Benazir’s anniversary held

Families of people who died in the 2007 blast await compensation

Saleh Mughal/Jameel Mirza December 28, 2020


Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) stayed divided on the 13th anniversary of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto as a splinter group organised Quran recitation while the city organisations held separate programmes.

PPP city organisation was busy completing preparations for the public gathering at Garhi Khuda Bux while PPP Workers held Quran Khwani at Liaquat Bagh.

Addressing the participants of a public gathering at Benazir’s monument outside Liaquat Bagh, PPP Divisional President Sardar Saleem Haider said that Benazir Bhutto fought with a dictator for democracy.

He added that PPP workers would follow the call of PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. He advised the workers to remain united and prepare for the long march.

Further, PPP Islamabad President Shakeel Abbasi said that they would get rid of the elected government under the leadership of Bilawal Bhutto.

Meanwhile, like every year, Naheed Khan from PPP Workers splinter group organised a Quran recitation programme at Liaquat Bagh.

The participants offered prayers for the departed souls and distributed food among the needy.

Deceased workers’ families

The wounds of families of Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP’s) stalwarts who were slain in the Liaquat Bagh blast 13 years become fresh on the 13th death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto as they await the party's attention.

The families of the deceased workers organised programmes in connection with the day at their houses. To this day, oblivious of the broken promises of compensations, they continue to hoist PPP flags on the houses.

The families of the workers said they refresh their resolve every year that they would stay with PPP in every condition. But, they await a lending hand from PPP as most of the families are poor.

The families of 11 PPP workers, who hailed from Rawalpindi, still mourn losing their loved ones in the blast at Liaquat Bagh Rawalpindi in 2007. At least 24 people were killed in the attack, along with 11 PPP workers from Rawalpindi including Raja Habib, Raja Amin, Mumtaz Ahmed, student leader Asif Samar, Ratta Amral’s Jamil Mughal, Naya Muhalla’s Rafique Raza Kaala Khan, Malik Javed Iqbal, Amarpura’s Muhammad Shafique, Dhoke Mangtal’s Anwar Khan, Mazharabad’s Siraj Khan and Muhammad Ghous.

Nazir Butt of Ratta Amral was injuried in the blast and later succumbed to wounds.

Over a decade later, the family, children and friends of these men seem to get lost in their photographs as they nostalgically recall past memories.

Despite the fact that they paid the ultimate price for their loyalty to the party and its leaders, their families also remember Benazir fondly with party flags and pictures of PPP founder Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto — coincidentally executed in Rawalpindi as well, along with those of Benazir and Begum Nusrat Bhutto.

As compensation for their loss, the government had provided them with allotment letters for houses in a private housing society.

Some other martyrs include Rafiq Raza, Sheikh Javed, Muhammad Shafiq, and Siraj Khan hailed from different areas of the garrison city.

The families of the victims were compensated by the PPP government through aid.

Nasir Mir, who is a stalwart of the party and former Naib-Nazim of Dhok Ratta, said that the families of the victims received aid when PPP was in power from 2008 to 2013. However, it was stopped after the party completed its term.

Mir said that the families of the slain workers should be given aid from the party fund as all martyrs belonged to poor families.



Published in The Express Tribune, December 28th, 2020.


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