Benazir Bhutto death anniversary: ‘We won’t take revenge, history will’

Published: December 27, 2012
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Zardari speaks to the people gathered at Garhi Khuda Bukhsh to commemorate Benazir Bhutto's death anniversary. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Zardari speaks to the people gathered at Garhi Khuda Bukhsh to commemorate Benazir Bhutto's death anniversary. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Zardari speaks to the people gathered at Garhi Khuda Bukhsh to commemorate Benazir Bhutto's death anniversary. PHOTO: EXPRESS People gather in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

GARHI KHUDA BUKHSH: Slain former premier Benazir Bhutto’s fifth death anniversary was observed across the country on Thursday.

The Muslim world’s first female prime minister, Benazir, was assassinated in a bombing on 27 December, 2007 at the end of a rally in Rawalpindi.

A large public gathering was organised at Garhi Khuda Bux where President Asif Ali Zardari and his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari gave speeches. Bilawal formally began his political career with his speech.

Zardari assured that free and fair elections will be held in the country, while Bilawal criticised the judiciary for not bringing his mother’s killers to justice.

In other places across the country, people held vigils to pay tribute to Benazir.

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5:38pm

Zardari ends speech with his “Pakistan Khappay” slogan.

“We won’t take revenge, history will,” he says.

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5:23pm

President Zardari stresses that bravery is in tolerance and not in tyranny. “We do politics but we never did and will never let anyone else oppress the people.”

The president assures that free and fair elections will be held in the country. “We appointed an independent election commissioner for this purpose and passed the law for a care-taker set-up.”

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5:10pm

Bilawal’s speech comes to an end.

He says that the PPP will never let any dictator snatch away rights of the people, and his party is not afraid of any terrorists.

“PPP is not just a political party. This is our life,” says.

Bilawal chants slogans with the people gathered at the venue stressing that his mother, Benazir Bhutto, is still alive while her murderers are ashamed of themselves.

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5:03pm

Bilawal targets the judiciary, questioning how the judges have time to initiate cases on prices of petty things and other ‘small issues’, but do not have time to provide justice. “Many Pakistanis, like myself, are still waiting to find justice for their loved ones.”

“When you do not have time to bring the murderers of my mother to justice – who are already arrested – then where did you get the time to have a trial of her grave?” he questioned.

He alleged that the certain elements in the society are trying to dismantle democracy by playing up institutions against each other.

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4:58pm

Bilawal stresses that negativity will lead the country towards destruction and positive thinking is direly needed.

He says his government is aware of all the problems the country is currently going through. Speaking about Balochistan, Bilawal says that the government has taken historical steps for the province to ensure a better future. “Now the people of Balochistan will be able to use their own resources.”

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4:46pm

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari takes the stage at Garhi Khuda Bukhsh.

Bilawal says there are two types of people in Pakistan – those who are on the path of the truth and are willing to give up their lives for democracy, and those who are liars and snatch away others’ rights to save their own lives.

“We are the ones who brought democracy and we will save it too,” he stressed.

A screenshot shows Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addressing the gathering at Garhi Khuda Bukhsh on Thursday.

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4:30pm

Former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani told the people present at Garhi Khuda Buksh that even though Benazir Bhutto is not present amongst us, her vision and ideals will stay with us forever.

Praising his party for its current reign, Gilani said the PPP is a symbol of federation.

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4:10pm

While addressing the people gathered at Garhi Khuda Buksh, Qaim Ali Shah said no party has as dedicated members as the PPP.

An INP photo shows civil society activists lighting candles during a vigil to commemorate the death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto and pay tribute to Bashir Ahmed Bilour in Lahore.

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4:05pm

There are just a few hundred volunteers of the Pakistan Peoples Party here today at Garhi Khuda Bux for the death anniversary commemorations of Benazir Bhutto.

Arrangements 

About 6,000 police and rangers have been deployed around the 38-acre spread of the ground and Bhutto mausoleum. The police mobiles are being used to distribute food to the people who have shown up for the historic day. Otherwise the arrangements are poor for visitors. Even guests look lost as no guides or ushers have been stationed here. Reception camps are usually set up from Hyderabad to Garhi Khuda Bux for these occasions but not this December 27.

We saw the first reception camp at Dhamrah, a small town some 15km from Garhi Khuda Bux. Buses and coasters for party workers also showed up, but their local leadership wasn’t leading them. Most of the ‘leaders’ came with protocol; the less affluent ones in Corollas, Coures, Mehrans.

From Bhutto ‘culture’ to Zardari ‘feel’ 

People are talking about how it feels like this year the Bhutto ‘culture’ has been supplanted by a distinct ‘Zardari’ feel. One small gauge of this are the banners which have five images – of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Benazir, Zardari, Bilawal and Faryal – two Bhuttos and three Zardaris. Also, very tellingly, the name of Owais Muzaffar aka Tappi, who is believed to be close to Zardari, has sprung up on hundreds of banners and billboards from Karachi’s Mai Kolachi Road to Garhi Khuda Bux. They state that he has sponsored them but his image is not part of the poster.

