BENAZIR BHUTTO !!!!!!!!!
A tribute to "a women of tremendous courage and a symbol of freedom in tumultuous times."
Today we are celebrating Benazir Bhutto’s birthday, born in 1953 and murdered in 2007 by fanatics supported by cronies of Mush regime and Remnant of cruel dictator Zia era. Benazir Bhutto, Her name, which translates to the “One without equal” signifies and trails her uniqueness. She had gone to university at the age of 16 and had emerged from Harvard University with startling distinctions, having earned a Cum laude degree in Comparative Government. Benazir was a true leader. A woman of heart, a woman of mind, a person driven by the courage and passion of heart to maintain democracy as a way of life on this globe and to defeat those determined to take the liberties of democracy away and to keep those liberties from those who have never known such freedoms of thought and the dreams associated with democracy. To millions of her supporters she was a brave daughter of a brave father who died while fighting for democracy and self-rule. To them she was a woman of unflinching determination who returned to Pakistan to reclaim what rightfully belongs to the people of Pakistan. Benazir was, by all accounts, a devoted patriot, a loyal friend and a loving mother. Benazir Bhutto was a woman of immense personal courage and bravery. Knowing the threats to her life she risked everything in her attempt to win democracy in Pakistan. She would be remembered for her long struggle for return of democracy in Pakistan. Forced reluctantly in to politics by her circumstances, she proved better than what her father could have ever hoped for. She led the persecuted family in the aftermath of her father's assassination, Spent five precious years of her youth in the jail. She saw two younger brothers killed. To the end she looked after an old heart-broken mother. She traveled vast distances battling for her country, party, and family. In between she even found time to raise a family and check the home work of her kids,drop her son at the moque for Friday prayer in Dubai. She persuaded Musharraf to give up military position. From the Sindhi haris to the Western politicians she could hold forth before anyone. She had become the most seasoned and wise leaders of not just the country but the world beyond as well. She had become the symbol of promise that this wretched land of ours holds. But she was not to be forgiven one small discretion of standing up to respond to her enthusiastic supporters from the safety of her transport. But then as Ali, the cousin of the Prophet and husband of Ummay Abeeha has said, "I found my creator in my broken resolve" and "Death is a man's greatest lifeguard". It is amazing that even under such trying circumstances, she stayed strong and fought for what she believed in. It takes a tremendous amount of inner strength to spread your message and fight for what you believe in when you know that you are in danger. I think that Ms. Bhutto showed us the definition of a leader. It is so hard to believe that this amazing woman's life has ended. Her death came too sudden and unexpected. Today is her birthday, a birth day of a legend, who promised her father in his death cell that she will continue his mission .Its getting hard for me to write this on her birthday. My heart ‘wept’ in shock the moment I saw the newsflash of Benazir Bhutto’s violent death. Who could have thought that her departure would come so soon? I always thought that nothing would happen to her. She will remain safe. No harm will be inflicted on her. Even the day and the time when the news came that she is injured, it did not cross my mind that any fatal harm could be done to her. We always saw her hail and hearty, fighting and surviving. For eleven long years she fought for her honor. She fought for her lost respect. For eleven long years she was the subject of a malicious campaign. Not a day would pass by when a "cock and bull" story would not adorn the front page of a newspaper. Today she is no longer with us, but her absence will always be missed forever. History will remember her as a great leader and as the only Muslim woman leader, who stood the tests of time, who never betrayed the trust of the people and who accepted every challenge that life threw at her. What is the difference between a politician and a leader? A politician asks for sacrifices, a leader gives one. She gave the ultimate sacrifice for her nation. One does not need power to be a leader. A leader needs followers, and she had plenty of them, even when out of power. How many prime ministers, presidents and generals can claim that? Power does not make leaders. History and followers do. She was brave and courageous then her male counterparts and coward opponents, determined to succeed and deliver the agenda of moderation and reform, she had the drive to put Pakistan onto the right track. Far bolder than any male leader, she told the Afghan president hours before her tragic assassination on December 27 that "life and death is in the hands of Allah, and that is why I have the courage to stare in the eyes of death without any fear",just like her great and brave father Z A BHUTTO, who refused to bow his head in front of dictator Zia. Her sophistication and diplomacy established a large network of friends and admirers around the world. At the World Political Forum in Italy in 2003, when she walked into the conference hall, almost forty world leaders stood up and applauded her, was not that an honor for Pakistan and Muslim World? She would stop a conversation or an activity