A DICTATOR WITHOUT A UNIFORM
The morning of 4th April 1979, when people of Pakistan were shocked beyond belief once they realized that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was no more among them. Although there were some who were rejoicing on the streets as in their humble opinion he had been granted with what he deserved. No one like Bhutto himself could imagine that he will be hanged. Majority in Pakistan believed that Bhutto will be sent in to exile. But Zia had other plans, he knew that if he spared Bhutto there was only one grave and that would be his home for all eternity.
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was a charismatic person whom millions in the motherland looked up to. He of course made plenty of mistakes too, which proved to be very costly for him and for the nation as well.
But let’s begin with his younger days, when he wrote a letter to Sikander Mirza saying “You are a great man. Even greater than Mr. Jinnah”. Was it flattering or his analysis? We really don’t know.
Moving on, ZAB who considered himself a great democrat did not even object to Ayub’s military coup. He even joined his cabinet as a minister. Was he a democrat? I doubt.
Being a foreign minister in 1965 he could not anticipate an attack from Indian Territory expecting that India would be left with no answers if Pakistan had attacked Kashmir. On the contrary Lahore and Sialkot almost fell to the enemy and fortunately it was our Brave soldiers who repulsed the attack and saved the dignity.
In 1967 Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto laid a foundation of a new political party named Pakistan People Party with a slogan “ROTI KAPRA MAKAN”. I still wonder that did he actually believe that he could give a house or employment to every single underprivileged and poor citizen of Pakistan. He deceived the people there and then.
In 1970 ZAB played a vital role in breaking the country in two parts. He did not accept his defeat gracefully rather insisted on the share of power between Sheikh Mujib and him. All he wanted was to be the prime minister of the country. He even made his views clear in a public speech where he said “Yahan hum, Wahan tum”.
And Jinnah’s Pakistan died that day!
He also threatened his party members that if anyone among them attended the session of national assembly in Dhaka that member would no more be the part of PPP. This also reflected his greed for power because if any member had attended that session it would have assured the election of Mujib as Pakistan’s new PM.
Sheikh Mujib was jailed in 1971. If he was really a democrat he would have demanded Mujib to be released but on the contrary he remained silent because all he wanted was power. Situation got so much worse that Indians had invaded East Pakistan. Even at that time if he had not walked out of United Nations Security Council and had accepted the Polish resolution Pakistani armed forces could have avoided the humiliation they had to face in the shape of biggest military surrender.
I still strongly believe that the fall of East Pakistan did not mean much to Bhutto Sahab but surely it was the death blow to the motherland.
Now many in Pakistan still argue that he was a democrat. I disagree, he was the most autocratic leader country had ever known. He violated the constitution which was given by him just after the few hours when it was imposed. In his absence when he was behind bars he appointed Begum Nusrat Bhutto, his wife to lead the party knowing that there were many competent leaders around. Now would a real democrat ever do such thing?
I can go on and on with a list of such incidents!
Till 70’s Pakistan got admiration for being the fastest growing industrialized country. Pakistan was far ahead of her contemporaries with the likes of China, South Korea or even India. But Mr. Bhutto nationalized every successful enterprise which existed. This was another major blow to the country. The entire incompetencies, inefficiency, corruption we are witnessing today in our political system have their roots in Bhutto’s policies.
He nationalized flour mills, spinning and ginning factories, Steel mills, PIA, basically the only thing he spared were shops and stores. He nationalized petroleum marketing companies, banks & insurance companies. This man set the country back by 50 years.
Mr. Bhutto threw snakes at political gatherings, rigged elections, created wicked Al-Zulfiqar, banned five people gatherings, exempted himself from land reforms, became the world’s civilian martial law administrator, nationalized industries, murdered his political opponents, did not compromise with Sheikh Mujib just for the sake of power, established student unions which the country is still suffering from and yet Bhutto is still alive…he is alive in the shape of despair, gloom, misery of the people of lower Sindh and Punjab up to some extent. To him his “MAI” was more important to him than Pakistan that is how I see it.