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Old Tuesday, May 13, 2008
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Question This Is How We Treat Our Legends....

The Last Moments of Zulfikar Ali BhuttoTranslation of a chapter from Col Rafi ud Din’s Urdu book “Bhutto kay akhri 323 din”

Official Notification of Mr. Bhutto's Execution

According to the orders of the SMLA, the following officials were to inform Mr. Bhutto of his execution on the night of3-4 April 1979:

1) - Jail Superintendent, Mr. Yar Mohammad
2) - Security Battalion Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Rafi-ud-Din
3) - Magistrate First Class, Mr. Bashir Ahmad Khan
4) - Jail Doctor, Mr. Sagheer Hussain Shah

This party entered the jail cell at 65 p.m. in the evening on April 3rd and found Mr. Bhutto lying on the mattress on the floor.

Jail Superintendent, Yar Mohammad, read the execution order to Mr. Bhutto, “According to the 18th March 1978 order of the Lahore High Court, You, Mr. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto are to be hanged for the murder of Nawab Mohammad Ahmad Khan. Your appeal in the Supreme Court was rejected on 6th February 1979 and the review petition was turned down on 24th March 1979. The president of Pakistan has decided not to interfere in this matter. So it has been decided to hang you.”

I did not see any signs of panic on Mr. Bhutto’s face while the Jail Superintendent was reading out the orders. Instead, I could see that he was quite calm & relaxed and had a smile on his face. I was really surprised at the way Mr. Bhutto had handled the news. I was thinking that we were about to hang a leader who had listened to the orders of his execution with such calm and serenity. I could hear a voice inside me that the death of this person would be disastrous for our nation & our country. Probably for the first time in my life I felt that I was losing control over myself.

Bhutto Sahib looked the Jail Superintendent in his eyes and said to him (these words are Mr. Bhutto’s own)

“I should have been informed by the competent authority 24 hours prior to the execution, but it has not been done. On the contrary when my daughter and wife met me today at 11:30 hours, they were not sure about it. I called Jail Superintendent and asked him for necessary clarification. He told me vaguely that the required order for the execution has been passed and it was with him. He also told me that my relations: my sister Monawar ul Islam and my cousin, Mr. Mumtaz Ali Bhutto would be seeing me after my daughter and wife left me. He also told me that after the visitors, he would come himself to get my ‘will’ etc. at 13:50 hours. No written order of my execution has been shown to me so far. I want to see my counsels as soon as possible. My other relatives should have been allowed to see me. My teeth are very bad and I would like to see my dentist, Mr. Zafar Niazi, immediately”.

After these words from Mr. Bhutto, Magistrate First Class, Mr. Bashir Ahmad Khan introduced himself and told Mr. Bhutto that he could write his will if he wanted to. He would be provided with paper etc. for this. After this, the official message read by the government party was over and the officials started to leave. I was still in a state of confusion at that time. I felt as if I was petrified. Bhutto Sahib tried to get up but stumbled. I helped him by supporting him with my arm. He said that he was feeling sick in his stomach.

Bhutto Sahib called out for his helper, Abdur Rehman, and asked him to bring some warm water for his shave. He then turned to me and asked me, “Rafi! What is this drama that is being staged?”

I remained silent for a while so he repeated his question.

I answered, “Sir, have I ever tried to joke with you?”

He said at once, “What do you mean?’ and then repeated the question again.

I answered, “Sir, the order has been given. You will be executed today.”

For the first saw I saw a bewildered look on Mr. Bhutto’s face. He waved his hand and said in a loud voice “OK... It’s finished... OK... It’s finished.” I said, “Yes Sir.”

It seemed like Bhutto Sahib’s eyes had exploded because of fear. His face turned yellow and dry. I cannot accurately describe the condition he was in at that time.

Then he said, “At what time? Today?”

I showed him 7 fingers of my hand just like a jump master tells the time before the jump.

He said, “After 7 days?”

I went near him and told him, “Sir, hours.”

He said, “Tonight, after 7 hours?”

I answered by nodding my head in affirmation.

When Bhutto Sahib was brought to the Pindi Jail he seemed as hard as a rock, but now he seemed to be evaporating. At that time I felt the reality of life.

After silence of a few moments he said; “Rafi, that’s all?” I said yes by nodding again.