just by walking into a room. She lectured regularly at universities globally where she would dazzle a large audience, In the preceding decade of political struggle, Ms. Bhutto was arrested on numerous occasions; in all she spent nearly 6 years either in prison or under detention for her dedicated leadership of the then opposition Pakistan Peoples Party, while her one political opponent couldn’t stay in jail for a year and ran to Saudi Arabia by making a deal with General Mush. Throughout the years in opposition, she pledged to transform Pakistani society by focusing attention on programs for health, social welfare and education for the underprivileged. Benazir was God’s gift to Pakistan. A brave woman who knew no fear and wanted for her country and its children things that all civilized world cherishes; food, clothing ,housing ,education and a future. She saw the evil of religious extremism for what it is; a self defeating disease and was not afraid to define it and fight it. Despite the controversies, which may never be resolved, her accomplishments as a woman in a Moslem society are remarkable. To many Pakistanis, she was a leader who spoke for them, their needs and their hopes. If you asked an ordinary person what they achieved when Benazir Bhutto was in power, they would say at least she gave us a voice and she talked about us and our problems. That was her real achievement."
Benazir was a person of great character and she never forgot her traditions, although she spent most of her life in West during her education years but she had arranged marriage.
The arranged marriage of Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardari was not expected. Benazir when asked "Why would someone as independent as you accept marriage to someone you hardly knew? She said, Actually, I had reconciled myself to a life without marriage or children for the sake of my career ... So keeping in mind that many people in Pakistan looked to me, I decided to make a personal sacrifice in what I thought would be, more or less, a loveless marriage, a marriage of convenience. The surprising part is that we are very close and that it's been a very good match ... I'd love to arrange my own children's marriages. I say that because I've been so happy." She also inherited the legacy of by far the most pro-people tradition in the otherwise elite-oriented political process of the country. Before coming back to Pakistan, she, herself, observed that there were two most important battles going on in the country. One, between dictatorship and democracy, the other, between moderation and extremism. Benazir was a woman of extraordinary power. Her critics often dismissed her credentials by saying that she was a privileged woman who did not reflect the true status of Pakistani women, Yet they seemed to miss the point in their critique - precisely because of her privilege and status she could have led a life of luxury and seclusion but instead chose to embrace many of the shackles of tradition. She married a landlord , had three children and acquired the Islamic garb of modesty. Since entering politics, she never let her /dupatta/ (or head covering) slip down for more than a few seconds in public and played by most of the rules . As the first Muslim woman to become a head of state, Benazir Bhutto will remain an icon for generations to come. The fact that even a privileged woman could reach her level in a society where traditional tribal elders are still debating whether or not it is permissible to beat your wife, makes her story particularly inspirational. Her acquiescence in benign traditions was matched with her astonishing ability to move masses in a male-dominated society. What she managed to accomplish as a Muslim woman by breaking the taboo of female leadership was her least appreciated and most lasting legacy. Talking about Benazir’s political history would require a long article to include her successes, failures, disappointments and official triumphs. But she was a charismatic unique character coming from Kurdish-Farsi roots with a vision that believed in the Pakistani community regardless of its different ethnicities. She believed strongly that the country had so much potential to progress and advance so that its citizens would achieve success strongly. Benazir was only 25 years old when her father Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was hanged in Rawalpindi in April 1979. She was 32 when her younger brother Shahnawaz was mysteriously killed in France in 1985. She was 43 when her other brother Murtaza was killed by the police in 1996. Murtaza's killing was a great tragedy for her. Benazir spent more than nine years in exile without her husband. She raised her children as a single parent. She used to teach them the Holy Quran regularly with English translation. She tried her best to ensure the children did not feel the absence of their father. When her husband was released on medical grounds, he was sent to the United States for treatment. Once again Benazir was alone with her children in Dubai. She did not allow her husband and three children to accompany her to Pakistan when she returned on Oct 18 2007,the last 30 years of her life were full of struggle and trouble, but she proved to be a woman of strong nerve. She was a caring wife, loving mother and a courageous leader. Her agenda for better Pakistan was to seek reconciliation, peace, ending militancy, eradicating poverty, building institutions of civil rule and democracy, spreading education and providing hope to the people of Pakistan for a better future.
