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Wednesday July 06, 2022

Benazir’s vision

June 24, 2022

Pakistanis, both here and abroad, celebrated the birthday of a great female political leader on June 21 – a leader who even after 15 years of martyrdom still remains alive in the hearts of millions of people.

Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was the first elected woman prime minister of the Muslim world. Being a world-renowned prominent leader, she was regularly invited to express her views at various international forums and higher education institutions. Even today, various organizations in the United States, Europe and the West acknowledge her in their reports due to her contributions to democratic values, human rights and economic stability.

No doubt, Mohtarma BB was truly a symbol of the federation of Pakistan and a manifestation of the aspirations of the people. She was equally popular in every part of the country. She was committed to solving the problems facing the people, especially poverty and unemployment. She was a champion of democracy and high moral values in the field of politics. She believed that a true leader must do something good to provide relief to the public. She was of the view that the gap between different classes of society must be overcome and negative forces must be defeated with a positive approach.

BB Shaheed’s greatest wish was to make Pakistan a cradle of peace. Taking special measures for the welfare and empowerment of women, she took several steps, such as: establishing the First Women’s Bank, women police station, announcing a five per cent quota for women in government jobs, launching the Lady Health Workers Program and the Federal Ministry for Women’s Development, and issuing bank loans to women entrepreneurs. In my view, such initiatives are a testament to her leadership abilities.

The names of Quaid-e-Azam, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto are at the top of the list of the top three politicians of Pakistan. Today, if we live in an independent country, its credit goes to the success of the Pakistan Movement under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam. Similarly, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, besides several other achievements, has the honour of giving the gift of the national constitution to the country. Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto dedicated her entire life to strengthening parliamentary politics. She faced many challenges and hurdles during her struggle, but never ever thought of attacking national institutions and sabotaging the democratic process.

Her last speech in front of a huge number of people at Liaquat Bagh, Rawalpindi, had given a new hope to the nation. Unfortunately, her tragic martyrdom was an irreparable national tragedy. It was one of the biggest losses of our national history that Pakistan faced so far.

Today, Shaheed BB is not present among us but her memory and legacy is of a democratic vision. People will continue to come and go in the government but only great leaders like Mohtarma will succeed in living the hearts of the people forever.

In my view, if there is stability of democracy in our country and a peaceful transfer of power has taken place through the democratic process, it is because of the same political vision of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed which has been adopted by the coalition government. In the context of the current political scenario, her spouse Asif Ali Zardari and son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari played a pivotal role in bringing political parties closer.

I am quite confident that if Pakistan gets the right leadership then very soon we will transform our country into a prosperous, strong, modern and stable place. However, for this it is necessary that Benazir’s vision should be followed in letter and spirit. The politics of reconciliation should be promoted and the welfare of the people should be at the top of priorities.

The writer is a member of the National Assembly and patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council.

He tweets @RVankwani

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