Last Sunday marked the birth anniversary of Bibi Shaheed. The party, despite dithering due to the pressures, did manage to remember the martyred-icon in some ways. Huge ads were put up by 'loyal' ministers in the newspapers. Such projections invariably involved the incumbents of highest offices sharing space with Bibi in photos followed by run-of-the-mill accounts. Some TV channels also chipped in marginally. It is likely that their anxiety for the Twenty20 final, shared by the rank and file Pakistanis, may have weighed heavily on them. I feel that the PPP, being the largest party, should have spent some resources on such a venture to pay homage to the leader who won the party primary position in the National Assembly at a terrible personal and national cost. The only superior option would be to have contributed such amount to the IDP fund which needs sincere scrutiny by an honest panel as trouble tars the existing mode. The president and the co-chairman of PPP, however, gave a great goal to the workers that on this day they should donate blood for the security personnel fighting in Swat etc. Such a noble symbolic gesture if executed with sincerity and integrity would make the best tribute to Bibi besides replenishing our starved blood-banks. To lead by example, he donated blood himself as did the PM and many others. He also expressed his determination to win the current war against terrorism and save the future of Pakistan. Elaborating his stance he stressed that such a course of action was dictated by the Will of the departed-leader who, he spotlighted, was assassinated by such elements. He, therefore, had come to the conclusion that this was the ultimate compliment the party and nation could pay her. Similar wisdom adorns his article entitled The Frontier of Terrorism carried by Monday's Washington Post. In addition, routine messages on such occasions had been published in all the leading dailies of the country in the name of the president and prime minister. Understandably the focus was the ongoing war in our troubled areas and the resolve to punish those who are charged with killing Bibi and threatening our country. While advocating a no-holds-barred approach against the extremists, President Zardari assured the IDP that his government would get them properly rehabilitated in their homes. This was a thoughtful offer as this problem would become as crucial as is the operation Rah-e-Rast soon after peace is proclaimed under the oversight of the army. Given the horrible devastation caused by the fighting in Swat particularly, which used to be a fairly prosperous hilly area of the province and it even boasted of a likeable Golf course in Kabul, it is going to be a horrendous challenge to our resources of money, transparency and commitment. While our friends like US, EU etc can help us financially etc, integrity of personalities/processes remain our primary headache; more so in the current environment of trust-deficit even among the IDP. As Bibi was a genuine leader she interacted with all sections of the party and society, generally, in a winsome manner. This is proved by the empathy displayed by them for their late chief. Aitzaz has opined in a recent interview that the co-chairman can't engage diverse strata in the party which constituted the hallmark of leadership of ZAB and Bibi Shaheed. I believe he has the gift of the gab as well as grit to pursue an objective. This is proved by his long ordeal. I can never forget when I called on him at the Accountability court the first time to offer Fateha for his mother. He sounded very grateful but upbeat about the future despite the dark clouds all over. As the rule of law is a weather-cock, generally, in Pakistan, he was denied a longer parole which was un-Islamic and unjust. I hated the idea that he could not be shifted to Karachi even in such trying circumstances. A maverick also requested me on his behalf. Luckily the chief justice appreciated the crudity of such an approach and relief was provided accordingly. Subsequently he had warmed up to me despite our differences on legal issues wherein I was, generally, supported by the Shaheed PM. He tends to be very polite with me. Since he heads the party now, his model should be BIbi who lived by Bacon's motto: "A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds." The Chairman PPP, Bilawal, also presided over a function held by PPP workers in Bradford. He paid rich tributes to his Shaheed mother who impressed upon them the unfailing value of education. Identifying her as a martyr to the cause of Democracy, he underscored that her 'killers' must be disappointed to see that she still lived in the hearts and minds of the people. He complimented the current operation against the extremists and assured a viable future for Pakistan. About impending UN probe, he thought it would "expose the individuals who planned, financed, and attempted to cover up the assassination." Rebutting a 'whispering campaign' against her family, he insisted: "Let me tell you there is not a single member of her immediate family that does not wish that they were in that car with her." Hindsight underlines the wish: if those with her had made her sit despite inviting her wrath or if the security personnel had jumped to the top of the car as is the mandatory procedure. As the party faces an unstable situation aggravated by lack of intra-party interaction, the workers are getting frustrated. This was amply reflected by the slogans in Rawalpindi public meeting on Sunday which conveyed the guilty feeling for their failure to bring her murderers to book. A far rougher bearing was maintained by workers in Jinnah Convention Centre where the PM etc faced some embarrassment. Due to the existing gulf between the workers and ministers created by inaccessibility, bad faith rules the roost. So a certain controversial minister got shouted down. Apparently the UN probe does not seem to inspire much confidence. This may be due to a confusing charter carried by the UN team. An AP report quoting UN spokeswoman Michele Montas underscores the fact that "UN is committed to assisting Pakistan by determining the facts and circumstances of her death," and "the duty of determining criminal responsibility of the perpetrators of the assassination remains with the Pakistani authorities," Montas said. Moreover it is being said that the Pakistani side tends to be under-represented in its liaison-personnel with the UN etc. Our image abroad is also getting dimmed. Previously whenever I went abroad on being invited to speak on 'terrorism' a la AfPak, I always heard considerable praise for Bibi. Recently addressing a seminar in Kuala Lumpur, I was impressed by the concern showed by our Malaysian brothers about our 'plight'. As a Pakistani I explained the issues raised to the best of my capability. God bless Bibi Shaheed who had an indomitable will and commitment besides unique brilliance. The song, woh kal bhi Benazir thi, woh ab bhi Benazir hai, does justice to her brief life. The writer is a former secretary interior E-mail: imnor@brain.net.pk