Zulfikar Ali Bhutto: The man who made history

Published: April 4, 2012
Bhutto left us more than thirty years ago, but his memories are still fresh in our minds. PHOTO: PID/FILE

Bhutto left us more than thirty years ago, but his memories are still fresh in our minds. PHOTO: PID/FILE

“We shall fight a thousand years to liberate Kashmir and we shall eat grass, but we will make an atomic bomb.” These were the words of a great leader who revived a new spirit; and who taught the depressed nation to start living again with honour.

He had weaknesses too, but his strengths surpassed his flaws. History is proud of such people who did not bow down to pressure even when they were hanged. This bright light of Pakistan, who helped his nation in trying times, was taken from us on April 4, 1979. He left us more than thirty years ago, but his memories are still fresh in our minds.

Those who thought they could eliminate Bhutto’s name failed terribly: the great leader is still alive in our hearts, while their names have disappeared into oblivion. Ironically, those who supported the judicial decision then, admit today that it was wrong. I wish the media was as powerful in those days as is now and the hanging of Bhutto could not take place.

The decision has never been quoted by any court as a precedent. One can see easily that the court’s decision was partial and biased as it was taken neither according to Islamic principles of justice nor according to the law in practice. Bhutto himself had not committed any murder. And if we suppose that he was involved in a conspiracy, he could not be given a death penalty for it.

This was a judicial murder as Bhutto was a hero for the common man.

If Pakistan has had any leader after Quaid-e-Azam, who enjoyed reverence and popularity, he is Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He made the poor and downtrodden people politically aware. He wanted them to be treated and respected like any human being should be.

He brought the helpless peasants on a par with the feudal lords. I am a witness to this revolution taking place in my village. Many people still remember those days when people of low social status like factory workers, blacksmiths, carpenters and cobblers were made office-bearers of the Pakistan Peoples’ Party.  A social revolution took place and Bhutto was blamed for turmoil; but this was actually a golden revolution.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 4th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (61)

  • Apr 4, 2012 - 10:06AM

    Whether you agree with everything written or not, the man does raise a very interesting point. Could Bhutto have still been hanged if the Media was as free and developed as it is today?


  • Pak 1
    Apr 4, 2012 - 10:13AM

    You forgot the part where half the country was lost. I guess his qualities surpassed that. Celebrating a drunkard idiot whose dream of having the people eat grass is fast coming true. Lol only in pakistan.


  • Fahad
    Apr 4, 2012 - 10:15AM

    ‘The man who made history’…yeah right…by splitting the country into two only for his personal gains. He deserved what he got! Just another crap by a blind supporter.Recommend

  • Observant
    Apr 4, 2012 - 10:18AM

    Long Live Pakistan, Long Live Bhuttoism!


  • Sajida
    Apr 4, 2012 - 10:27AM

    Amazing. I remember seeing people who couldn’t wait to get rid of him
    That’s why they were in the streets.
    This man harmed manufacturing and has harrned Pakistan greatly. To commerate this man is to show the paper to be a neo pravda paper. This is demeaning.
    I suggest the major read that book about him by Mr. Mazari. He should have read that before ad we would have been saved this waste of paper.


  • Mirza
    Apr 4, 2012 - 10:29AM

    It is God who gives the honor and dishonor. The people who hanged the first elected PM are either dead or hiding quietly. In fact many do not know but the name of Gen Zia has been officially removed by the elected congress of Pakistan. It is a shame that Sheikh Mjuib’s killers are punished but PCO judges are sitting on ZAB’s review case just like M. Mai’s gang rape case among others. They are too busy in memo and other fabricated cases and chasing foreign double agent like never before in its history.


  • MAD
    Apr 4, 2012 - 10:38AM

    WHy is ET glorifying a convicted murderer?


  • Omair
    Apr 4, 2012 - 10:41AM

    He did make history, by dividing Pakistan into 2. He was a feudal lord and had a similar mentality ‘I cant do wrong, I am above the law.’


