41st death anniversary of ZA Bhutto shaheed

Why ZA Bhutto shaheed was hanged?

April 04 is one of the darkest days in the history of Pakistan. On April 4, 1979, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, was hanged in the dark of night. History would describe that hanging as a judicial assassination.  Pakistan’s first elected Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Shaheed was hanged on that day 41 years ago. Bhutto still lives in the memory of his party workers and oppressed masses.
Military dictator General Zia first toppled his democratic government and imposed martial law in the country on July 05-1977 and then hanged the charismatic and most popular political leader of Pakistan through a judicial decision regarded many as judicial murder or assassination.
Bhutto was the light who gives hope to the oppressed and downtrodden of Pakistan which was not acceptable to powers of darkness. The forces of darkness struck and Pakistani masses lost their leading light.
Despite the mistakes made by Shaheed Bhutto during his tenure as Prime Minister including the appeasement of religious right- he clearly stood for a democratic-progressive and strong Pakistan. He took practical measures and introduce policies to make Pakistan a welfare state.
Bhutto was hanged not for his mistakes but for the successes and achievements. He was hanged because he was immensely popular after serving four years as prime minister. General Zia was frightened from his popularity.   Pakistan plunges into the darkness that even exists today. Pakistan is still reeling under the most reactionary policies introduced by the Zia dictatorship.
The toppling of his government and subsequent hanging changed Pakistan for the bad. A relatively tolerant-moderate and liberal society was turned into an intolerant-religious extremist and bigoted society. The image and face of a democratic-progressive and tolerant Pakistan was changed. We still are struggling to promote our soft image in the world. 
Pakistan lost one of its brightest son-visionary and charismatic leaders. He was hanged because he was deeply popular among the masses. He was eliminated because his political agenda was not compatible with the imperialist designs and the interests of power establishment. He was hanged because he dares to challenge the powerful ruling elite and classes.
He stood with the most exploited and downtrodden masses. Bhutto was targeted because he posed challenge to the imperialist interests not only in Pakistan but also in the region. He formed independent foreign policy and tried to contain the American influence and dependence on it.  
He was hanged because the traditional power players felt threatened with the rise of middle class leaders and working class people. PPP led by ZA Bhutto defeated the traditional feudal political elite in Punjab for the very first time in 1970 general elections. The PPP candidates belonging to middle class and working class defeated the traditional feudal and petty capitalist elite of Punjab. It was a big setback for Punjabi elite. The nationalisation policy and attempted land reforms further antagonise the traditional elite and right wing state bureaucracy. The economic policies of Bhutto government hurt the interests of ruling classes and elite. They were looking for the opportunity to take revenge.
The religious right- establishment and imperialism joined hand against Bhutto and PPP government.  His government 1972 to 1977 was the only government in the history of Pakistan that introduced wide ranging reforms. Despite having shortcomings-that government of ZA Bhutto served the masses. His biggest contribution is giving Pakistan its first unanimous Constitution in 1973 and attempt to rebuild Pakistan after the 1971 crisis and separation of East Pakistan. 

The American imperialism was not happy with his policies. He was threatened by Henry Kissinger. He dared to challenge the imperialist hegemony and paid the ultimate price. But he never bows down. He stood firmly on his ground and challenged the tyranny.  
Free education and health was introduced. Passport was made constitutional obligation. Millions of poor families were lifted out of poverty. Jobs were provided. Stipends to graduate apprentices were provided. No other government can match the performance of Bhutto government. He introduced clean and transparent governance in the country.      
The PPP workers and leaders across the country flocked to Ghari Khuda Bux to pay tribute to their beloved leader. But this time it is different because of coronavirus. The Sindh province is under lockdown and public gatherings have been banned. The PPP workers and supporters are remembering their founding chairman amid lockdown and coronavirus outbreak.  
After the physical elimination of founding Chairman of PPP and first democratically elected PM of Pakistan ZA Bhutto- General Zia and his associates did everything to discredit Bhutto and PPP in his 11 years long military rule. A vicious character assassination and propaganda campaign was launched to spread misinformation and hatred against him.

His trial was a mockery of justice and due process of law was denied to Shaheed Bhutto. The murder allegation against him was politically motivated. The purpose was to physically eliminate him first and then the party he founded. His opponents succeeded to physically eliminate him but they never succeeded to make him politically irrelevant. He was among the very few leaders who even become more popular after his death. Even after 41 years of his judicial murder- the eyes of many poor and exploited workers-peasants and people still sparked when they heard the name of Bhutto.  
Shaheed Bhutto formed the PPP on a radical socialist program to challenge the status quo with the help of trade union leaders-middle class left wing intellectuals-peasant leaders- students and young radical left activists. PPP needs to adopt radical economic policies of democratic socialism to complete the mission of Bhutto shaheed. A real democratic and welfare state could only be achieved on the basis of democratic socialist policies which envisioned by ZA Bhutto and other founding leaders of PPP.
                                                              Khalid Bhatti

1 comment:

  1. No doubt Bhutto was great leader but us establishment never allowed a popular leader from third world


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