KARACHI: The launch of ‘The Psychodynamics of his Rise and Fall,’ a book on the founder and leader of Pakistan Peoples Party, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was held at Karachi Gymkhana on Tuesday. Written by former bureaucrat Shamim Ahmed, the book garnered much attention by fans and supporters of Bhutto attended the launching ceremony.
Prominent personalities like banker Sirajuddin Aziz, Javed Jabbar, Dr Jafar Ahmed, Dr Nafees Qureshi and Iqbal Saleh Muhammad said that the book tries to explore Bhutto’s personality in a new way through the lens of psychology.
While addressing the ceremony, the author Shamim Ahmed said that the book tries to search for an answer to explain how a man of Bhutto’s stature could not avert his fall despite a tremendous rise. He noted that Bhutto and his mother shared a pivotal bond and that she played an important role in his life.
Bhutto, who hailed from a famous family and had an excellent educational background, was an expert with admirable attributes, he said. At the end of the 1971 war, Bhutto raised the morale of the army by signing the Simla Agreement and arranging the repatriation of the country’s troops taken by India as prisoners of war. Under his reign the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan was passed.
These are counted among Bhutto’s achievements, however, said Ahmed, the Balochistan operation as well as the 1977 elections, in which he won majority as a result of alleged rigging, must be taken as failure.
Aziz said that Bhutto’s intellect served Pakistan well as he managed to present the country’s case on the international forum effectively. He said that Bhutto was an expert at winning over the audience, of which the Islamic Summit of 1974 is a good example.
Aziz also said that Bhutto managed to convince the opposition to agree to the draft of 1973 Constitution in an address on television after they had earlier opposed it. He said that Bhutto was serious in implementing reforms he had proposed for the empowerment of people and to strengthen the state. It was one of his abilities, his tact, that he managed to convince the world and the military that the fall of Dhaka was not a military but rather a political defeat, Aziz added. Congratulating Ahmed on the book, he expressed hope that it would help in understanding Bhutto.
Dr Ahmed said that after Jinnah, Bhutto remained the centre of discussion among the political analysts and historians and many books were written on him. He said that his interviews published in international newspapers also highlight many aspects of his personality. Though books on Bhutto had been written earlierAhmed has provided a psychological analysis of the leader, he added.
He said that Bhutto’s speeches and writings were taken into account while writing the book and so were the experiences of the fans and people who worked with Bhutto. He said that the book was impartial and also analysed the economic conditions in Bhutto’s time. He said that along with the psychological analysis of a political personality, a psychological analysis of the society is also necessary and so was the need to learn about the state’s policy due to which the society was divided.
Jabbar said that there was a need for such books. He said that the writer had been objective in gathering facts and analysing them. He said the book did not reflect a biased view of the subject under discussion.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2019.