  • Faysal
    Apr 4, 2012 - 11:12AM

    Surely, this man was the most famous leader in this country after Jinnah, who actually touched the hearts of the poeple. Unfortunately, he added to their misery rather than amiliorating them. His bad decisions included:
    a) Making sure that the E Pakistan leadership is pushed to the wall, resulting in the break up
    b) Nationalization of Industries, effectively destroying their competiveness.
    c) Treating the political opponents as criminals. Hauling them to the infamous prisons for torchers
    d) Having the dubious distinction of being Pakistan’s first and only civil martial law administrator

    Unfortunately a dictator made a hero out of him


  • wazirabadi
    Apr 4, 2012 - 11:18AM

    “If Pakistan has had any leader after Quaid-e-Azam, who enjoyed reverence and popularity, he is Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.”
    That is absolutely true and his judicial murder was for sure a conspiracy to get rid of a rising muslim leader who could have ultimately given diginity and honour to the muslim nations by uniting them together.


  • Sheikh
    Apr 4, 2012 - 11:24AM

    “This bright light of Pakistan, who helped his nation in trying times, was taken from us on April 4, 1979”

    Sure he had some good traits, but denying Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the rightful Prime Minister, power at the cost of breaking the nation in half no way justifies any of his actions. He nationalized all the major industry, if anyone, ZAB is one of the leaders to be blamed for the state that Pakistan is in today.


  • Neha Khan
    Apr 4, 2012 - 12:03PM

    @ Mad…..reading your comment, I give you full marks for your nick.


  • Apr 4, 2012 - 12:08PM

    Really bhutto was a great leader ever in pak history after Quaid e Azam….. He was really democratic man…


  • MAD
    Apr 4, 2012 - 12:50PM

    @Neha Khan: Why? did i say anything factually incorrect? (last i checked neither has the decision been reversed nor a presidential pardon issued)


  • Mandeep Vaid
    Apr 4, 2012 - 12:54PM

    The man who made history by cheating the East Pakistanis and creating Bangladesh?

    We shall fight a thousand years to liberate Kashmir and we shall eat grass, but we will make an atomic bomb.”
    Yes Mister congratulations, Pakistan has an atom bumb and besides your family and the elite class, they are all eating grass now and we wish them a good appetite. But careful that the dry grass does not stuck in the throat, because Pakistan has ultimately run out of water……..electricity, gas! This is the small price for your beloved toy!

    Before you start liberating Kashmir, better liberate your minds and hearts from the darkness of your ignorance, hatred and senseless utopic dreams.


  • Apr 4, 2012 - 1:19PM

    “We shall fight a thousand years to liberate Kashmir and we shall eat grass, but we will make an atomic bomb.” Despite of several efforts i could never find the proof of these quote, can anybody please help me finding any video or audio clip of this.


  • Abdul Wahab Lashari
    Apr 4, 2012 - 2:04PM

    Long Live Bhuttoism. Long Live Pakistan …


  • Ahsan
    Apr 4, 2012 - 2:09PM

    He looted our family.. He took a steel mill from us in the name of nationalization…


  • Apr 4, 2012 - 2:12PM

    Yes the man made history as well as changed geography of Pakistan


  • Shahbaz Jamali
    Apr 4, 2012 - 2:21PM

    “We shall fight a thousand years to liberate Kashmir and we shall eat grass, but we will make an atomic bomb.” Atomic power of Pakistan was Brainchild of ZAB, and he proved it by making Pakistan an Atomic power.He might have liberated Kashmir but he was not allowed to do other things for Pakistan and he was judicially murdered with a conspiracy made by Pakistan and Muslim nations’ enemies.


  • Shahbaz
    Apr 4, 2012 - 2:28PM

    @Ahsan: First study history. He took a steel mill or gave you steel mill. The Pakistan Steel Mill is the country’s largest industrial undertaking having a production capacity of 1.1 million tonnes of steel.This project was initiated by ZAB.Isn’t that a step to be appreciated???


  • Hashmi
    Apr 4, 2012 - 2:31PM

    PPP govt and you see media glorifying him and giving him more airtime. Where is he when there is any other govt.


  • MAD
    Apr 4, 2012 - 2:34PM

    You know both QUiad-e-Azem and BHutto have one thing in common. both created nations. Jinnah created Pakistan. ZAB created Bangladesh.


  • 66
    Apr 4, 2012 - 2:53PM

    Biggest joke in the world that Bhutto was democratic. If he was so democratic then why didnt he let mujibur rehman make a govt in 1970 even though they won the election. All pakistani leaders want is power and nothing else and once they have it, they abuse it till they are kicked out and its normally not a democratic process.


  • Saad
    Apr 4, 2012 - 2:53PM


    You make me realise how important it is indeed to reverse the decision and after all the government is right in asking Supreme Court to review the decision.