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3:1o pm

Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, while speaking to media, said people who believe in the vision of Benazir are present at Garhi Khuda Buksh.

He said the PPP believes in democracy and will continue on “this journey for prosperity and development of the country”.

He further said that the annual visit to the mausoleum signifies that the sacrifices of the Bhutto family are not forgotten and that the people will take their mission forward.

Bilawal 

Ashraf expressed confidence in Bilawal’s leadership and said Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) will prosper under him.

“Bilawal is the heir of ZA Bhutto’s political philosophy,” said the PM. “This journey will continue. Bilawal has the bravery of his grandfather and mother. He has the sabar [patience] and courage of his father.”

Bilawal started his political career when he was born into the Bhutto family, added the PM. “BB is in his blood. He has vision. He is educated. He has a strong sense of understanding.”

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1:00pm

PPP Chairman and Benazir’s son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will officially launch into the political sphere today through a public address at Garhi Khuda Buksh.

President Asif Ali Zardari, MNA Faryal Talpur, Bilawal, Asifa and Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari have already reached Garhi Khuda Buksh.

Political leaders are coming to the town to visit Benazir’s grave and offer prayers.

Main ceremonies are expected to begin from 2pm onwards.

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Reader Comments (24)

  • Maher
    Dec 27, 2012 - 12:57PM

    We are not remembering her, we are remembering the mess which PPP led govt. has created in last 5 years, we are remembering how much inflation has gone up, we are remembering 27 Dec 2007 how public property was destroyed and people were killed, we are remembering how much Pakistan’s economy has gone down…

    Recommend

  • KM
    Dec 27, 2012 - 1:02PM

    Even after she is gone, she had made things worse for ordinary Pakistanis
    She was no National HERO, then why these strikes why these holidays …

    Recommend

  • Amer
    Dec 27, 2012 - 1:11PM

    WHEN WILL THE KILLERS OF BENAZIR GET ARRESTED, TELL US PPP!!!
    When will the looters and rioters of Dec 27th get arrested. There were other people killed on that day as well, when will their killers get arrested?
    There is no hope for justice in Pakistan if the killers of two time primeminister can’t get arrested.

    Recommend

  • Muzaffar
    Dec 27, 2012 - 1:15PM

    also remember the 5 years of PPP government and where it has brought us

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  • AA
    Dec 27, 2012 - 1:55PM

    The show in which innocence and illetracy of people will be exploited….

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  • Khalq e Khuda
    Dec 27, 2012 - 1:56PM

    While the educated people of Pakistan refuse to believe in the democratic process: sooner or later they will realise its importance. PPP governments performance will be judged in the next election and it will be ousted or reelected without a movement. Urban Pakistanis will come around and acknowledge the legacy of Benazir just they have finally recognised the legacy of Bhutto after being hand in hand with Zia for so long. Eitherway Benazir lives on in our hearts and our minds we don’t need their pointless approvals.

    Jeay Bhutto
    Jeay Awam
    Jeevay jeevay Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • roadkashehzada
    Dec 27, 2012 - 2:19PM

    power contracts with IPPs in her second tenure are the core reason of power crisis in pakistan. the model was motivated by corruption and high unit price with low recovery made it impossible to sustain the model after 10-15 years. we ended up with massive circular debt and no power due to her policies. it has become a political necessity for every main stream politician including imran khan, nawaz sharif and musharraf to ignore this side of benazir. but we know who is the root cause of this darknessRecommend

  • Mohib
    Dec 27, 2012 - 3:31PM

    Mr. Maher said it all. Consider it the voice of every sane Pakistani.

    Recommend

  • AA
    Dec 27, 2012 - 4:03PM

    If we put 4 minarets on the corners of this mausoleum, will it look like Taj Mahal?? I mean….just saying???

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  • Hajra
    Dec 27, 2012 - 4:15PM

    I really wonder, if such security was present before her assassination. Scenario could have been really different..Seriously!!

    Recommend

  • Dec 27, 2012 - 4:15PM

    @ roadkashehzad

    Former President Musharraf did investigate the dubious power contracts with IPPs and some private companies agreed to the lowering of power tariff. However, the tough stance on this matter had to be given up due extreme pressure pressure of foreign donors on cash starved Pakistan and likely scenario of scaring away of the much needed foreign investment.

    Recommend

  • PTI Mardan
    Dec 27, 2012 - 5:04PM

    @Muzaffar:
    @KM:
    @Maher:
    You guys hit bull’s eye
    I only wish more people wake up to this drama

    Recommend

  • Dec 27, 2012 - 5:09PM

    Excuse me, are you waiting for justice?

