And the legacy goes on..

May 26th, 2012 | By | Category: Latest, Pakistan

And the legacy goes on.. Part I

Jeay Bhutto!  That was the slogan being heard everywhere in Ghotki on 12th May 2012, when a million people gathered for a PPP rally in which not even a national level leader was present. And mind you, they were no T-shirt/jeans clad Pakistanis on whom everyday problems of load shedding, high fuel prices and unaffordable food don’t make an effect. They were ordinary people most of them from villages who are supposedly hardest hit by the policies of this corrupt and inefficient PPP government. If our biased mainstream media is to be believed, then these very down trodden people are so fed up of this government that they are ready to kick their leaders out into orbit as soon as they get a chance. However, ground realities paint a totally different picture: Just the figure of 1 million far exceeds the ‘Tsunami’ Khan’s all jalsa attendances put together – OK maybe not quite. Add to this most by-elections won by the ‘People’s Party’ in the last 4 years and it will make our media people look like they are reporting from another planet.

We know for sure that the government is corrupt and inept, that everyday items are getting out of reach of the common man, there is no electricity, no gas, no fuel available; so the million dollar question arises that why do people still flock to the Party? Is it still Bhuttoism 33 years after his death that attracts them? We take a critical look.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the founder of PPP was a very able intellectual.He was a born leader and a shrewd politician. Ok, he came into recognition riding on a dictator’s shoulders but that doesn’t matter because everyone does that in the Land of Pure. After all, dictators have ruled the country – directly or indirectly – for the better part of our country’s existence. But ZAB knew how to get people behind him, he knew the raw nerves of the nation and he knew how to exploit situations to his advantage. As we see here, he was an opportunist.

After remaining in Ayub’s cabinet in important ministries for years, he broke ranks with him when he sensed that the dictator was on a decline and formed his own party. In the 1970 elections, barely 3 years after the creation of the party, he won 81 seats out of 138 on offer in West Pakistan (no mean achievement), while Mujibur Rehman’s Awami League clean swept whole of Eastern Wing by grabbing 160 out of the 162 seats.

There is no doubt that the seeds of hatred with the Bengalis were sown by the military dictator, but Bhutto had the opportunity to save the country had he accepted Awami League’s landslide victory and not refused to attend the inaugural session of the National Assembly in Dhaka scheduled to be held on March 3, 1971. Instead, when military action was ordered against East Pakistan by Gen Yahya Khan, Bhutto supported it and is on record to have said, “Thank God, Pakistan has been saved”. Here is he publicly abusing our Bengali brothers and calling them swine.

The pro-PPP writers and social media people accuse the Army of eating up all the budget of the poor awaam while remaining silent on their own leader’s offspring living in luxurious palaces built by money looted from the same awaam. They say that the nuclear bombs are a waste of money while it was their founder leader who said that “Pakistanis would eat grass but build an atom bomb”.
And grass is what the poor man is eating today.

And the legacy goes on.. Part II

Bhutto’s ouster from power through a military coup in 1977 marked the start of arguably the darkest period of our history. We are still reaping the results of the seeds of blunders sown during those 11 years of Zia-ul-Haq’s rule. But it was ZAB’s politically motivated hanging in 1979 that immortalised his name.  This gave birth to the term ‘siasi shaheed’ – a term which we are still getting to terms with! It is a term which PPP has cashed time and again and still doesn’t hesitate to do whenever the need arises.

ZAB’s heir apparent – yes that’s what happens in our democracy – Benazir Bhutto was again a very intelligent lady. Harvard and Oxford educated, yet not able to speak the national language properly, she after the death of her father went through very tough times languishing in jails all over the country. But ultimately, as all political bigwigs in Pakistan do, she went on her first exile to UK leaving her faithful party workers – the jiyalas – behind to face the wrath of the Monster in Uniform. With opportunism reminiscent of her father, she returned home to a historic reception in Lahore in 1986 when the dictator was on his last legs. The key point here is historic reception by the same very people she had deserted, the same very people who her father had falsely promised with roti, kapra & makaan and the same people who for years to come would still be chanting tirelessly the name of Bhuttos.

