Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed’s eternal enemies are once again busy in the ‘trial of her grave.’ It may not be appropriate to discuss the NRO case since it is subjudiced. But this has to be said: the biggest cost of the NRO has been paid by the PPP and its leader Benazir who gave her life. Everybody has mourned the tragedy of December 27 — not just the PPP workers but people from every walk of life. It’s strange that the opposition leader and his party are asking for writing the letter to Swiss authorities — strange because they signed the Charter of Democracy that amounts to admitting that all those cases were framed to victimise and malign the PPP.
Now, the same people are trying to raise the dead bogey again — just to conspire against President Asif Zardari. It does not make sense. If they had a problem with this, one may ask, why did not they object when the president was filing his nomination papers. Why this hue and cry now? Actually, the campaign against President Zardari is the continuation of the same old vengeful vendetta that the enemies of Mohtarma Benazir had waged against her all her life.
It was because of the NRO that the Mian brothers were able to return from Saudi Arabia. It was because of her sagacity and convincing that they contested the elections to become the lords of the biggest province of the country. It’s strange that they still object to it despite being beneficiaries of the NRO. This is not acceptable to the workers of the PPP and their ‘shaheed’ leaders, Quaid-i-Awam Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. The PPP will not allow the trial of Benazir Bhutto’s grave.
It is clear that first they filed all those fake cases against her and now they want to use the same against the person of President Asif Zardari. Mohtarma had to confront such fake cases against her repeatedly. In the 1990s, there was a case for influencing a pre-shipment award to a Swiss company. The conspiracy got exposed when an audio tape about the judges being influenced came up. It blew out the wind from the case.
President Asif Zardari confronted a worse situation. He was not allowed to defend himself independently which was in violation of the basic principles of justice. The false nature of the cases stood exposed in the Supreme Court where two judges had to forcibly retire in 2001. Successive governments in Islamabad have employed expensive lawyers, investigators from across the continents and spent millions of dollars to prove the cases. Yet nothing has ever been proved despite an extensive smear campaign. Perhaps the Public Accounts Committee should also check how much money was spent from the exchequer on these false cases.
The Swiss magistrate has clearly absolved Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto from any involvement in the Swiss accounts. The conspiracy to link her to the buying of expensive jewellery was also exposed. There are affidavits that say she never bought any such thing.
It is obvious that the dictator wanted to defame the first woman prime minister from the Muslim world through dubious material based on foreign investigation. It’s now proven that she did not hold any of the alleged accounts. Her counsel had disclosed in her lifetime that the Swiss authorities did not have a shred of evidence against her.
The extent of vengeance against an international leader of her class can be gauged from the fact that her husband was kept as a hostage in jail for over eight years to blackmail her. The excesses levelled against the ‘shaheed’ leader and her brave husband mirror the daily predicament of ordinary people who suffer from the ever-growing economic disparity. We do not hope that the people who are in politics only to make money will understand what it takes to endure such hardships for the sake of people and their rights. Nobody can deny that Benazir Bhutto was the sole voice of moderation in the Muslim world. If Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Shaheed was targeted in the past for holding the flag of democracy, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed gave her life defending the same torch of democracy in the Muslim world. She was forced to live an exiled life outside her beloved country; her parliamentary membership was cancelled and her husband kept in prolonged imprisonment. During this time, she was also disturbed over her mother’s illness.
Dictator Pervez Musharraf’s crony once wrote that she was being denied to lecture all over the world because of the Swiss cases. Such gloating proved that the enemies of Bhutto could not tolerate her respect on the international circuit. They knew she was not the kind of person who could be cowed down and was determined to get her country and people out of the dictatorial morass. The enemies of Bhuttos have still not learnt their lessons and are once again busy — this time to malign the person of President Asif Zardari. Mohtarma gave her life to preserve the democratic principles and the honour of this country. For this reason the entire country and the world honours her. The trial of her grave in the name of fake Swiss cases is deplorable and a national tragedy.