Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had a sense of history and chose honor over shame and money. Even his critics agree that other than his weakness or urge for power, he was not captive to greed for money and there was hardly any controversy which involved him in corruption or politics of ethnicity. His power base was in Punjab and KP more than his home province of Sind. During his tenure he tried his level best to give this country a technological infrastructure to attain self-reliance. He worked hard to give Pakistan a defensive nuclear option. It was his ambition to forge unity amongst Muslim nations and give them some self respect. We can differ with his policies viz-a-viz nationalization, but not even his most ardent of opponents will accuse him of financial corruption. He had a charisma which helped him win the hearts and minds of people. In his manifesto he promised the people food, shelter and clothing. Today, the country has galloping inflation, rising unemployment and an uncontrollable price hike for basic necessities and food items like wheat, pulses etc. He ensured that poor of this country had a reliable and affordable public transport system, health and education. It was under his tenure that PIA became profitable with his choice of men like Rafique Saigol and Nur Khan as MD, while Pakistan Railway expanded their service to every nook and cranny of Pakistan. Today, instead of food, shelter and clothing, the slogan has been reversed; graves have replaced shelter, coffin-shroud instead of cloth and the dead corpse has become food for worms and insects. The party that he founded is today notorious for rampant corruption, destruction and collapse of state owned rail, road and air transportation, a dysfunctional health and education system, no electricity and a collapsed economy, while the common citizen has no security of life and private property.
Lahore, April 4.