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‘You, Mr Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Are To Be Hanged’: When A Former PM Was Murdered

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On March 18 1978 at 08.20 AM Chief Justice Mushtaq Hussain of Lahore High Court read out the verdict in the Nawab Mohammad Ahmad Khan Kasuri case. Former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was awarded death sentence along with 3 others.

The verdict stated that the major accused was the conspirator, and that he turned the FSF into an instrument against his political opponents. A few days after the verdict, a British journalist asked General  Zia if Bhutto would be actually hanged. He replied that the matter was still in the court but nobody was above the law.

In the evening of April 3, the jail superintendent visited Bhutto in his cell, along with a witness and called Bhutto’s name. He then read out the execution order.

“According to the March 18, 1978 order of the LHC, you, Mr Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, are to be hanged for the murder of Nawab Mohammad Ahmad Khan.”

Col Rafiuddin who was standing beside the superintendent said he did not see any sign of panic on Bhutto’s face. Instead, he had a smile on his face. At 2:04 AM, the executioner whispered something into Bhutto’s ear And then pressed the lever.

ZA Bhutto’s funeral

The former prime minister was no more. Bhutto’s execution ordered by the dictator and facilitated by the courts was termed as a judicial murder later on. This treatment meted out to an elected prime minister remains a sad reminder of excesses committed by military dictator in Pakistan.

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1 Comment

  1. Mohammad Baig April 5, 2020

    April 4 has a history of law of necessity?
    Was Bhutto killed by the generals alone or the mirs. Pirs, the judges and the CEC‘s big guns?

    Looks all true narrative of the past and the blunders did by our rulers in the name of people’s power to come in power just and then use them all as the tissue paper.
    This narrative did not have the last meeting’s story or the last message when Yahya Bukhtiyar met the Bhutto Sahib in Rawalpindi jail and brought the last message to save or let him die.
    The meeting of the central executive committee at Islamabad headed by big guns of the PPP to save and secure the Z.A. Bhutto was going on.
    Yahya Bukhtiyar came and told the central executive committee to stop all the running business and do a new thing advised by Bhutto Sahib and take it the last strategy to save and secure the Bhutto or otherwise he is no more.
    “The last message was to call the people on the road and they are the only and the alone guarantee to save the Bhutto”.
    Bhutto Sahib said forget about all other measures and do the said one immediately.
    The man who first of all denied and refused the call or the advice from Bhutto Sahib was the Hafeez Pirzada.
    He said if we are going to call the people on the road and do the countrywide protests what would say the generals who have assured we all not to hang the Bhutto so it would be mixing the situation and create confusion thus we are going to trust the guarantees given by the generals.
    Therefore the campaign that would have saved Bhutto was lost and then what happened we all know it well.
    Let me quote here an example of the same or the similar incident that met successfully in India.
    In those days the PM Indra Gandhi was arrested by Mirar Jee Disai I think.
    So on call to open the Indra Gandhi the Indian people rushed the country and turned down the whole system like a bad storm and forced the government to open the jail for the Indra Gandhi with in just three days perhaps.
    The incident of the Indra Gandhi was held before and had a valid example for the Pakistani people to save their leader but it met with conciliation strategy and the Bhutto was lost because of that blunder done by the CEC of the PPP.
    What did the Pirzada then within the time period of the hearing of the Bhutto Sahib the daily Jang is witness of the same as it posted it as the second lead of the paper, Jang daily.
    There were many more reasons too not saving the Bhutto but the main reason behind his killing was the same we did not try and trusted the generals who actually wanted to kill him.
    “HOW MOLVI MUSTAK WAS BROUGHT IN THE LAHORE HIGH COURT AS THE CHIEF JUSTICE WAS ACLEAR MESSAGE OF THE DRAMATUGY DESIGNED BY THE BIG GUNS AND IT MET THE SAME END”.
    Another factor was the so called leadership of the PPP that was changed from proletariat’s to jagirdars and the waderas and the mirs and the jatois who did not have any sort of love affair with Bhutto and joined the PPP to save their interest and hold back their rule in the government as well as at their constituencies for which they feel it losing.
    They were never the friend of Bhutto and proved at last the same.
    The committed and the likeminded people and the leaders were altered with MIrs and the Pirs and the loving and sacrificing people were cornered with no say within the period of just two years after holding of the power.
    I still believe that if the people were called on the road Bhutto could be saved but not with the help of the Mirs and the Pirs still having hold and domination in the PPP.
    So those who trusted the big guns in trouble were never saved unless they called the people on road and scarify as many more did for the Bhutto Sahib but were misguided by their so called leadership that did not have any relationship with the commons and the ordinary people of the society.
    So, trusting the people for power is not the blunder but a big blunder if denying the people for hearing and accounting them in trouble.

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