Tuesday September 21, 2021

Mumtaz Bhutto

August 02, 2021

Sardar Mumtaz Ali Khan Bhutto was a great son of Sindh; he served as the provincial chief minister for three years and, then, as a federal minister in Bhutto’s cabinet. Mumtaz was an articulate person versatile in all three languages, to be expected from a politician who has to communicate in public with diverse crowds. He also had a flair for quick and funny repartee (and would always get the better of his fellow provincial members and federal ministers in the National Assembly). Unfortunately, for him, his tag of a ‘talented cousin’ [of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto] was irksome but not resentful. Mumtaz worked as a member of the team. Unfortunately, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was his own man and seldom acted on advice; his fall after only six years is a mark of following wrong advices. This led to their downfall – and led Mumtaz to spending a year in the wilderness. However, back in Bhutto’s cabinet, he had to witness the downfall of the Bhutto era. In the last months of Bhutto’s rule, I was in constant touch with Mumtaz and would argue why Bhutto was not taking sensible advice. Mumtaz would reply “he just does not listen”. General Ziaul Haq’s martial law ended the political dream of the Bhuttos. Mumtaz landed in jail. After that, his life was that of a retired farmer’s – hunting and watching his two sons blossom into politicians in their own right.

He lived a full life, enjoying it to the fullest. May his sons carry forward his dream of a great Sindh. They now have inherited his place in history and can build upon it. Rest in peace, Mumtaz.

Fakir S Ayazuddin

Lahore