| Nida-i-Millat | Family
Magazine | Phool |
|Fatima launches her innings as Bhuttos struggle for political survival|
Fatima Bhutto, daughter of slain Mir Murtaza Bhutto has formally entered socio-politico arena of unpredictable Pakistan by launching drive to secure property rights for those ejected of their homes in Lyari. Accompanied by her mother Ghinwa Bhutto, she staged a long protest at City Council Hall (formerly of KMC building). It was her first successful show by any standard; hundreds of people thronged Bhutto ladies and showered their full support. It is not difficult to figure out what is in store for fiery and pugnacious Benazir Bhutto. It is hard to dismiss Bhuttos in politics; they remain relevant all the times.
Columbia educated Fatima is detained to play some role; she has many advantages. She is what they call ‘Bhutto ki taswer’ (copy of Bhutto). Fatima with her charisma could challenge big guns of Sindh politics in future. She and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Junior could be torchbearers of Bhutto family. This family lost all male members tragically. Fist to suffer unnatural death was Zulfikar Ali Bhutto; his sons Shahnawaz and Murtaza followed him. Shahnawaz died in mysterious circumstances in Cannes while Murtaza was slain by Karachi police hardly few hundreds yards away from 70 Clifton. All Bhuttos lied in Garhi Khuda Bux side by side, where million spay them tribute. Some pay respect to Senior Bhutto who had taken position of saint for scores of people in Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan.
Murtaza died struggling for Bhutto’s legacy. Now his son and daughter vow to secure it. Indeed, Benazir’s children, Bilawal, Bakhtawar and Asifa pledge to fulfill mission of Bhutto Shaheed. True, both Benazir and Ghinwa seldom love to talk about it. Ghinwa has ruled out any reconciliation with her sister-in-law and complained her children could never see their grand mother. Benazir on her part remained firm and she establishment’ s hand sin every move of 70-Clifton. Her party failed to perform in last elections. Hence chances of PPP (SB) remain slim. But Fatima Bhutto could pose a major challenge in future in particular in Larakana, where the people still worship Bhuttos.
People still remember Begum Nusrat Bhutto; she is struggling with herself away in Dubai. This is for the first time; perhaps, no member of BB’s family is around in Dubai. She was not seen in public since 1996 when soyem of Mir Murtaza was held at Bilawal House, Prime Minister camp office then. The death of Mir was too much for her; she collapsed. She lost her memory; perhaps it was good for her she wanted to forget what ever happened to her. Her life is full of tragedies.
‘I am the most unfortunate woman,’ she once remarked and traced her misfortunes. There were few glimpses of happiness in her life since she became widow after dreaded Zia hanged her ‘Zulfi’. She cried when those political leaders who sent Bhutto to the gallows converged at 70-Clifton to oust Ziaul Haq. ‘I shook hand with Bhutto’s killers, she said as she wiped her tears. It was an emotional journey for her; she accepted ground reality of Pakistani politics only for the sake of democracy. Young Benazir was not in favour; she opposed any idea of joining hands with religious leaders, who were deadly against Bhutto. Those who seized a PIA plane hijacked MRD move.
After failed movement, Begum Bhutto fell seriously ill; she was suffering from lung cancer. Zia was not allowing her to proceed abroad for her treatment; her doctor Abdul Hayee Saeed fought her case well. She was allowed to go to London. She recovered but her life was not easy one. She struggled first against Ziaul Haq. It was only in 1988, she was happy to see Benazir Bhutto secure power as prime minister but not after compromising on the presidency. Innocent Begum Bhutto once disclosed, ‘General Aslam Baig came to us and propose Ghulam Ishaq as president. We had no option we accepted it.’ It was obvious though establishment anted to keep weak and feeble Benazir as Prime Minister.
He second stint was not different either. But this time around Mir Murtaza was around, mother supported the son. It was parting of ways for Bhutto ladies. The PPP removed Begum Bhutto from the chairpersonship of the party, she cried nobody was there to console her. She was incidentally in Larkana when that decision was conveyed to her. She banked too much on Mir Murtaza; he was heir for all. He never hid his dislike the way Benazir was ruling the country. When he died even some of Benazir’s die hard supporters deserted her. They are back now in her party since they failed to inflict any damage.
Benazir Bhutto took Begum Bhutto to Dubai, where she is kept under care of nurses and doctors. There is a feeling right now that the party is forgetting her and her long struggle for democracy.
This is wholly unfair. When there was no body to challenge despot, it was Begum Nusrtat Bhutto she risked her life and posed real threat to military rulers. Indeed it was an epic struggle which should not be lost. I vividly remember I once asked her I she wanted to write her memoirs. She sighed and replied that whatever happened with me I wanted to forget. I hate to remember it. This is my life.
A new chapter is being written in the history of the Bhutto family. This could herald a new role for Fatima Bhutto. She is an excellent poetess; she knows how to describe emotions. She is entering thorny social filed. Her mother Ghinwa commands respect among people of Pakistan. Both are struggling for the rights of those who were rendered homeless by Lyari Express way scheme. They vowed not to abandon poor and deprived. To help them is in their blood. Perhaps Bhuttos are not restless in their graves. Their legacy is not being abandoned.