Benazir’s platform had been leftist, including food for the hungry, health care, jobs, slum clearance and a monthly minimum wage. She has been opposed by Islamic fundamentalists who have been suspicious of the PPP because of its alleged leftist. According to Western media and intelligence agencies reports Hamid Gul, Nawaz Sharif, and Osama bin Laden conspired to assassinate Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Husein Haqqani, a Pakistani journalist who claims to have been involved in the plot, will later say that ISI Director Hamid Gul contacted Osama bin Laden, who was then known to provide financial support to Afghan mujaheddin, to pay for a coup/assassination of Bhutto. Gul also brings Nawaz Sharif, then the governor of Punjab province and a rival of Bhutto, into the plot. Bin Laden agrees to provide $10 million on the condition that Sharif transforms Pakistan into a strict Islamic state, which Sharif accepts but he puts all the money in his pocket. Benazir was not assassinated at this time, but bin Laden allegedly helps Sharif replace Bhutto one year later . In October 1990, Nawaz Sharif is running for election to replace Benazir Bhutto as the prime minister of Pakistan. According to a senior Pakistani intelligence source, bin Laden passes a considerable amount of money to Sharif and his party, since Sharif promises to introduce a hard-line Islamic government. Bin Laden has been supporting Sharif for several years. There is said to be a photograph of Sharif chatting with bin Laden. Sharif wins the election and while he does not introduce a hard-line Islamic government, his rule is more amenable to bin Laden’s interests than Bhutto’s had been. Sharif will stay in power until 1993, then will take over from Bhutto again in 1996 and rule for three more years. Former ISI official Khalid Khawaja, a self-proclaimed close friend of bin Laden, will later claim that Sharif and bin Laden had a relationship going back to when they first met face to face in the late 1980s. This tells us that there were people who wanted to kill her long time ago. Independent Investigators appointed by the UN must find out who are the real murderers of Benazir .Chaudry Pervaiz Elahi; Chaudry Shujhat; and the son of Zia Ul Haq, all haters and sworn enemies of the Bhutto family and of Benazir in particular ,and former officials of ISI must be investigated. She never believed in violence and revenge, in her own words , ‘’democracy is the best revenge’’. She was innocent. Before her tragic death, she wrote Reconciliation, Islam, Democracy and the West, which is one of the greatest books I ever read., according to Arianna Huffington ,’’This is a courageous and powerful answer to hatred and intolerance, written by an extraordinary women .’’She believed in democracy, freedom and openness -- not as slogans, but as a way of life, she remained the most potent Pakistani voice for liberalism, tolerance and change. Her place in history will be written with golden words and she would be remembered and honored by generations to come. Benazir Bhutto was a symbol of Democracy in Pakistan. Her killing is the Killing of Democracy in Pakistan. She was a great daughter of a great Father. The most popular leader and Chairperson of the Peoples Party fell victim to the murderous and cowardly act of terrorism. One can cite many examples of the courage and determination of the fallen leader and the domestic and international media is not lacking in enumerating her qualities of courage and intelligence, democratic credentials, popularity, charisma, farsightedness and bravery in the face of adversity, love for her people and country, her abhorrence of and determination to root out terrorism and her rightful understanding that terrorist supporters still exit in the Establishment and political circles of the country. Benazir had also fought for women's health, social and discrimination issues. She had plans to set up police stations of women, banks and also courts. She always spoke against abortion. She was one among the forefront to form the council of women world leaders. As a politician, wife and mother, Benazir fulfilled her responsibilities to the fullest. Thus being an icon to many women. Especially Muslim women. Benazir was against violence on woman. Benazir's zest for life, her charisma was so good that she became a role model to many. From getting the best of education and being a great leader. Benazir has done it all. She fought for democracy until death. Her intelligence and charm has an everlasting print in everybody's mind. Her proudest accomplishment, as Benazir Bhutto said, is her success as a woman in a man's world. "My greatest contribution lies in that my success as a woman in a Muslim society, where tradition and tribal taboos held sway, has emancipated other women," she said. "My success helped other women make choices that were not available to them before, not only in Pakistan but all over the Muslim world." One of the most disgusting aspects about the murder of Benazir is that Ms. Benazir Bhutto was callously murdered by people who were SCARED of her return to power. Fact remains, that she was perhaps amongst the very few Pakistani Women and indeed from Asia who could have changed the political scenario. Benazir Bhutto’s brutal and