Benazir: symbol of courage and hope
BENAZIR Bhutto, the twice-elected prime minister and chairperson of the PPP, was assassinated this day five years ago.
Her life was cut short at a time when people needed her guidance most. She had arrived after eight years of self-exile. On arrival at Karachi airport, she said: “I feel very emotional coming back to my country. I have dreamt of this day for so many months and years. I counted the hours; I counted the minutes and seconds just to see my land, to see the grass and to see the sky.”
But those who wanted to perpetuate national slavery and backwardness assassinated her. Here are some words from her last speech: “I put my life in danger and came here because I feel that my country is in danger. I want to see a prosperous, progressive and developed Pakistan.”
Among her many achievements are the missile technology for the country, Agosta submarine for the Navy, women`s banks and women`s police stations.
Also, women`s affairs ministry was formed during her first tenure in 1988.
She appointed women judges, as well as thousands of lady health visitors to minimize infant mortality, started a campaign to make the country polio-free.
She was larger than life and leaves behind a legacy of resistance, courage and hope. She struggled for the right of the people of the all provinces of Pakistan.
She told the Afghan president hours before her assassination on Dec 27 that “life and death are in the hands of Almighty Allah”, and that she was not afraid of death. She boldly took the initiative against extremism and terrorism. She always emphasised the need to to uphold Pakistani flag in Swat and Waziristan.
Terrorism is a big threat to peace in the world. It breeds when extremism gets sponsorship; a similar kind of situation commonly prevails in Pakistan. Terrorism is a heinous crime and should be universally denounced.
History will always remember her for standing up against dictators. She was the voice of the downtrodden and the oppressed.
She believed in forgiving and forgetting, far from the politics of seeking any revenge. Tolerance was the hallmark of her political, moral and religious ethos.
Benazir Bhutto was a great 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.