WE pay rich tribute to Benazir Bhutto, the twice-elected prime minister and chairperson of the PPP whose 59th birth anniversary is being observed in the country today. She had dedicated her life to the service of the nation and never bowed before any anti-democratic power.
Here is a quote from her last speech: “I put my life in danger and came here because I feel this country is in danger. I want to see a prosperous, progressive and developed Pakistan.”
These words of Ms Bhutto reflect her vision and dream of Pakistan, Although she is no more among us, her vision is alive.
History will always remember her for standing up against dictators. She was the voice of the downtrodden.
Among her many achievements for Pakistan are the missile technology for the country. Agosta submarine for the Navy, women banks and women police stations.
Also, the women affairs ministry was formed during her first tenure in 1988. She appointed women judges, as well as thousands of Lady Health Visitors to minimise infant mortality, started campaign to make the country polio – free.
She expanded the Port Qasim, Steel Mills and launched the Keti Bunder Project, gave jobs to many unemployed youths, lifted ban on student and labour organisations and doubled the wages and salaries of the employees, made land reforms and provided lands to the landless, gave freedom to the media and raised allocations for education, health, etc.
Far from the politics of seeking any revenge, she believed in forgiving and forgetting. Tolerance was the hallmark of her political, moral and religious ethos.
Despite knowing the dangers of Pakistan’s political disaster, she dared to take risk and died on the way as an innocent child, charming, graceful, talented and lovely Pinki. She was larger than life and leaves behind a legacy of resistance, courage and hope. People will remember her as an unmatched woman political leader in Pakistan’s history.
Benazir Bhutto was a mother, a wife, a leader, a daughter, a sister who sacrificed her life for the cause of democracy so that her children and the children of the country and future generations and all of us can breathe in fresh air of democratic life.
Sindh MPA, Thatta