GARHI KHUDA BUX - Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said her mother Benazir Bhutto was punished only for fighting against the dictatorship.

He held former general-president responsible for Benazir’s death, saying Pervez Musharraf pulled off security for her mother and thus provided a chance to the attackers to assassinate her at Liaquat Bagh.

He was addressing a public rally near the Mausoleum of Bhuttos here at Garhi Khuda Bux Bhutto on Wednesday, on the 10th death anniversary of former prime minister and PPP chairperson Benazir, who was assassinated on December 27, 2007 during a public rally led by her in Rawalpindi.

PPP-Parliamentarians, PPP-Shaheed Bhutto and PPP-Workers separately observed Benazir’s death anniversary.

Besides Bilawal, his father and party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, members of Bhutto family and different leaders visited mazars of Benazir, her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and others. They laid floral wreaths at the graves and offered fateha. They also visited the graves of late Mir Murtaza Bhutto and late Mir Shahnawaz Bhutto – the two brothers of Benazir.

On this occasion, Sindh government had announced a public holiday. There were foolproof security arrangements around Garhi Khuda Bux and walk-through gates with metal detectors installed at every route to the mausoleums of Bhuttos.

In his address, Bilawal said that Benazir wanted to show the world true picture of Islam, which is a peaceful religion, and he vowed to uphold the legacy of her mother.

The young PPP leader said the carnage in Rawalpindi was part of plan to destroy the whole nation but his father and former president Asif Ali Zardari raised the slogan of “Pakistan Khappay” for unity of the people and thus saved the country from disintegration.

Bilawal said his mother lost her father, brothers and even mother in the struggle against dictatorship and for the protection of the rights of the masses. She herself also embraced martyrdom for the cause, and thus upheld the legacy of her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

He said bread has become very dear and blood very cheap in the country. “Terrorists are attacking citizens at will. Our educational institutes are not safe even today. Our prime minister tells us that his government has defeated terrorism and the next day a Church is attacked.”

 

 

Nawaz bashing

Talking about Nawaz Sharif, the PPP chief said that those who dragged his mother to the courts were now themselves crying outside the courts to prove themselves innocents.

He said those who used to call others thieves have themselves been caught. Alluding to Model Town massacre, he said that those who have blood on their hands were now talking of justice.

Bilawal said that those who levelled allegations against his mother over Karsaz carnage were trying to save terrorists even today and distributing millions of rupees among their henchmen.

He said that the politics has gone in the hands of hypocrites after her mothers death, while “contractors of religion” were also once again raising their heads.

He said though PPP has not been delivered justice in the case of her mother’s assassination but they, following the principles of Benazir, would continue to fight for judiciary’s protection and independence.

 

 

BBC interview

Bilawal also spoke about Musharraf’a alleged role in his mother’s death in an interview with BBC the same day. He said that on the day of her assassination, the security cordon was taken off from her by the former military ruler.

Bilawal said he doesn’t hold the man who fired the bullet at his late mother responsible for her murder. He said that Musharraf directly threatened late Benazir and told that her security was based on the state of her political relationship with him.

“Musharraf exploited this entire situation to assassinate my mother. He purposely sabotaged her security so that she would be assassinated and taken off the scene.”

When asked by the interviewer that a segment considers his father, former president Asif Ali Zardari, responsible for Benazir’s murder, he said that this assumption is like calling an innocent an oppressor.

The PPP chairman said that he personally holds Musharraf responsible for the murder and as he doesn’t have any detail of him giving direction on a call or holding a meeting to convey any secret message, he will not unnecessarily blame any state institution.

Responding on a question, he said that the ATC court hearing Benazir’s murder case ignored the United Nations’ investigation report, ignored the government’s investigation, ignored phone call recordings and did not take into account DNA evidence.

Bilawal said he thought that to save Musharraf, punishments will be given to the suspects who have confessed to their involvement, but even this did not happen.

He said that the court gave clean chit to the “terrorists”. He said the police officials, who earlier were to be punished for washing the crime scene, are back in their offices after their bails were approved.

 

 

Zardari speech

Addressing the gathering at Garhi Khuda Bux, PPP co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari paid homage to his late wife Benazir Bhutto for her vision about Pakistan as a modern and progressive state.

He said that he had never seen a brave leader like Benazir in his entire life, adding the name of Bhutto would live forever in people’s heart. He said that Benazir was in fact matchless in every aspect.

He said that she also had the choice to opt for an easy path and not resist the fanatics. But she had a dream and a vision for the people of Pakistan. For the realisation of this dream she laid down her life while leading the fight from the front.

Today as we pay homage to her our heads also bow in gratitude”, he added. “Such is the stuff of which the leaders and workers of the Pakistan Peoples Party are made”. The Party is proud of its inspirational leaders.

He claimed that many conspiracies have been hatched against the PPP over time and the party still was facing a conspiracy in the shape of PTI chief Imran Khan, who he believed has been propped up by the establishment to undercut PPP’s influence. But, he said, the Benazir’s party would go on.

He expressed his distrust with the PML-N and its chief Nawaz Sharif. He also rejected talk of any NRO in the future and said the party will not accept another compromise.

Asif Ali Zardari claimed that in the present political scenario the only real leader was his son Bilawal.

 

 

Musharraf got my mother killed: Bilawal

 

Nazir Siyal/agencies