KARACHI- Benazir Bhutto's important decisions as Prime Minister were when she said a firm NO to establishment’s proposals that seemed to her dangerous in the long term for the state and society. This was said by Senator Farhatullah Babar while speaking at the national conference jointly organized by the Benazir Chair of the Karachi University and the Institute of Business Administration in Karachi today.
In 1990 she said “no” in to an offer from assorted mujahiden conveyed through their patrons in the establishment to take the jehad to Kashmir. She not only said “no” and even asked the Pakistan Army and ISI to ensure that the Afghan mujahidden were not allowed to cross LoC, he said.
She said “no” to a proposal to expand the range of intelligence so as to make all promotions of senior state officials subject to clearance and screening by the ISI which she saw as legitimizing the creation of a state within state role to the agencies. She even said “no” to the idea that Pakistani troops should be allowed to support the Afghan Interim Government (AIG) in its fight for Kabul.
He said Benazir Bhutto had turned into a leading symbol of the nation’s identity itself when she was assassinated in 2007.
About the three major challenges she faced Senator Farhatullah Babar said that these included a hateful campaign of gender bias dramatized by the fatwas of leading national and international clerics, the No Confidence against her orchestrated by the establishment and militant groups which failed by 12 votes on November 1, 1989 and a coup attempt in September 1995 that was unearthed accidentally when some senior army officers were caught smuggling weapons to Islamabad ostensibly for the jehadis but actually for first taking over the GHQ and then eliminating her as well.
Highlighting the key achievements he said these were, Benzair Bhutto changed the landscape for women and a legacy of framework for peace in the region highlighted by the first nuclear confidence building measure in South Asia, the opening up of the restricted trade and visa free travel for judges and
parliamentarians in SAARC. She was the first among the leaders to warn against the unfolding existential threat to Pakistan posed by militants and religious extremists and declaring war against them laying down her life as well.
Benazir Bhutto believed that terrorism was an evil and appealed to the honest people throughout the world to rise and help themselves to eliminate terrorism. Her moment of personal glory came when she took oath of office from Ghulam Ishaq Khan and the auditorium thundered with “Jeay Bhutto” slogans, he said. On her way back she leaned and whispered to Shaikh Rafiq that today she had avenged the assassination of her father, he reminisced.