NAUDERO: “We expect the Supreme Court to apologise for the role it played in the judicial murder of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto,” were the words with which Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari summed up the case of righting his dead grandfather’s name in history, on the eve of the PPP founder’s 33rd death anniversary being observed in Naudero.
With his father, the President of Pakistan and co-chairman of PPP, Asif Ali Zardari watching, along with the PPP central executive committee, hundreds of thousands of loyal party workers which had gathered in Ghari Khuda Bux, and around the country, Bilawal exhorted, “the restoration of these judges by our Prime Minister was a truly historic milestone for our country. Now it is up to the courts to redeem their institutions sullied reputation in the eyes of history.”
“Was their brave stance evidence of the beginning of a new era in Pakistan where the judges of our courts will be remembered for dispensing justice, supporting democracy and refusing to do the bidding of our establishment?” he asked, before continuing, “or was their stance in 2007 just the exception that proves the rule, were our hopes raised for naught?” The taunt was neigh apparent.
Taking a dig at the Chief Justice of Pakistan himself, Bilawal continued “must we learn the hard way that once a PCO judge always a PCO judge? Time will tell.”
“The Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto reference case is a golden opportunity for the Supreme Court. I expect the Supreme Court to finally provide us justice. Justice in the eyes of history – the court must set the record straight,” the PPP chairman offered an olive branch to the justice.
The full text of his speech is below:
Bismillah-ir-rahman Rahim When we mourn Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, we mourn, more than justa great man, the first popularly elected Prime Minister and first ever Sindhi President and Prime Minister of Pakistan. We mourn the murder of democracy. We mourn the murder of justice. We mourn for our country. The Supreme Court of Pakistan sentenced Shaheed Bhutto to death by hanging for a crime he did not commit. This judicial murder was not the first nor the last flawed decision our courts have made. Unfortunately our courts have often stood on the wrong side of history. From the Doctrine of Necessity, to the judicial murder of Shaheed Bhutto and the continued legitimization of violations of our constitution our court shave not performed the role required of them by the constitution of Pakistan. In 2007, in the final months of the Dictatorship of the day, our courts gave us hope. The brave stance adopted by our judges and the support of the lawyers movement gave us hope that Pakistan would have a truly independent and impartial judiciary. The restoration of these judges by our Prime Minister was a truly historic milestone for our country. Now it is up to the courts to redeem their institutions sullied reputation in the eyes of history. Was their brave stance evidence of the beginning of a new era in Pakistan where the judges of our courts will be remembered for dispensing justice, supporting democracy and refusing to do the bidding of our establishment? Or was their stance in 2007 just the exception that proves the rule, were our hopes raised for naught? Must we learn the hard way that once a PCO judge always a PCO judge? Time will tell. I am confident that the PPP will finally get the justice we deserve in the eyes of history. I am confident the Supreme Court will deliver us this justice. I am confident the Supreme Court will not stand in the way. The Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto reference case is a golden opportunity for the Supreme Court. I expect the Supreme Court to finally provide us justice. Justice in the eyes of history – the court must set the record straight. Justice in the eyes of the law – the unholy judgment and the precedent set by it must be revoked. Justice in the eyes of the People, the PPP and Shaheed Bhutto’s family – we expect the Supreme Court to apologise for the role it played in the judicial murder of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. The Supreme Court once told us Shaheed Bhutto was Guilty. The court of history is on our side and has proved his innocence. There have been some positive developments in the decisions taken by the court to right the wrongs of the past. These developments give me the confidence to believe that the Bhuttos of Larkana will also get the justice they deserve. The Sharifs of Lahore have had their trumped up charges squashed by the courts. I do not believe there will be double standards. I do not believe that Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto of Larkana is hanged but he does not get justice from these courts while the Sharifs of Lahore are vindicated. Similarly the Asgar Khan case has finally been taken up by the Supreme Court. Shaheed Benazir Bhutto fought for more than a decade for this case to be heard. It is a positive development that following Imran Khan of Lahore’s demand the case has finally been heard. I have no doubt the forces that conspired against the PPP and Shaheed BB shall finally be exposed. Despite these positive developments there are also some worrying signs. More than 50% of terrorists presented before our courts have been freed. I am told there is a lack of evidence and the fault lies with the prosecution. The rapists of our sister Mukhtara Mai have been freed by the courts. Presumably for the same reasons. How can there be enough evidence to hang SZAB but not enough evidence to keep terrorists and rapists in prison. How can there be enough evidence to keep Benazir Bhutto Shaheed, President Zardari and Prime Minister Gillani in prison for so long without a conviction but rapists and terrorists are set free. How can there be enough evidence to attempt to try the grave of Shaheed Mohatarma Benazir Bhutto but rapists and terrorists are set free? I urge the courts to proceed with caution. I urge the courts to revisit their flawed decision in the Mukhtara Mai case. I urge the court to help keep our country safe by convicting terrorists for the atrocities they have committed. I urge the court to remember how they got where they are today. On May 12, 2007, 40 members of my party lost their lives supporting this Chief Justice and the cause of an independent judiciary. Is this what they deserve? When will we get justice? The courts are dangerously close to repeating the mistakes of the past. They should resist the temptation to obey the dictation of the establishment. We cannot allow the court to dig up my mothers grave and put her martyred corpse on trial. Mr. Prime Minister you will not violate Vienna convention, you will not violate the Constitution of Pakistan, you will not desecrate the graves of our martyrs. You may lose your office. You may lose your government but you must do what is right. There is not only the Supreme Court, there is also the court of the people and the court of history. The Supreme Court told us Shaheed Bhutto was guilty. They hanged Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto of Larkana, but the court of the people and thecourt of history was on our side and we have been vindicated. Just as Shaheed Bhutto was vindicated, you too shall be vindicated. They can threaten to send Yousaf Raza Gillani of Multan to prison but he is a follower of Bhutto Shaheed. We do not fear prison cells. We do not fear death cells. As Shaheed Bhutto said. We would rather die at the hands of a dictator than at the hands of history. Let us pray that cooler heads prevail. Let us pray that our Supreme Court will once again choose to stand on the right side of history. Let us pray that there will not be double standards. That Shaheed Bhutto of Sindh was hanged but another Prime Minister from Punjab is freed. That Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto fought in every court in this country and around the world to maintain her innocence. While a former Prime Minister from Punjab, a self confessing, convicted accused is vindicated, while Shaheed BB is put on trial from her grave. That a Prime Minister who ransacked the Supreme Court is given better treatment over our Seraiki speaking prime minister who obeys the constitution and presents himself before the court is stripped of his constitutional rights. I have faith in the Pakistan Peoples Party. I have faith in democracy. I have faith in Pakistan. I have faith in you Mr. Prime Minister. You will make Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto proud. We will get justice. If not now. If not by this court. We will be vindicated in the courts of history. The people have spoken. We are all agreed.