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April 4: Mourning the murder of justice - by Maleeha Manzoor

“They are going to kill me. It doesn’t matter what evidence you or anyone comes up with. They are going to murder me for the murder I didn’t commit.” – Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto

BHUTTO – the parable of my veneration begins with this name… All the things wriggle out of my hold when I hear, read or call this name and at that very instant, reminding April 4; 1979 (the day that marked the judicial murder of the first leader, after Jinnah, of Pakistan), I find myself off guard – a little lost to myself. This day remains the gloomiest one in the entire history of this country for the nation lost its leader who took it out of the twilight showing a new dawn – a new sunrise of hope. Nothing can perfectly describe my agony that I feel over this immense loss – neither can anything conceal my torment over the injustice done with the people and the people’s leader.

But I stand in daze, what definition stands for ‘crime’ in the law dictionaries? To ease those fighting the wrath of pain is not a crime; leading the country towards a better future is not a crime. If bringing life to the millions of the destitute and empowering them is also not a crime then why my leader Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto got penalized? For the crime he never committed?!! Where the justice was lost when favorable answers from the witness, of Nawab Mohammad Ahmed Kasuri murder case, were purposefully whittled down?! Where were all, the flag-bearers of jurisprudence, when the law was being used against the Prime Minister who gave the first constitution drafted with consensus, to the country? Perhaps all were silent because Bhutto’s existence was a constant threat to all those forces of injustice. Or maybe, along with the General, all wanted to nail down the people’s leader. Nevertheless, they failed to kill Bhutto. They failed to execute the people’s Bhutto – for Bhutto is an ideology that can never be terminated and has meant to flow like blood into the veins of his people he died fighting for.

A fire burns into my soul, when I enclose my letters about Bhutto. Bhutto: a love; an emotion that spellbinds the hearts of millions. Bhutto: a force; a strength that compels the millions to walk on the trail he bestowed – trail of truth, justice and democracy. But then my head lowers with shame to observe what this ‘system’ gave in return to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who put endless efforts in strengthening and rectifying it, other than inflictions/incarcerations/years of detention to his wife/assassinations of his three young children!! Only if this system could have been fair with the Bhuttos, Pakistan would have touched the heavens above…

This pang of losing the greatest leader, at the hands of the judiciary he always advocated for, collides with myself and breaks my heart over and over again. Nevertheless, I am amazed at the revenge the nature has taken. Thirty four years passed since the hanging of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, but the nation still mourns the martyrdom of its leader. More than three decades passed since the killing of people’s first hope, but the Bhuttoism is stronger than it was ever before. Mantras of ‘Jeay Bhutto’ are jingled in every nook and corner; history is being dominated by the name of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto while those of his enemies have been faded away. Bhutto continues to rule the history, however, now it is time for the judiciary to wash off stigma from its judicial history!

In April 2011, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s son in law President Asif Ali Zardari, who is now carrying forward the mission of the martyres, had appealed to Supreme Court through a presidential reference to have a revision of Shaheed Bhutto’s murder trial. The history has justified Shaheed Bhutto but his party as well as the family wants the courts to set their record straight. But alas, even after being assassinated, the injustice with Bhutto continues… Two years have been passed since the appeal but there has been no progress. Hearings, when hardly take place, get adjourned. The nation awaits justice! Enough of the adjournments, we seek justice now! If this is how the justice is done with the leaders of this nation, then I wonder how it would have been with the common pepole.

Today, when the Jinnah’s Pakistan is entangled into mayhem, Bhutto’s aptitude in dealing with the crises is what Pakistan needs the most. But reverting to the Bhutto’s Pakistan is like diverting an ocean of wild waters. How can that society flourish whose biggest socialist is brutally murdered. Undoubtedly, Bhutto has bestowed us with his ideology. The only ideology, the only vision that can revive Pakistan – vision of empowering the people, actualizing his dream of providing Roti, Kapra, Makan. Some people, claiming themselves as today’s Bhutto, are using the phrase NEW PAKISTAN for the election campaign. They might have forgotten the old Pakistan that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto shaped – a prosperous, empowered and a tolerant one.  The crime that courts committed is a historic crime that can never be justified – but Bhutto stands vindicated – vindicated by the courts of history and the courts of people. Now the judiciary should vindicate itself!

We have lost our Bhutto and this sense of deprivation can never be dissipated. So, today, we mourn the murder of justice – the brutal justice that cost us our Bhutto…

Posted Date: Thu, 04 Apr 2013

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