Shaheed rani’s birthday and a gift more valuable than life

Sharjeel Inam Memon June 21, 2024


June 21 marks the birthday of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. Born into a royal family of Sindh on June 21, 1953, the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto rejected a life of luxury and consciously chose a path filled with pain and suffering, ultimately accepting a martyr’s death. There is no precedent for this in history. Why did she do this? This is a question for history, answerable only by those who stood with the truth and did not hesitate to sacrifice their greatest pleasure “life”.

In her book “Reconciliation,” Shaheed Benazir Bhutto wrote, “I suffered the persecution of my father’s arrest, imprisonment, and murder, and I knew that such wounds of the soul never heal. I was ready to do anything to save my children from the persecution I suffered on my father’s death, but this was the only thing I could not do.”

From these lines, it is not difficult to infer that Shaheed Benazir Bhutto chose this path herself. After the great tragedy of the judicial killing of her father, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Shaheed Rani could have lived comfortably in any country outside Pakistan if she wanted. However, she realised the significance of Pakistan to its people. Despite understanding the dangers, she chose to stay and engage in politics for her land and its people.

Once, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto also told her that if she wanted, she could go to a European country and live her life in peace. However, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto replied that she would fulfill her father’s mission, no matter how much suffering and hardship she had to endure. Shaheed Benazir did not care for her own life, but when she thought of her children and sought to save them from the suffering she experienced due to her father’s arrest, imprisonment, and killing, she resolved that she could do anything to protect them from such pain. But, she could not abandon the people of Pakistan.

On the occasion of Shaheed Benazir’s birthday on June 21, 1978, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto wrote a long letter to her while he was a prisoner in Central Jail Rawalpindi. This letter was later published in book form under the title “My Dearest Daughter”.

In the letter, Shaheed Bhutto addressed his beloved daughter, Benazir, and said, “What gift can I give you from this prison cell, from where I cannot even take my hand out? What event can I organise for you? I give you the gift of a famous name and the memorial of a significant event. You are the heir of the oldest civilisation. Play your full role in making this ancient civilisation highly advanced and powerful. By developed and powerful, I do not mean that society becomes extremely fearful. A fearful society is not a civilised society. A truly civilised society is the most developed and powerful one.”

Then history witnessed that Shaheed Bhutto bestowed upon his dearest daughter on her birthday the gift of the people’s support. Shaheed Benazir cherished this gift as more precious than her own life, and she continued to advance the struggle for people’s rights during an era considered the most challenging period in human history for politicians and the populace alike.

She not only confronted two military dictators but also took on terrorists. Amid the challenging era, she unified democratic forces and successfully restored democracy in her country. Moreover, she thwarted the anti-Pakistan agenda of neo-fascist forces.

On October 18, 2007, when Shaheed Bibi returned home after eight years of exile, a multitude of people from all corners of Pakistan gathered in Karachi. On that same day, forces opposed to the people attempted to assassinate Shaheed Bibi through an act of terrorism, reinforcing her belief that these anti-people forces were determined to take her life.

On 19 October 2007, during a press conference at Bilawal House, when a journalist asked her if she intended to continue running election campaigns in Pakistan after the incident, Bibi replied unequivocally that “They want me not to campaign and go back abroad”.

Finally, the tragic day of December 27, 2007 arrived, when Shaheed Benazir Bhutto sacrificed her life among the people. She held onto the gift of public support given by her father, Shaheed Bhutto, until her last breath. Today, on her birthday, this gift serves as a reminder for all those who can follow Shaheed Bibi’s path in love for their country and its people. Shaheed Bibi’s birthday gift is to never abandon the people’s hand.


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