gruesome slaughter equates a decline in the quality of the democracy prevailing in our world today. To have watched, helplessly or conveniently, while such a stunningly charming, charismatic, cerebral and flamboyant political giant is slain reduces the world’s claim to civilization and to humane ideals. Today as we are celebrating her birthday; she lies buried next to her father, her life cut short at a time when she seemed the only symbol of hope for leading Pakistan to a semblance of democratic normalcy, the tsunami of chaos and unanswered questions, comments and commentaries, flooded all airwaves and social gatherings globally. Her assassination, the fear of an uncertain future not just of her party but Pakistan is an ongoing topic of discussion. Needless to say, its impact is being felt the world over, and what happens in Pakistan will have repercussions on the international community as well. There are many who remember her as a warm, generous and extremely lovable woman; a fantastic mother, wife and friend. Those who love her also say that as a politician Benazir tried her best in spite of the many roadblocks put in her path, loved her country, its people and wanted to lead it towards a democratic path once again. Hers was a life that was meant for something special...for something more. Hers was a life that was meant to change the world. And change the world she did. She felt the hand of destiny upon her and she never wavered from following its direction. Benazir Bhutto made extraordinary choices of bravery and self-sacrifice. When her father was about to be hanged, he told her that she did not have to stay in Pakistan, that she could leave and live in safety and comfort elsewhere. She promised him that she would stay and take up his fight for democracy. She never swayed or faltered, not from her promise, nor in her commitment. In 2007 - some 28 years since she first made that promise - she once again made an extraordinary choice. She left a life of comfort and safety to return to Pakistan - knowing the risk, knowing the peril - to continue her fight and her struggle to fulfill that promise. And fulfill it she did. In life and in death, Benazir Bhutto lit a flame, a flame of hope, of courage, of commitment - a flame for the birth, realization, and hope of peace and democracy. The flame she lit is a flame we must commit ourselves to carry, to embrace, to raise high, and to never let be extinguished. We must all become keepers of the flame. In this way, she lives. Benazir lives. Her promise lives and will see fulfillment each day we carry, raise, and keep the flame. A flame that will live, and will burn, and will inspire people the world over for the duration of time. Her life here on this earth may have ended but her spirit lives on. And her cause goes on. It goes on within all of us who embrace her courage and her spirit - and who believe in the hope and vision that were the mission of her life. What makes a martyr is not the who or the how of the person's murder, but the why. Joan of Arc was martyred because she fought for and spoke for her beliefs - and because she was willing to pay the ultimate price for continue fighting for, and standing for, and speaking for what she believed in regardless of anything else.
Patrick Henry who famously said "Give me liberty or give me death," was willing to die - to lay down his life for his vision, hopes, beliefs, and convictions - and his commitment to such was stronger in his heart than the fear of death. Socrates made people think. Most people fear the truth, as if it were death. Socrates did not, believing in the immortality of the soul. He went to his death not afraid, but eager to go and enjoy the fortunes of the blessed,drank poison like wine but did not bow his head. And so was Benazir Bhutto martyred - for standing up, speaking out, and struggling and fighting for her beliefs, for her vision, and for her hopes for her country, and for the rights, opportunities and freedoms of its people. Her commitment, dedication, and belief in her cause and her vision called her to make the ultimate sacrifice, to pay the ultimate price. It was a sacrifice and a price that, throughout her life, she seemed to know in all her prescience and wisdom that she would one day have to pay. And she marched on. Ever onward. With spirit and strength; with faith in God; with conviction and commitment to her beliefs and her vision and her cause; with hope; and always with courage ,undaunted, unblinking, undying courage. What she gave to the world, to humanity, to time itself - courage, faith, spirit, bravery, love, kindness, self-sacrifice, optimism, and hope - will live forever. Her life was a light in an oft-darkened world. She was the embodiment of courage, beauty, and strength. She never failed to put her country and her people above and before herself. Her light has gone out of this world, but will shine forever in the hearts of those who loved her. Her memory is enshrined forever in the fabric of time. And I know and believe that her courage and spirit will live forever in the hearts of those whose lives she touched; in the warm, immortal wind; and in the dusty earth of the land she loved. Hers truly was and forever will be in every way , a heart, a spirit, and a life without comparison.
