Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s vision for Pakistan
→ * social standards comparable to those in parts of Europe
→ * war against illiteracy and ignorance
→ * fighting prejudice and obscurantism
→ * equality of men and women
→ * demands the mobilisation of the people’s collective energies
→ * easy access to education and medical care throughout the country
→ * contemplates better towns and cities and cleaner villages
→ the system may still be flawed but we have a system to build on and that is what is important – and that is the legacy of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
→ While General Zia ul Haq tried not only to bury my grandfather’s body but also every memory of him, I have been fortunate enough to have found my grandfather in the loving embrace of the poor, the disenfranchised and the less fortunate. Even though General Zia tried to silence him, I hear his voice echo from the majestic Himalayas to the delta of the mighty Indus
→ To create a Pakistan which is a pluralistic society – united yet diverse – where people can work, live and travel freely, with dignity and respect we need to confront the challenges – the polarisation – the terrorism – the growing population – the energy and water shortages – and the economic hardships which millions face
→ While Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto governed for only four and a half years, during his premiership Pakistan underwent far-reaching reforms. He gave the poor hope with Roti, Kapra aur Makan. His revolutions in healthcare, in education, and with the rights and opportunities he granted to labourers, farmers, industrial workers and women gave birth to the Awami era
→ He believed in a strong Pakistan, not reliant on others but self-sufficient and non-aligned. His Research Centres in defence and agriculture, and the drive towards mechanisation laid the basis for a modern, industrial state.
→ But I don’t just want to look back, I also want to look forward – to focus on some of the things that I have learnt about him which I believe are as relevant today in Pakistan as they were then
Thank you to all of you who have come on what is a very important death anniversary for both Pakistan and the world. Thank you especially to Lord Owen, you provide a vital link between then and now. Thank you also to George Galloway, a friend of democracy and a friend of Pakistan for many years; and to Professor Ian Talbot, a historian and scholar who has made studying Pakistan part of his life’s work.
We are here today to commemorate the life of a man, who was the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Pakistan – Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, an international leader on the world stage. He was also my grandfather.
When I try to think of my first recollection of his existence, I realise that I can’t. I never had the privilege of meeting him, I never experienced the joy of being held by him or of holding…
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