Today, we commemorate the 45th anniversary of the founding chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party and former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. This occasion coincides with a historic decision by the Supreme Court of Pakistan regarding a presidential reference concerning his judicial execution. The verdict has declared that the trial of Shaheed Bhutto’s case lacked transparency.

During the hearing of this reference, Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa remarked that the judiciary of that time decided to hang Bhutto out of fear. He also emphasized the importance of self-accountability within the judiciary, stating that it cannot progress without acknowledging past mistakes.

After the unanimous decision of the 9-member bench of the Supreme Court on the presidential reference and the remarks of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, it has been proven that Shaheed Bhutto was judicially murdered and he was punished for a crime he did not commit.

This also validates the truth of Shaheed Bhutto’s words that he uttered while standing on the gallows, “O God, help me, I am innocent.” According to our Islamic faith, a person who is unjustly killed is considered a martyr. Today, on the occasion of the 45th anniversary, all those individuals who have consistently used the term “Shaheed” in reference to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto will be vindicated, as affirmed by the highest court of Pakistan. It has been officially confirmed that Bhutto is indeed a martyr.

Credit for this achievement goes to President Asif Ali Zardari who, during his previous presidency in 2011, filed a reference under Article 186 of the Constitution to seek the opinion of the Supreme Court of Pakistan regarding the decision to execute Shaheed Bhutto. As a result of this action, the judiciary acknowledged its mistake and affirmed the historical decision that Shaheed Bhutto was innocent and remains so.

While the mistake cannot be rectified, as stated in the Supreme Court’s judgment that the decision to execute Shaheed Bhutto cannot be annulled, nor is there any legal procedure to alter it, this decision has made the world realize that the judicial killing of Shaheed Bhutto was a grave error. The repercussions of this mistake are still being felt in Pakistan today.

Shaheed Bhutto once remarked, “There is certainly such a thing as retribution in history”. “What is currently occurring in Pakistan is perhaps the retribution of history.” If Shaheed Bhutto had not been executed, the situation in Pakistan today would not be as it is. In one passage of his book “If I am Assassinated,” Shaheed Bhutto wrote, “If I am killed, the Himalayas will shed tears of blood.”

At that time, opponents of Shaheed Bhutto had made statements like “mountains never cry,” which were widely published in newspapers. However, history has shown that not only the Himalayas but the entire Indus Valley, including the foothills of the Karakoram, Hindu Kush, and the Sulaiman Mountains, representing all of Pakistan, has become a victim of terrorism, bloodshed, and unrest. Mourning echoes resound from all corners. Every mountain range in the Indus Valley is shedding tears. As a result of this unrest, Pakistan’s economy has been devastated, and poverty, destitution, and unemployment prevail everywhere.

Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto aimed to rescue Pakistan from such circumstances, and that was deemed his “crime”. His vision was to establish Pakistan as an independent and democratic state. The essence of his political ideology lay in ensuring that Pakistan wouldn’t be manipulated by global powers, recognizing such dependency as a path to ruin.

Bhutto advocated for a neutral policy where Pakistan could autonomously make decisions in its national interest, free from international coercion. This objective could only be achieved through governments formed by the people’s will and genuine democratic principles emphasizing equality.

It was Shaheed Bhutto’s belief that a truly democratic society couldn’t be established without granting rights to the marginalized and oppressed classes. This was considered Shaheed Bhutto’s “sin” as he endeavored to shield the country from the ruin caused by the pro-imperialist policies of Pakistan’s undemocratic elites.

In these efforts, he rallied the support of the people. Shaheed Bhutto’s “error” was his belief in the people as the wellspring of power. In a letter penned to his beloved daughter, Shaheed Ms. Benazir Bhutto, from his death cell, he expressed, “Life is love. Love is entwined with every beauty of nature. I have no reservations in stating that my deepest affection and intense passion have been for the public.”

Shaheed Bhutto disregarded his life in the pursuit of his country’s independence and the rights of the impoverished. He confronted both domestic and international forces of exploitation to attain this objective. This is why he emerged as a leader not only in Pakistan but also in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. His stance had become intolerable for these exploitative forces. Hence, the tragedy of April 4, 1979, unfolded.

Shaheed Bhutto embraced this fate because “he would prefer to perish at the hands of a dictator than through the judgment of history.” “With the decision of the presidential reference, Shaheed Bhutto has attained immortality in history. He persists in history, and he has compelled his assailants to face the scrutiny of history. The trial of history is perpetually transparent.

It is imperative to investigate who exerted pressure on the court and whom the court feared. It is essential to unveil these individuals or forces to halt this cycle of destruction, perpetuated by exploitative forces that obstructed the fair trial of Shaheed Bhutto’s case and led to his execution.

Now, despite the court’s declaration that justice has not been served to Shaheed Bhutto, the Pakistan People’s Party remains steadfastly committed to the philosophy of Shaheed Bhutto, advocating for the peaceful resolution of the country’s problems and the welfare of its people through democratic processes. Shaheed Bhutto’s mission must be fulfilled. Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto also expressed in his letter to Shaheed Benazir Bhutto that “I desire reconciliation before reaching a final solution to the problem, for the sake of my children and for the sake of the children of the entire world.”

The ultimate solution that Shaheed Bhutto referred to implies resorting to conflict instead of peaceful democratic struggle. In order to prevent this final recourse, it is imperative to unmask the forces that obstruct the democratic process or engage in the perilous game of disrupting the course of history by meddling in politics. These are the very forces that hindered a transparent trial of Shaheed Bhutto’s case.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

QOSHE - The trial of history is perpetually transparent - Sharjeel Inam Memon
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The trial of history is perpetually transparent

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04.04.2024

Today, we commemorate the 45th anniversary of the founding chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party and former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. This occasion coincides with a historic decision by the Supreme Court of Pakistan regarding a presidential reference concerning his judicial execution. The verdict has declared that the trial of Shaheed Bhutto’s case lacked transparency.

During the hearing of this reference, Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa remarked that the judiciary of that time decided to hang Bhutto out of fear. He also emphasized the importance of self-accountability within the judiciary, stating that it cannot progress without acknowledging past mistakes.

After the unanimous decision of the 9-member bench of the Supreme Court on the presidential reference and the remarks of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, it has been proven that Shaheed Bhutto was judicially murdered and he was punished for a crime he did not commit.

This also validates the truth of Shaheed Bhutto’s words that he uttered while standing on the gallows, “O God, help me, I am innocent.” According to our Islamic faith, a person who is unjustly killed is considered a martyr. Today, on the occasion of the 45th anniversary, all those individuals who have consistently used the term “Shaheed” in reference to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto will be vindicated, as affirmed by the highest court of Pakistan. It has been officially confirmed that Bhutto is indeed a martyr.

Credit for this achievement goes to President Asif Ali Zardari who, during his previous presidency in 2011, filed a reference under Article 186 of the Constitution to seek the opinion of the Supreme Court of Pakistan........

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