Two Friends Turn to Foes

June 12, 2015 OPINION/NEWS

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By

Sattar Rind

The former President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari (AAZ) and ex-Interior Minister in the Sindh Government, Zulfiqar Mirza had been close friends for the last forty five years, but have now turned out to be enemies to one another.

‘Where will such a grudge end?’ is the main question the Pakistani public ask, especially those of the Sindhi people. The raison d’être of their foes might be out of sight for a few but explains why it is the essential area under discussion of this article. It is big news and is the hottest issue of print and electronic media as well.

The founder leader of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and first ever elected Prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (ZAB) was hanged by the army junta in April 4, 1979. He was hanged following the Apex Court’s verdict that he had ordered to kill one of the PPP Member of National Assembly (MNA); however, mistakenly in its place his father received the bullet and died. Nevertheless, people of Pakistan never believed in the trial carried out in Bhutto’s case. They never accepted this story to be true of ZAB initiating such an order to kill anyone. Neither did they believe that the trial required justice, whatever it was.

Yet later on this view of the public was proven to be true by the former Chief Justice of Pakistan who was the member of that Supreme Court Bench which decided for Bhutto to be ‘hanged until death’. He disclosed this reality and accepted belief that they dangled ZAB under the immense pressure of the Army Chief and President of Pakistan late Zia-ul-Haq.

 

This tragic family’s other two sons had also been killed. ZAB’s youngest, Mir Shah Nawaz Bhutto, was poisoned in France by his wife Rahila in 1985. It was assumed that Zia-ul-Haq was behind his killing since, Mir was planning to stage a comeback in Pakistan with the aim of fighting against the army junta with the support of Palestinian and the Pakistani militants’ force of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

The second and eldest son Mir Murtaza Bhutto was shot and killed in Karachi on September 30, 1996 near ZAB’s legendary house 70- Clifton. ZAB’s daughter, whom he used to call ‘pinkly’, Benazir Bhutto (BB), the first ever women Prime Minster not only in Pakistan but of the Muslim world, was killed at Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007, when she was on her way back from addressing a large election gathering in support of her party candidates, scheduled for 2008. All Bhuttos had now passed away and the new leader and husband of Benazir Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari (AAZ) took charge of the party. The PPP won the election even in BB’s absence.

Asif Ali Zardari was never known by the public before he got engaged to PPP’s second charismatic leader Benazir Bhutto after ZAB. When news of this broke out, PPP workers were very disappointed, especially those of the Sindh province who vividly expressed their abhorrence over AAZ’s engagement with BB and were very much reluctant to accept it. This reality forced BB to begin a tour of the entire Sindh province in an attempt to get the public and party workers to accept AAZ as her future husband. Reading between the lines, she tried to convey to her party workers that ‘living in the Pakistani Society, she could not afford to be single’. Secondly she tried to take her party workers in confidence with this message “if she found a person of her calibre or at least, the party workers would honour her choice”. From this it was believed they should not be infuriated, as BB would always be found with the public and PPP workers.

BB married AAZ in 1987. However it was later proven in a very short period of time that the marriage was nothing but a fatal crack in the PPP structure.

 

On August 17, 1988 Zia-ul-Haq died in an air crash along with a number of Generals and the US Ambassador in Pakistan Mr. Robin Rafael. The PPP, under the leadership of BB, won the scheduled general election of 1988 in the absence of Zia-ul-Haq.

After eighteen months of Benazir Bhutto’s government, the President of Pakistan Ghulam Ishaq Khan, by raising corruption charges, dismissed her government using presidential power under constitutional 8th amendment. Almost all corruption charges were levelled against her husband AAZ.

The opposition parties and general public were in no doubt of the charges but workers of the PPP were used to standing behind BB with the ever popular slogan “O! God… You know that Benazir Bhutto was not involved in Corruption”. In local lingo it was as- ‘’Ya! Allah Ya! Rasool Benazir Beqasor”. This slogan gained the highest degree of popularity among the masses in Pakistan. On 19 October 1993, Benazir Bhutto was sworn in as Prime Minister for a second term. This time the police killed her elder brother during her premiership which she termed ‘kill one Bhutto and sake another Bhutto, plan”.

 

However AAZ was again accused of having a hand in the killing of his ‘brother in law’ Mir Murtaza Bhutto, receiving corruption charge also. Though he was suspected of being involved with the killing of his ‘brother in law’, and elder son of ZAB,  no accusations were officially levelled against him. The people however have never freed him from the case in their daily gossips to this day.

 

He also actively involved bringing his friends into the PPP and government. After the martyrdom of BB everything went in his command and he completely faded the PPP in its own colour and choice. He left no chance to allow merit and had given all the important governmental posts to his own, including the premiership of the Pakistan, Zulfiqar Mirza being one of them. Following this policy, AAZ delegated interior minister ship to Mirza in the Province of Sind, but he actually performed as de-facto Chief Minister of the province following the direction of AAZ’s sister Ms. Faryal Talpur.

Now what started as a bitter personal feud between two friends has taken a horrible political turn. It’s being said that AAZ tried to get back from Mirza three sugar mills that the former president AAZ had lent him. I think it is no big deal for both of them.

Something is missing which is hidden from what we are shown. However, existing and continued vendettas will ultimately damage AAZ more than Mirza. Of this I am sure. Mirza slowly revealing AAZ’s weakest points will have people beginning to see who the culprits are behind the killing of Mir Murtaza Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sattar Rind

Sattar Rind lives in Sindh, Pakistan. and is an Author with four books to his credit. three poetry and one on politics. As a Columnist he has written for a number of newspapers and magazines since 1991. Sattar can be contacted at the following email address: sattar-rind@hotmail.com

1 Comment

  1. Shakeel Haider June 12, at 18:20

    Thanks a lot Sir for this share. Being a student of History and politics and then being in media field, i will say its nice write up and well elaborated. For last some months, Zulfiqar Mirza is quite open in his concerns, claims and allegations against Asif Ali Zardari 1- Its my personal observation that something very personal is disturbing Mr Mirza as he started his words from Loyalty to PPP and ended in direct allegations on Mr Zardari. 2- 45 years friendship is enough time for trust, personal relations and then keeping secrets, so question arises why now?. 3- He tried to reach Benazeer Bhutto Shaheed kids but they didnt listened him, so where goes the loyality! 4- Mr Mirza constant allegations and hype actually degraded him. He might be able to win in next elections by Alliance with Ayaz Latif Palijo or may be PTI but end of his politics in a way. He is persona-non-grata for MQM also. Thanks for share sir.

    Reply

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