    Please re-read the history. Bhutto didn’t deny Mujib the Premiership, Yahya did. Something also this government should have corrected in text books long time back.


  • Kashmirian
    Apr 4, 2012 - 2:54PM

    He gave a detrimental blow to the economy of pakistan by nationalizing or in otherwords stealing the private schools, organizations, banks and industries from their owners. The main reason for the downfall of the pakistan´s economy was this man´s reckless nationalization policies of 70´s. Pakistan´s economy has not recovered since then.


  • Hassan Bokhari
    Apr 4, 2012 - 3:17PM

    Long Live Zulfiqar and Benazir Bhutto!!!


  • apj
    Apr 4, 2012 - 3:52PM

    Long live Bhutto = country divided into two, commoners eating grass, and to top it all democracy which has seriously taken its revenge from the Awam. Though he makes a good topic for a debate


  • Alee
    Apr 4, 2012 - 3:56PM

    30 years down the road… People are still jealous and afraid of his popularity and the idea to change the status quo… Power from the people, by the people and for the people is Bhuttoism… this country was not made by Qauid for the elites, industrialist, waderas, military, bureaucracy and ignorant people, it was created for the ordinary man who lives on these land and survived the colonism!!!


  • Alee
    Apr 4, 2012 - 3:58PM

    dude i just ve one thing to say to you : ‘little knowledge is worse then having no knowledge’


  • MAD
    Apr 4, 2012 - 4:03PM

    @Hassan Bokhari: But they’re dead


  • Zeffos
    Apr 4, 2012 - 4:32PM

    Stop pitying the dead, pity the living. Get over with it.


  • Riaz Khan
    Apr 4, 2012 - 4:35PM

    He was a true visionary because he saw thirty years ago that Pakistani nation will be eating grass but will have an atomic bomb. So 970 more years of continued fighting in Kashmir. Long live Bhutto!


  • Ali Tanoli
    Apr 4, 2012 - 4:54PM

    Bhutto was great leader indeed.


  • Asif
    Apr 4, 2012 - 5:43PM

    Its a shame considered as heroes in this country and comparing him with Quaid is ridiculous. Quaid was a man of principles. On the other hand he was just a feudal lord who was power hungryRecommend

  • Ali
    Apr 4, 2012 - 6:47PM

    @Mandeep Vaid:
    Why is it that you ask us to liberate ourselves of hatred while your comment reeks of it.


  • Owais
    Apr 4, 2012 - 8:16PM

    hi, the writer tried to show the actual aspect of Z.A.B, he was the good man , he bears all qualities of a leader.But I don’t know why if any one who who thinks good for Pakistan or try to to do best for the lives of Pakistani’s is hanged always like Bhutto. So from today we should think like that no one would be more Sacrificed like Bhutto again.


  • oliver
    Apr 4, 2012 - 9:13PM

    why isn’t anyone addressing the fact that he supported communism greatly ?


  • malik hamza
    Apr 4, 2012 - 9:17PM

    see indias reality ur one of the worlds poorest countires. You made the atom bomb but look at the state of ur so called barat.


  • Ahsan
    Apr 4, 2012 - 10:28PM

    @Shahbaz: Do you think that theres only one steel mill in Pakistan? :s It was my family owned steel mill in Lahore which got nationalized. Should I appreciate him for what he did to us?


  • Hero
    Apr 4, 2012 - 10:50PM

    @Ali Tanoli: Really for breaking up Pakistan into two.


  • Apr 4, 2012 - 11:28PM

    @66…Mujib ur rehman won and if only bhutto did’nt let him to make a government then look as all other pakistani leaders mujib ur rehman was too like them who in respnse just create haterds in bangalis for east pakistan and for the sake of power he divide pak in two. . .dnt see one aspect of the issue. . .bhutto was nt only the person who broke pak into two.


  • Meekal Ahmed
    Apr 5, 2012 - 12:32AM

    Very good, Sir. He was a great man but like all great men in history, he had his flaws.

    He did not deserve the fate that befell him. .

    Just think, for a moment, how cruel and deeply vindictive and insecure Zia was.

    But fate moved its giant hand. God is just as he sent Zias hurtling towards his death at 300 knots, nose straight down with nothing left except a tooth — and even then they say it was quickly manufactured.

    What could be a more befitting end for a person who hung a PM?

    And we still doubt God’s will in this earth?

    never mind the hereafter because we don’t know what awaits us.


