After two weeks, the people would be observed on 4th April 2022, the 43rd death anniversary of the slain Prime Minister of the Country, Mr Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Bhutto was amongst the leaders who were born centuries. Bhutto was far more a charismatic leader; he was visionary, wise, diplomat par excellence, orator, laborious, and above all a friend of hapless and poor. ZAB has been perhaps the only leader in the country who believed in the prosperity of coming generations and not merely the one of his time to whom he was dependent on, to remain in the premier office.

This was the reason that ZAB had left a rich legacy that could not be replicated by anyone else who came to power during the last 43 years. ZAB, gave the national constitution with consensus though he was then confronted by arch-rivals in the parliament. Making the country’s deterrence impregnable was his sole contribution in the early years of the nuclear policy. ZAB united the divided Muslim world of his times into a uniform entity. He promoted friendly relations with China and our country is still reaping its benefits. Mr Bhutto chose to be a voice for the downtrodden and highlighted the issue of Kashmir in the United Nations. He took politics from the drawing rooms to the common people. In true spirit, he worked towards empowering the people and bringing them to the parliament.

ZAB was unceremoniously and brutally eliminated under an international agenda that not only deprived the people of a true leader after Muhammad Ali Jinnah but also derailed the country from being on the track of a progressive and prosperous nation in the comity of the world. After ZAB’s brutal murder his detractors tried to malign his legacy by hurling false propaganda and censoring ZAB’s contribution for the nation from being high-lighted but they were unmindful of the revenge of history which is straightforward and brutally sharp.

Today, people remember him as the leader who chose not to compromise on his principles. Despite offers of clemency, Mr Bhutto made a choice that only a leader of his stature could have made. He chose to stay alive in history over an extension of physical life. As a result, his memory is etched in the hearts and minds of the people of all generations of this nation.

The most unfortunate aspect is that his party has abandoned ZAB’s legacy of a corruption-free society built on just and equal social and economic principles though the party has been able to maintain the secular and liberal credentials which it had also inherited from ZAB’s legacy. However, ZAB’s legacy would continue to be followed by one or another segment of the society till it is revived to its original form as the eventual destination of the nation lies what dreamt of ZAB for it some five decades ago.

ABDUL SAMAD CHANNA,

Karachi.