    You have been in government for five years, sucking blood of nation, and you ask for justice?

    What did you do for it?

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  • Balochi
    Dec 27, 2012 - 5:11PM

    How good would it have been if government also marked a special day for the common people of Pakistan who lost their lives in this mystery war against terrorism.

    How good would it have been if instead of mourning one person’s death, we all marked a day for all those who sacrificed their lives, homes and family to protect our homeland.

    This is a slap on the face of common Pakistanis. How can one person’s death be equal to the killings of 40,000 innocent Pakistanis.

    Shame on you PPP. Shame on those who still support PPP. I am no supporter of PML or any other political party. I am a PAKISTANI who wants equal Rights and opportunities for all.

    I feel ashamed that we are the followers of the BEST RELIGION or call ourselves Muslims. Islam teaches us Equality and Brotherhood.

    May Allah have mercy on us. (Aameen)

    Recommend

  • Asad
    Dec 27, 2012 - 5:13PM

    Life of every pakistani lost to corruption, poverty and terrorism should be mourned.

    Recommend

  • Khan Sawbi
    Dec 27, 2012 - 5:53PM

    .Her legacy? Bilawal… Is that it? Now go on and read Mandela biography to know what leaders really ought to be!Recommend

  • Liaqat Yousufzai
    Dec 27, 2012 - 6:15PM

    @Khalq e Khuda:
    The real educated people of Pakistan believe in democracy but what to do with the educated “jahels” and those poor class who can sell their votes for few pennies and know not the importance of their votes.
    Let me clear one thing here: the current political mafia intentionally keep the people uneducated and ignorant as it serves their interests. How can an educated man think of supporting PPP, PMLN and many others keeping in view their past and present. Don’t forget that ex-prime minister of Pakistan had no tax number till 2010.

    Recommend

  • Pro Bono Publico
    Dec 27, 2012 - 7:10PM

    Zardari has already taken revenge for 19 crore Pakistan — he has looted them to the core. What else does the Bhutto-Zardari gang want?
    Only an uneducated people will forget the role of ZAB in creating BD.

    Recommend

  • kp
    Dec 27, 2012 - 7:45PM

    what is democracy and what is dictatorship,i dont see any difference in it,It does not matter for ordinary people….both are same…..,

    Recommend

  • ikhlaas
    Dec 27, 2012 - 8:28PM

    have you not taken revenge yet….look at the state pakistan is in todayRecommend

  • elcay
    Dec 27, 2012 - 9:27PM

    While Bilawal criticised the judiciary for not bringing his mother’s killers to justice.

    How can he criticise the judiciary when his prosecutors are not performing in prosecuting the persons accused of murdering his mother? His Interior Ministry is just relaxing under one or another excuses!Recommend

  • Hamid Hassan Khan
    Dec 27, 2012 - 9:32PM

    @Pro Bono Publico:
    @kp:
    @Asad:
    @Mohib:
    @AA:
    @Muzaffar:
    @KM:
    @Maher:
    My Dear Friends…Before criticizing go through the achievements of the PPP Govt. during last 5 years.
    Media, Parliament and Judiciary is independent now which was not before.
    Policy of Re-Conciliation.
    Successfully Battling the Extremist Elements.
    NFC Award.
    Benazir Income Support Programme.(Biggest Poverty Reduction Programme)
    Benazir Youth Development Programme Trained Thousands of Youths in Different Trades.
    Lifting of Ban on Employment
    Provision of Thousands of Jobs on Merit.
    Passing of 18th Constitutional Amendment through a National Consensus.
    Baluchistan Package.
    Increase in Pensions and Salaries of Police and Armed Forces.
    New Universities and Colleges.

    Before we make the biased assessment we should look at the ground realities and the History. Thanks......
    Recommend

  • socko
    Dec 27, 2012 - 10:46PM

    Hatred among the punjabi pakistanis against Bhutto family is aptly visible and increasing day by day… if this hatred keeps on continuing and ppl dont try to empathise with ppl in other provinces, pakistan may be ready to see many more Bangladeshs emerging out… You ppl are taking the path of self destruction. It will not destroy others, it will destroy only punjabis, ’cause other provinces can sustain their economy, but punjab wont be able to due to all the corruption of mindsets in ppl of punjab provinces.

    Recommend

  • Bewildered
    Dec 27, 2012 - 11:45PM

    @socko:

    “Hatred among the punjabi pakistanis against Bhutto family is aptly visible”

    Bhutto was made Bhutto because Punjabis overwhelmingly voted for him. Punjabis don’t hate real Bhutto, but the corruption, loot, and plunder of later men and women who are just using the name of Bhutto and making fool the simpletons. It is narrow-mindedness of the hateful people who cannot see beyond their noses, but still blame the others for their own fault.

    Recommend

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