  • sarmad shah
    Apr 5, 2012 - 2:10AM

    Where on the globe one part of country is not geographically connected to the other part of country… It was only in the case of Pakistan where one part of country was 1000 miles away from the capital and between two parts stood India. Fall of Dacca was bound to happen … Bangladesh was inevitable since what did bengalis get from Pakistan from 1947-71… From 1947-71, who was ruling Pakistan, the military and bureaucracy.Bengalis were demanding their share and who denied them their share ofcoarse the governments from 1947-71. All of you should read historry, there was a movement MUKTI-BAHINI movement which was supposedly an insurgency movement funded by India and it started before 1971 and read about Maulana bhashani he was leading that movement he condemned Pakistan.

    People here are throwing tantrums that we lost east pakistan because of Bhutto… this is so ridiculous! Still throwing tantrums over fall of Dacca, why dont you see the conditions of Baluchistan , who is responsible for that ? none other than Musharaf

    people here are abusing Bhutto, the one who gave Pakistan a constitution and made Pakistan a nuclear state… It is because of him that Pakistan still exists on the world map otherwise the fate of other provinces would had been same as of East Pakistan or maybe worse than that.

    Bhutto was hanged because he was a sindhi prime minister whereas the Punjabi primeminister is accorded with respect and sent to Jeddah… Bhutto’s murder was a judicial murder …


  • sarmad shah
    Apr 5, 2012 - 2:12AM

    Bhuttos lost all members of the family for the sake of Pakistan and this is what we are getting in return


  • sarmad shah
    Apr 5, 2012 - 2:16AM

    @ MAD, you are doing justice with your nick keep it up
    the Holy Quran says that martyrs are not dead


  • Saad
    Apr 5, 2012 - 6:14AM


    Your family probably had a re-rolling mill, not the same as steel mill so stop misleading people. But his nationalisation policies were a failure in hindsight, he won elections on the promise of it.


  • MAD
    Apr 5, 2012 - 9:56AM

    @sarmad shah: what does the Quran say about murderers?


  • Ahsan
    Apr 5, 2012 - 11:58AM

    When did I say that it was the same as pakistan steel mill :/ I mean why would I mislead people I was just telling the truth. That mill was a processing mill and what ever it may be was the bottom line is Bhutto nationalized it and we got nothing. My question is why did he nationalized it on the first place? What about the other families just like my family?


  • sarmad shah
    Apr 5, 2012 - 1:58PM

    @ MAD, do u have any evidence that Bhutto was guilty of charges against him… it was a conspiracy even all senior political analysts even Col. Rafiuddin who is the eyewitness of Bhutto’s death he himself said it was a false case and Bhutto was killed because they wanted to kill him… i watched this interview > Frontline with Kamran Shahid,<
    many other have admitted that they were under pressure from martial law administration to get him killed

    Ok fine if he was a murderer why his family was tortured , why was Benazir Bhutto tortured in solitary confinement? what did she do ? was she the murderer?


  • Saad
    Apr 6, 2012 - 6:13AM


    He nationalised it because that is what he promised people in his manifesto! He was a communist as were hundreds of other global leaders. And by the way during his tenure and even in years following his downfall the industrial production continued to grow.

    I am sorry for your family but he did what he promised to do. Please read on socialism.


  • riaz
    Apr 6, 2012 - 10:01AM

    Please Stop talking about Jamuhriat and Bhutto.Bhutto was the person who ruined Pakistan economy by Nationalising all pakistan`s Industial enfrastucture which was built duing elevan years of President Ayub Khan rule. you like to know who started Sep,1965 War,that was Bhutto, and we had lost almost all of our Ammunation in just seventeen days of war.During East Pakistan conflict of 1971 Bhutto asked all west Pakistan politicians not to participate in round table confrence at Dacca,Just two Political leader of West Pakistan Shah Ahmed Noorani and Ahmed Raza Kasuri participated in Dacca confrence .East Pakistan could not have become Bangladesh if Bhutto and all West Pakistani Politician Participated in that confrence at Dacca.Bhutto was hang in the morder of Ahmad Raza Kasuri father. Recommend

  • riaz
    Apr 6, 2012 - 10:07AM

    Please Stop talking about Jamuhriat and Bhutto.Bhutto ruined Pakistani Economy by nationalisation of all industrial enfrastucture, which is still hurting Pakistan economy.