She had longed to walk once again upon the dusty roads of her homeland. Now she walks there forever. Now she walks with God. Now she is free. As the "Daughter of Destiny" that she was, it was fated before her time on this earth even began that she would be a martyr for her country, her people, and for freedom and democracy. She died as she lived , embracing those who loved her with her beautiful smile and a heart full of love for Pakistan and its people. The idea and vision of a democratic Pakistan was the cause, the struggle, and the dream for which Benazir Bhutto so courageously gave her life. And it is an idea, a cause, and a dream that must not die with her - it is an idea, a cause, and a dream that must live and breathe and come to fruition. It is a struggle and a fight that she began - and it is a struggle and a fight that we must finish. when a reporter from the Times suggested that her life was the stuff of Greek tragedy, she laughed. "Well, I hope not so tragic," she said. "Don't all Greek dramas end in tragedy?" Benazir’s Bhutto's assassination was a blow to people all over Pakistan, and the world, who hold life sacred and believe in the basics precepts of democracy. It is also a blow to women worldwide who took strength from seeing such a courageous, articulate and charismatic woman playing a leadership role in a powerful Muslim country. Inside Pakistan, even her most bitter critics wept at the news of her death, understanding that it is indeed a dark day when assassination becomes a tool for eliminating opposing viewpoints.
She gave her life serving the cause and hope of democracy, equality, justice, freedom, and humanity. She was one of the greatest leaders and advocates for democracy and human rights that our world has ever known. She was a mother. She was a wife. She was a daughter and a sister. She was a friend. She was a remarkably special person. She was, is, and forever will be, every ones inspiration. Benazir Bhutto lives. Her spirit lives forever in the hearts of those who loved her; in those to whom she gave hope; in those who were touched by her unbreakable, beautiful and special spirit; in those who were inspired by her courage, her bravery, and her largeness of soul. Those of us whose lives and hearts were forever touched and changed by hers - those of us who loved her - will forever carry her extraordinary spirit in our hearts. Hers was an extraordinary, epic life of tragedy, triumph, love, bravery, and sacrifice. She died as she lived - and as she will forever be remembered - a woman of great faith in God and of tremendous courage. Forever brave. Forever beautiful. Forever BENAZIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Benazir, They killed you, you knew they were going to kill you, the same people who killed your father, the same group of generals, politicians, mullahs and bourgeois, who did not want to see you as a liberal, educated leader, but you fought for us , you fought for democracy and freedom. You are our HERO and will always be... YOU WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED AND WILL BE ALIVE LIKE THEY NEVER WANTED YOU TO BE. May God give the people of Pakistan to fight the tyrants. Benazir ! our hearts will cry for you on every beat until alive. She lives on. And her courage lives on. As is the legacy of a martyr. Benazir Bhutto for past 30 years has been a part of our life, I dare say that for most of us she will remain a part of our lives as long as we live. The Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto & Mohtarma BB shall always respectfully be remembered by all democratic masses of Pakistan in particular & those of the world in general. We are very unfortunate people of this Country that we lost Zulfiqar Bhutto and now Benazir. She was the last hope for the unity and prosperous Pakistan.
You can imprison a man, but not an idea. You can exile a man, but not an idea. You can kill a man, but not an idea." Long Live Bhuttoism.
BB, we miss you. We love you, we salute you for your courage. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!