Happy 61st Birthday Benazir Bhutto, there is none like you!

Published: June 21, 2014
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She was a heartthrob of millions of people and continues to rule their hearts and minds even today. PHOTO: FILE

June 21st is one of the longest days of the year. But its significance is much more than just that. It is also the day when Pakistan’s great leader was born 61 years ago. Benazir Bhutto was a brave and dauntless leader. With her charisma, intelligence, wisdom, knowledge and compassion she was an ideal woman in many ways.

Tested through fire, she never abandoned her ideals and belief in the freedom of humanity from tyranny. In a male-dominated and Islamic society, she became the first woman elected ruler of a Muslim country in modern history. She stood bravely against both the tyranny of terrorism as well as the tyranny of dictatorship. She was an embodiment of courage and endurance who did not allow her personal tragedies to stand in the way of her larger commitment towards her people. In the end, she was martyred for her courage and pursuit of freedom for her people.

From getting the best of education, being a great leader to a conscientious mother, she has done it all. She fought for democracy until death and she worked selflessly for the Federation of Pakistan. She gave the supreme sacrifice for the people of her country and their democratic rights, and gave up her life so that the torch of freedom could burn in the night of dictatorship.

She spread knowledge by building colleges and universities, especially of professional studies and vocational training. She opened the way for the middle classes to develop and prosper in the fields of medicine, engineering, law and other specialist studies. She had also fought for women’s health, social, discrimination issues and was against violence towards women. She planned to set up women police stations, banks and also courts. She was in the forefront to form the council of women world leaders.

As a politician, daughter, sister, wife and mother, she fulfilled her responsibilities to the best of imaginable capabilities. She was a Benazir in every manner, thus being an icon to many women the world over, especially Muslim women. Traditionally, Muslim women are stuck to household chores and would not venture outside. But Benazir’s zest for life and her charisma was so good that she became a role model to many. She was a woman of honour who gave honour and raised the honour of her country and the people; she gave them an identity.

She was a heartthrob to millions and continues to rule their hearts and minds even today. Her entire life is a role model, not only for the people of Pakistan but also the world. She may not be physically with us today but her ideals and vision continues to enlighten our path. Her intelligence and charm has left an everlasting print in everybody’s mind. She will live forever in the chronicles of history. She is a fine example for young people to emulate as they build independent lives and take our society forward in this, still young, century. She is a shining example inspiring generations of Pakistanis, Asians and Muslims to reach the heights of greatness; she taught us to dedicate our lives selflessly to our country, to our people and to the pristine values of justice, equality and freedom in this struggling country of ours.

During one of her speeches in London, she said,

“I appeal to the youth of Pakistan to come forward and unite for the restoration of democracy and constitutional rule. I have great faith in the youth of Pakistan. I know the youth will redeem my faith in them. You, the youth, are our successor generation. To you we pass the torch of leadership, our democratic vision baptised in the sacred blood of our martyrs. Dear students, dear youth, fight for what you believe in. Fight for democracy. Fight for our exploited and impoverished people. Remember, it is better to live like a lion for one day than live like a jackal for a thousand years. I wish you all success and happiness, my dear daughters and sons of Pakistan.”

Today, her courageous outlook has set an example for future generations. We do not have many parallels in history to her life. Mere words are insufficient to pay tribute to a leader who lived and died solely for her nation and its people.

Asef Waheed

Asef Waheed

A political analyst and columnist.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • ovais

    You meant no one as corrupt and incompetent , i disagree qaim ali shah is worst. BTW she has done nothing for pakistan or women in pakistan the time she was the PM.

