The Legharis looked after the Bhutto family’s mazar for the past 60 years until recently they were removed from its premises and barred from attending Benazir Bhutto’s 57th birth anniversary celebrations.
Even though Abdul Ghafoor Leghari did not charge for his family’s services in the mazar at Garhi Khuda Buksh, he was forced to give up the keys to the building and a motorcycle and car that he used to look after the land. According to Leghari, his family has been looking after the Bhuttos since the time of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s father. Leghari’s father, Nazar Muhammad Leghari, used to look after the Bhutto lands during the time Benazir was in exile.
Riaz Phulpoto, the present manager of Bhutto estate, has been appointed as the new caretaker on the recommendation of Pakistan People’s Party’s senior vice president in District Larkana, Dr Shafqat Soomro.
Leghari was apprehensive about approaching the media with his complaints because he did not want the family to think that he is an enemy but he wants to know why he has been deprived of his charge, even though he has been honest and fair in his work.
Leghari claimed that Dr Soomro disliked him and he had misguided President Zardari’s sister, Faryal Talpur, who ordered his removal. Leghari has now been asked to come to the mazar as an ordinary visitor and he feels it is an unfair return for the service he has rendered for all Bhuttos.
Sometime ago, Sanam Bhutto came to Larkana and when she visited the mazar, Leghari greeted her with flowers and presented her with garlands to drape on the graves.
He told her that he was the son of Nazar Muhammad, who had been associated with the family since Zulfikar Bhutto. She recognised him and inquired after his family.
Leghari explained to her that his family serves the Bhuttos without any charges but he wishes to find a job for his son and would be grateful if she can arrange something for him. He also told her that he had asked for help from Talpur and other PPP officials who visited the mazar but they have been unable to do anything as yet.
When Dr Soomro heard of this conversation, he misinterpreted that Leghari was complaining about Talpur to Sanam. Talpur was misguided and he lost his work as a result, Leghari explained.
“All I want is to find out what sin I committed due to which I was barred from looking after the mazar,” he questioned, adding that he wishes to meet President Zardari and other officials on June 21 at the anniversary celebrations. Since Leghari declared his desire to meet President Zardari and his sister, the authorities at the mazar refused to give him an entry pass. Meanwhile, preparations for the 57th birth anniversary of Benazir Bhutto have begun in Naudero. The mazar has been cleaned and the walls have been painted. Security arrangements are in place while tents have been set up in the ground across the mazar, where lights were also installed.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 20th, 2010.
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