  • Ahsan
    Apr 6, 2012 - 6:17PM

    @saad: Whatever he promised, He ruined our lives. Its just the same as stealing or snatching someone’s cell phone on a road.


  • sarmad shah
    Apr 6, 2012 - 10:52PM

    @ Riaz, who was Maulana Bhashani and what was Mukti_bahini movement all about?
    Can u educate me ?


  • sarmad shah
    Apr 6, 2012 - 11:02PM

    Bangladesh was inevitable, sooner or later, it was bound to happen….
    God forbids if Baluchistan meets the same fate as of East Pakistan, then you would definitely accuse Zardari but infact, Musharaf is the one who sowed the seeds of sedition in the soil of Baluchistan….

    Have you ever gone to Baluchistan and inquired the problems Baluchistan is confronting?
    i bet none of you have gone there, same was the case of East Pakistan…!!!

    Nationalization was the policy according to which all economic institutions were nationalized
    You people talk a lot about China’s rise, the global economic giant of 21st century, Bhutto was following Mao Tse Tsung’s policy and look at china today and look at Pakistan today whatever Pakistan is suffering it is because of Zia -Ul-Haq’s regime..


  • riaz
    Apr 7, 2012 - 10:51AM

    Please, dont talk about Jamuhriat and bhutto,Bhutto is the main culprit who ruined Pakistans economy by Nationalising all Industrial Enfrastucture of Pakistan,which was built by Ayub Khan.that Nationalisation of Industries still hurting Pakistan economy.


  • riaz
    Apr 7, 2012 - 10:58AM

    Bhutto was the main culprit of ruining Pakistan economy by Nationalising all Pakistans industrial Infrastucture which was built by Ayub Khan.That nationalisation of Industries still hurting Pakistans economy.


  • Obaid Ullah Khan
    Apr 7, 2012 - 1:00PM

    “who did not bow down to pressure”
    Bowing down to the demands of Mullahs and declare Ahmadis as non muslim was not pressure? If it was not pressure than certainly ZAB was himself a bigot and extremist. Whichever the reason was but it is a fact that it was ZAB who accepted the illegitimate demands of Mullahs and by doing so laid the foundation stone of making Pakistan a theocracy where savage Mullah rules in the name of so called Islam and making it real Na Pakistan (God forbid) as they called it before the Partition. ZAHQ only followed the foot steps of ZAB to harvest the crop seeded by ZAB which is yielding its fruit now as in the form of terrorism and extremism.


  • OldPak
    Apr 7, 2012 - 7:58PM

    In the beginning there were two forces in Pakistan: The Landowners & the Political leaders. Then they both supported Army for their illegitimate rise to power and wealth. The Army seeing room to make money themselves start exploiting the scene in their favour by spreading Army based institutions, manufacturing, export land developments and residential schemes. The Army decided to play "religion" card on political parties to take the power from them so hatched eggs for Radical Islamic parties. Loosing badly Political parties played Ethnic and Race card and so Army gave birth to parties that stop the separation and break-up in it's track but they overtime got out of hand too and merged with the democratic political parties. Now Army & it's hatch-lings pulled another card from the sleeve in the form of Political Judiciary which really shook the seats of Public Leaders in the name of justice.

    Foreign involvement and neighborhood violence, even break-up of the country was used to play a creative role in this wrestling by both. Who ever got the first chance killed the other for fear or for revenge. No body set-up or planned or advised the 22 Iconic Families who held & were single handily responsible for the majority of industry & wealth. But breaking them for vote-base, funds for the center & for the new party employments was genuine Butto’s Idea by means of the Slogan for Communism and so Nationalization_ which along with Pak break-up became the reason of his demise.


  • Abdul Rahman Khan
    Apr 8, 2012 - 8:19PM

    All said and done, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was a great Pakistani patriot. After his disappearance from the scene,none of the politicians are pakistanis – they are sindhi, punjabi, balochi and pakhtoon and ‘mohajir’ leaders but, alas, none pakistani. His nationalisation policy was undoubtedly good for the country had he and his party done some homework on it. Agree that the taken over industrial units were doing better in the private hands compared to those industries been run by the bureaucrats after the nationalisation. The private owners made sure their industries run on profit whereas the bureaucrats who ran them after nationalisation were only interested in their additional perks and allowances. Those industries run in loss or profit, they were least concerned. That’s hyow the nationjalisation failed. Bhutto, we love and miss you. ‘jab tak chand sooraj rahega, bhutto tera naam amar rahega’.


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