Afro-Asian Conference at Jakarta in April 1964. In July 1965, he attended Afro-Asian Foreign Ministers Conference in Algeria. He led his country\'s delegation to the 14th, 15th, 18th, 19th and 20th sessions of the U.N. General Assembly.
It was during and after the war with India in September 1965 that Zulfikar Au Bhutto became a symbol of the national aspirations of the people of Pakistan.
He was a member of Pakistan\'s delegation at Tashkent Conference in January 1966 and his differences with Ayub Khan led to his resignation from the government on June 22, 1966. A national hero was born.
On 30th November 1967, Zulfikar All Bhutto founded the Pakistan People\'s Party and launched his historic struggle for democracy. In September 1968, the mass movement against Ayub Khan\'s dictatorship began resulting in Z.A. Bhutto\'s arrest in November 1968.
But there was no stopping the People\'s leader now and the government was compelled to release him in February 1969. Soon after General Yahya Khan\'s martial law replaced Ayub Khan\'s dictatorship. In December 1970, the Pakistan People\'s Party, under the charismatic leadership of its founder-chairman, scored a landslide victory in the western wing of the country in the first ever general elections held on the basis of universal adult franchise.
Z.A. Bhutto contested six National Assembly seats from different parts of the country and won with an overwhelming victory in five of them. In the following year, he watched helplessly the tragic consequences of General Yahya Khan\'s military action in East Pakistan. On December 7,1971 during the lndo-Pak war he was made Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister to lead his country\'s delegation to the Security Council. On December 20, 1971, he took over as Pakistan\'s President and Chief Martial Law Administrator, to revive the nation from the shock of the tragic dismemberment of the country. He became a symbol of hope.
On January 7, 1972, he released Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rahman. The National Assembly was inaugurated by him on April 21,1972. Through a unanimous vote of confidence, he was elected as President.
The martial law was lifted and an interim constitution was introduced.
As President, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto held the portfolios of Defence and Foreign Affairs which remained with him till the end. From June28 to July 3, 1972 he was on a state visit to India and held talks at Simla with Mrs. Indra Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India. As a result of the Simla agreement, Pakistan regained control of over 5000 square miles ost territory of I.
Over 93,000 P.O.W\'s were also repatriated.
On April 10, 1973, LA. Bhutto gave to the country a unanimously accepted constitution, under which he was to be sworn in as Prime Minister on August 14, 1973.
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had always been inspired by a Grand Vision of Muslim renaissance Forging of ever closer fraternal ties between Pakistan and other Islamic States had been the guiding principle of his Government\'s policy. His efforts in this direction took him one of the highest points in his career; he first convened and organized and then presided over the Second Islamic Summit Conference at Lahore from 22 to 24 February, 1974.
This Summit was an epoch-making event in the history of Islam. Never before had such a galaxy of Heads of State, Prime Ministers and other Muslim dignitaries congregated and conferred. The Summit, which represented the Muslim World, constituting nearly one-fifth of the human race.
Resolved to pursue commonly accepted goals. The scope and area of action were greatly broadened when two momentous moves were made. The first was the significant resolve in the Declaration of Lahore to devise ways and means of eradicating poverty, ignorance and disease from the Islamic world.
The second major decision was to identify the Muslim world with the Third World and its struggle for social ~ progress and economic justice.
He was committed to the cause of establishing a new socio-economic order to ensure justice and equality in the society. His dynamic and courageous actions and sweeping reforms in the fields of industry, commerce, education, health and administration did not endear him to those who had established unjust monopolies in the past. Bhuttos dream of making Pakistan a heaven of socio-economic justice was shared by millions of his dispossessed followers who had adoringly conferred upon him the title of Quaid-e-Awam.
Z.A. Bhutto was determined to lead Pakistan upto a prosperous and progressive Muslim State, the citizens of which should live with dignity and honour. Self-sufficiency in technology was one of his top priorities. Kamra, HFF and HMC units at Taxila and his emphasis on development of nuclear capability were all but a few indicatives of the direction that he was so determined to lead his country to.
His resolute drive towards a glorious future for Pakistan was abruptly cut short on July 5, 1977. The Leader of the masses was arrested in September 1977 on murder charge. Released on bail, he was re arrested in October1977. On March 18,1978 he was sentenced to death by the Punjab High Court bench during the Martial Law regime of General Ziaul Haq.
The appeal against this judgement was dismissed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan on March 24,1979.
On April 4,1979 the whole world learnt with a sense of utter shock that the ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan, the beloved leader of its masses, the maker of its constitution, the outstanding statesman of the Third World, had been hanged to death.
But Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is not dead.
He lives in the souls of the people of Pakistan, throbs in their hearts and urges them on and on towards the future he had dreamt of.
Shaheed never die!
To commemorate the 17th Martyrdom Anniversary of (Late) Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan Post is issuing two commemorative postage stamps of Rs. 1.25 and Rs. 4/- and a souvenir sheet of Rs. 8/- on April 4,1996.