LAHORE - Six years on, there is no clue as yet of who had killed former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on her return to the country in 2007.
The PPP-led government got this high profile case investigated by a UN team and later by the Scotland Yard police, but without much success on it. The case is pending decision with a Rawalpindi trail court with little hope of its conclusion in the near future.
However, the people are now looking to the PML-N to fulfil its promise of bringing BB’s killers to justice. During the election campaign, the PML-N leaders had pledged that they would apprehend the killers of Mohtarma Bhutto after coming into power.
“Your leadership has failed to identify and punish the assassins in five years. We would find them out and prosecute them”, Nawaz Sharif said this many a time during the campaign in Sindh to win sympathies of jiaylas.
Nawaz knew it full well that PPP activists are extremely annoyed with Asif Ali Zardari for not doing enough to get at BB’s murderers. He had then also stated that he regarded Benazir Bhutto as his sister and would do everything possible to penalise the murderers after coming into power.
Mian Shahbaz Sharif had also made similar statements at that time to please the jiaylas ahead of the elections.
Just before the general elections, the PML-N had also used the floor of Punjab Assembly for the purpose as the treasury benches would shout taunts at the PPP lawmakers by telling them that PML-N government would heal jiaylas’ wounds by arresting their leader’s assassins.
The slogan, “BB ham sharminda hain, tairay qatil zinda hain”, though originally conceived by a splinter group of the PPP, was also used to jeer at the PPP legislators in the Punjab Assembly whenever the two sides would exchange barbs on some issue.
Of late, Naheed Khan, who carved out her separate group after BB’s assassination, reminded Nawaz Sharif of his promise to capture the killers. But the PML-N leaders’ have not uttered a single word on the issue so far.
In the past two years, former President Asif Ali Zardari and PPP’s Patron-in-Chief Bilawal Bhutto had been accusing the judiciary for the delay in conclusion of the case. Both had also been demanding former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Ch conclude the case at the earliest. Zardari had also been saying he knew the killers. He once even pointed a finger at former TTP chief Baitullah Mehsud, who was later killed in a drone attack.
PPP TO CONTINUE STRENGTHENING DEMOCRACY: ZARDARI
Staff Reporter from Islamabad adds: Former President Asif Ali Zardari has said that following in Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto’s footsteps the PPP will continue strengthening democracy, extricating the downtrodden people from poverty and degradation and fighting militancy and extremism.
“With the support of the workers the party will continue its forward march and grow from strength to strength,” said Zardari in a message on the eve of the 6th martyrdom anniversary of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto on Thursday. He has asked the democratic forces and the party workers to reiterate their commitment to the values she stood and fought for and finally laid down her life. “Today we pay homage to Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and all those who laid down their lives with her and suffered untold miseries for the cause,” he added. Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir stood for the emancipation of the downtrodden and marginalized sections of society, for women empowerment and for fighting against extremist and militant mindset, he said.
“Let us on this day take a leaf from her life and stand up to militants and extremists and not allow them to force their ideology through force,” he said.
The former President said that days before her assassination she asked the people to stand up against extremism and dictatorship. Her clarion call is a clear roadmap for making Pakistan a modern and pluralistic state and today the PPP pledges to follow that roadmap.
Zardari also paid tributes to those who laid down their lives or suffered in the course of democratic struggle and in fighting the militants. “Let us also remember our martyrs of democracy who have laid down their lives and who suffered exile, imprisonment and execution to end tyranny and dictatorship so that the nation lives and democracy flourishes. Democracy has survived and flourished and dictatorship has not been able to take roots in the country because of their sacrifices; we salute them all,” he said.