    She is just a forced hero who is now using my tax money after her death by adds thanks to CM Sindh and all jialasRecommend

  • Sane

    Celebrating birthday of a deceased person……..what is the sense?!Recommend

  • shahid

    Wow, she most likely must have been a super-angel,as per this article…too bad,we never got to see her angel like personality.Recommend

  • munis

    great articleRecommend

  • WhoWasThatMaskedMan

    Yes, stood against dictatorship and screwed millions of Pakistanis to buy mansion worth £10 million. Such courageous example of looting and plundering!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/propertynews/10915100/Inside-Benazir-Bhuttos-10-million-country-retreat.htmlRecommend

  • Hoshang Ansari ….Kaghan

    This article will make most people teary eyed. And choked up. Three hanky
    tear jerker. No one knew but she single handedly brought the known world back
    from the brink. So many accomplishments, in so little time. Just some small
    inconsequential details were overlooked by the author. Nothing to it. Mohtarma
    amassed a fortune of $1.5 billion [US] with her dips in the national exchequer.
    Most of her raids on the treasury were under the guile of bureaucracy were works
    of art. They went ” Under direction of the most competent authority…..” Mohtarma
    never signed her name where she could be held culpable. The tug of war over

    Mohtarma’s $300,000 [US] necklace sitting in a Swiss vault. Gringott’s ? is ongoing

    Houses and one huge estate in England, Switzerland. A Dubai villa. A French Chateau.
    Her accomplished husband Mr. 10% continued her legacy. The family coffers are
    brimming with $2.8 billion [US]. Little Baby Bhutto will never want for roti, kapra
    makan.Recommend

  • Hasan Tasleem

    Yes Bhutto, you were the mother of corruption, there trully isn’t none like you.Recommend

  • Osama Yawar Khawaja

    No doubt she was one of the greatest leaders of Pakistan. Even the current leaders of Pakistan do not have those qualities that she possessed. She is missed and will always be missed.

    Jeay Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, you`ll always be remembered.Recommend

  • junaid

    ziaulhaq and ayub khan period was when pakistan was a role model for world. we need imran khan and sheikh rasheed today to make pakistan tiger of asiaRecommend

  • -SHAGY-

    Beautiful write up…no doubt she was an amazing woman and inspirational leader. We should be proud to have had a woman prime minister of her caliber.Recommend

  • baig

    Surrey Palace comes into mind when seeing her picture and secondly
    the statement she fought for democracy until death. well this indeed has become a very politicize statement. it has indeeeeeeeeed lost it worth because it has and was the ‘takya kalam’ of our current and previous lot.

    Pakistan has been a much better place if these politicians would have done their part.Recommend

  • Parvez

    One quality stood out……..her COURAGE.Recommend

  • Concerned

    She herself might have been ok but the worst thing she ever did was marry. Destroyed PPPRecommend

  • Awais

    Amazed with the comments on this article, One should always keep in mind is that non of the allegations made on her or her husband have been proved. Take the swiss accounts or the cases in Pakistan. The entire system is a mess. Tahir Ul Qadri was an imam majid and today he flies buisness class?! Nawaz Sharif is a lohar? and today is one of the biggest steel maker. One has to accept the fact that BB and Zardari came from well known families and had wealth during that time also. She studied from oxford and havard. She knew what she is talking about. and nawaz Sharif Tells Modi, that his mom cried when she saw modi feeding his mom. Whats up with you people?!! She was educated and well recognised. comparing the rest of the current politicans. Every one blames PPP! dont hear anything about the Sharif’s who were not rich as compared to the Bhutoos! Secondly nothing is proved! not denying the fact that he/she has dont corruption. but the entire system is rotten who couldnt put them in jail, and secondly if they have done corruption then MR zardari has stayed 13 years behind the bars- so he has had his part of punshment. Would be grate to see the sharifs be behind the bars for 30 days!!Recommend

  • Sane

    In countries like us, nothing is proved in courts when case is against a wealthy or influential ones. Same in India. Nothing could be proved against Modi for Gujarat massacre of Muslims.Recommend

  • Golnath Agarwal

    Absolutely. Courage to take revenge for her father’s hanging. 100 times over.
    Courage in looting indiscriminately. Again and again and again….Recommend