Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto

History of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was former Prime Minister of Pakistan, born in Ratodero Sindh

Historians have projected Zulfiqar ali bhutto as a dictator who had ordered military action in Baluchistan in early seventies. I will not go into the details which are outside the ambit of my life-story. But we must not forget that there was militant insurgency in some pockets of Baluchistan at the behest of our neighboring country, and this needed to be plugged. Bhutto was a genius who was aiming at uniting and strengthening the Islamic world so as to establish third super power and to stand in line with other two super powers, America and Soviet Union.

Meeting with Muslim leaders Shah Faisal, Yasser Arafat, Col. Qaddafi

In spite of losing half of Pakistan, it was charismatic personality of Bhutto who was able to call Islamic summit which was attended by all Muslim leaders of the world.  Who could have imagined then that Shah Faisal of Saudi Arabia, Yasser Arafat, Col. Qaddafi, Hafiz Al-Assad, Anwar Sadat and all other leaders, would stand united on one platform, a rare scene which the world had witnessed in seventies?  Shaikh Mujeebur-Rahman also attended the summit as head of state of Bangladesh. Bhutto had said that we will eat grass but we will make atom bomb, which was made but alas! not during his lifetime.

The western world was scared of him which eventually became the cause of his orchestrated judicial murder. Henry Kissinger, who was a statesman of highest stature, had once said that Bhutto was born at wrong place. If he was born in America, he would have been their President. His fiery speeches in security council are un-paralleled and speak volumes of his statesmanship. I will mention a few snippets of his extempore speech in security council in December 1971, after fall of Dacca.

Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Famous Speech in United Nations

  • “For four days the security council has procrastinated. Why? because the object was for Dacca to fall. That was the object. It was quite clear to me from the beginning. All right, so what if Dacca falls? Cities and countries have fallen before. They have come under foreign occupation. China was under foreign occupation for years. Other countries have been under foreign occupation. France was under foreign occupation. Western Europe was under foreign occupation. So what, if Dacca falls? what, if the whole of East Pakistan falls? So what, if the whole of West Pakistan falls? So what, if our state is obliterated? We will build a new Pakistan, build a better Pakistan. We will build a greater Pakistan.
  • Pakistani nation is a brave nation. One of the greatest British Generals said that the best infantry fighters in the world are the Pakistanis. We will fight. We will fight for a thousand years, if it comes to that. So do not go by momentary military victories. Stalingrad was overwhelmed. Leningrad was besieged for a thousand days. People who want to be free and who want to maintain their personality, will fight, and will continue to fight for principles.
  • You know that we have won a great political victory. We might have suffered a military defeat, but a political victory is more important than a military defeat, because political victory is permanent while military defeat is temporary.

Walk out From United Nations

  • Finally, I am not a rat. I have never ratted in my life. Have faced assassination attempts and faced imprisonments. I have always confronted crises. Today I am not ratting, but I am leaving your security council. I find it disgraceful to my person and to my country to remain here a moment longer than is necessary. I am not boycotting. Impose any decision, have a treaty worse than the treaty of Versailles, legalize aggression, legalize occupation, legalize everything that has been illegal up to 15 December, 1971. I will not be party to it. We will fight; we will go back and fight. My country beckons me. Why should I waste my time here in security council? I will not be a party to ignominious surrender of a part of my country. You can take your security council. Here you are. (ripping papers) I am going.”

Shifting OGDC from Karachi to Islamabad

It was decided that the head office of OGDC be shifted from Karachi to Islamabad. I was directed to make arrangements for shifting my department along with all office record, and establish my set-up in a rented house acquired for this purpose in sector G-6, which was close to parliament house and Pakistan secretariat. I was able to find a reasonably good house in sector F 8-4 for my residence. During those early days of 1978, Islamabad was still going through the process of development. Most of the residents in Islamabad were either bureaucrats working in secretariat, or they were foreigners. The majority of people who had to come to Islamabad for business or any other work, used to commute from Rawalpindi every day. 

Bureaucracy in Islamabad

My early days in Islamabad were reasonably better, being a change for me as compared to Karachi, which was too congested, lacking basic amenities of life, whereas Islamabad was very scenic and abundantly rich in greenery. But I realized very soon that the city was infested with bureaucratic stigma. If I happened to talk to someone, his response would depend on my grade and status. If his level was below my level in terms of our positions that we held in our offices, he would be highly respectful and would not hesitate even in inviting me to dinner at once. And just in case he happened to be superior to me as measured by our grades, he would immediately expect from me to pay respect to him commensurate with his level of hierarchy in the bureaucratic setup.

I didn’t like this stiff collar attitude, which soon made me sick of this place. Even my family was unhappy to go to market where the shopkeepers would discriminate locals versus foreigners, and my family would always prefer doing shopping in Rawalpindi markets.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

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