The Bhuttos were always feudals and their hold on power hinged on keeping the masses illiterate. More you educate a person, more the chance of him to recognise your true face; that was – and still is – the philosophy of Bhuttoism. Benazir, having studied and lived abroad for a large part of her life had no real connection with the common people. Yet for reasons mentioned above, people still came to her rallies in hordes to listen to her speeches which in reality neither had any substance nor sense. Like her father, she would shout at the top of her voice the same hollow slogans of roti, kapra and makaan and reminded the people of the great sacrifices her father gave for them.

Her two short reigns in power were largely unstable and her Cabinet stank of corruption, particularly her husband Asif Ali Zardari whom she had given a free hand to loot the same awaam that still chanted ‘Jeay Bhutto’. After her second exile lasting 8 years, she returned home through the infamous NRO thus cleansing her and her husband of all the sins they had committed so far. Her death in a bomb blast in Rawalpindi created yet another ‘siaisi shaheed’ to keep the PPP bandwagon rolling. But what about the name ‘Bhutto’ that she was carrying to the grave with her? With her two brothers already dead and her sister Sanam not in politics, Benazir was the last in the clan to bear the infamous name. What would happen to the PPP when the Bhutto dynasty is finished?

But out came a ‘will’ and as we all know where there is a will there is a way! Benazir’s husband, according to the will would become the new chairman of the biggest democratic party in Pakistan – yes, you heard it right: Through a will, not through an election! He quickly adds Bhutto to his son’s name making him Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, makes him the co-chairman of the party and thus the legend lives on. Zardari becomes the President of the Islamic Republic riding on Bhutto’s name and keeps his presidency and government alive with the same old words of roti, kapra & makaan and the sacrifices of the family.

But you’ve got to admit that there is something about these Bhuttos, that X factor that keeps the people mad and flocking to their calls. Bilawal, studying in Oxford and living the better part of his life abroad is just as bad as his mother speaking the language of the land, the language of the people he dreams of leading tomorrow. He is as disconnected from his people as his mother was, yet when you see the following clip, you’ll notice an air of Bhuttoism in him. You’ll notice the same rhetoric repeated again and again like a déjà vu.

Only if our people were educated enough to see the reality through this myth called Bhuttoism!

Akbar Khan

About the author

Akbar Khan is a doctor, and a patriot to the core

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  1. according to wikipedia, an estimated $1.5 mn per year was used to provide security-protection for only Bilawal Bhutto at Oxford. No wonder Zardari had to steal a lot of money!

  2. Roti.. Kapra aur Makan… yes they achived their target by taking all these things from the poors…. No doubt they are well commited to their slogan….

  3. An excellent article to expose their reality!

  4. wonderful article and true facts ………. i always criticized People’s party and it’s leaders (Z.A Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto) for not being loyal with there agenda “Islam is our Religion, Democracy is our Politics, Socialism is our Economy”. we need to understand that Bhuttos are a feudal family and these kind of people cannot be loyal with common men and ideology. Z.A Bhutto exploited emotions of people, refused to accept election results of 1970 and transfer of power to Awami League, promised a socialist economy but didn’t nationalized agricultural lands of feudal lords, his nationalization policy was fail, his era is responsible for promoting corruption culture in lower parts of society and in his era Secularists were fully freed to spread ideological and moral bankruptcy. In both terms of Benazir corruption was on it’s peak, President from her own party Farooq Lughari dissolved her government for being highly corrupt (in Benazir’s second era Pakistan was second in world for corruption). moreover very roots of current wave of vulgarity and extreme ideological bankruptcy on name of “enlightened moderation” and “Secular Liberalism” are in Benazir’s terms of government and role of state media in her era. same anti-pakistan legacy goes on ……

  5. but i don’t agree with your statement ” military coup in 1977 marked the start of arguably the darkest period of our history “. Zia was a true savior of Pakistan. after all soviets didn’t attacked Afghanistan for stones (only easily available thing in Afghanistan) ….. there real target was warm water of Gwader and Karachi ………… Zia stopped them in Afghanistan through successful Afghan Jihad. his era was a time of economic prosperity ………. he was only leader of his kind in our history, because when he was martyred ,there was no unrest in country and there was no movement against him. saying that he is responsible for sectarianism is absurd myth because Sectarianism is a hundreds years ole phenomena. Zia was not it’s inventor. in his era Shia Ulema were as much respected as Sunni, Salafi Ulema.

  6. You had a fair article and then you ruined it by introducing venom against the only non-corrupt President Pakistan ever had, General Zia-ul-Haq. Read about him and perhaps you’ll get to know the facts, as much as you know about the Bhuttos.

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