After a brief silence I told Mr. Bhutto that Begum Bhutto and Benazir met me after their last meeting with him and the part I had played in conveying their mercy appeal to Gen. Zia. At that time I saw that Mr. Bhutto was feeling very nervous and weak. I helped him sit on the chair inside the cell. I told him that by now Begum Sahiba probably would have met Gen. Zia and I hoped that Allah would be merciful and would create a way out of this situation. Mr. Bhutto stood up from his chair and embraced me. He said, “You are a brave man. I wish I had met you earlier.” At that point I felt a slight bit of trembling in his body, but I could see that his nervousness had faded away to a great extent and he looked almost normal.

After a short pause, he said, as if talking to himself, “My lawyers have messed up this case. Yahya* is responsible for my hanging. He kept on telling me all the wrong things. He has screwed everything up.” Then he said that his party needed a dead- not an alive- Bhutto.

He held my hand when I exclaimed that I was sorry to hear all that. He said that he was sorry that his lawyers had not treated me (Col. Rafi) properly. I told him that I had no ill feelings about it. Bhutto Sahib said that Pirzada** & Yahya had given statements against me in the press. I told him that I had not been questioned by the authorities and that he should not worry about these things.

He then thanked me for my kindness and how I had treated him with honor & dignity. I also thanked him & reminded him that he should start writing his will. He wanted me to sit beside him but I had strict instructions not to be with him alone. It would have been very useful to spend some more time with him and he could have shared a lot of personal feelings with me at that particular time. But just that moment a warder came in to deliver some writing material and I had to leave the cell.

As I have written before, Bhutto Sahib had never seriously thought that he would one day be taken to the gallows. He always thought that the case was cooked up against him, was politically motivated and was without any substance. On the 3rd of April, his wife and daughter had realized that the government had decided to hang him. But Bhutto Sahib still thought that to be a hoax because the jail authorities had not shown him the execution orders 7 days before the hanging as they were legally supposed to do.

After that, even after the government officials had informed him at 6 p.m. of his imminent execution, he was still in doubt. But I believe all his doubts were washed away when he asked me what all this drama was and I had answered plainly that he was to be executed that day. I believe that was the time when he realized that he was face to face with death. He was human after all and it was but natural to panic and be afraid when facing death.

After I left his cell, Mr. Bhutto shaved in the presence of Deputy Superintendent of Police, Khawaja Ghulam Rasul at 75 p.m.
During the shave he had the following conversation with the Deputy Superintendent: “Deputy Sahib, where will you find a leader like me? But why would you need a leader like me in the first place? I am needed by the poor, not by the likes of you. I used to make speeches to mochis (cobblers) at Mochi Gate because I am a mochi myself. You people are taking away the leader of the poor from them. I am a revolutionary. I am a supporter of the poor. Yaar, if you had to kill me, why didn’t you kill me 2 years back? Why didn’t you respect me like the whole world does? I could have been kept in a rest house and could have been killed with dignity. Today, the Chairman of the Islamic Council, who was selected by Muslims all over the world, cannot even shave on his own. You are standing near me so that I don’t hurt myself with the blade. Yes, another thing, yaar... I have troubled you a lot... please forgive me. You have forced the other accused in this case to lie about me so that I can be hanged and they can go scot free.”

Then he called the sentry who was on duty outside his cell and told the Deputy Superintendent to give his wrist watch to the sentry after his death.

Tears came into Bhutto Sahib’s eyes when at 85 p.m. his helper, Abdur Rehman, brought a cup of coffee at Bhutto Sahib’s request. Bhutto Sahib said to him, “Rehman, please forgive me if I’ve ever treated you badly. I will be hanged anyway and tonight is my last night with you. I am your guest for just a few more hours.”

Mr. Bhutto worked on his will from 8:45 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. After that, for about 10 minutes, he tried to organize his mirror, comb, hair brush, prayer mat etc. on his table.

Then, till 9:55 p.m., he brushed his teeth, washed his face and combed his hair.

After that, for about 5 minutes, he cleaned the ashes of his cigar and some burnt papers.

He again started to write from 10:10 p.m. to 115 p.m. He then burnt all the papers on which he had written. The ashes spread all over in his cell. He called Abdur Rehman and asked him to clean his cell. He asked the sentry how much time was left. The sentry replied that there’s enough time left. Bhutto Sahib again asked how much time was left but the sentry remained quiet. Bhutto Sahib then said to himself that he could probably sleep for 1-2 hours.

The cell was opened at 11:10 p.m. and helper Abdur Rehman came in and cleaned the ashes from the floor. The cell was then closed and Bhutto Sahib lay down quietly.

At 11:25 p.m. he said that he’ll try to sleep for a while because he was not able to sleep properly last night but you people should wake me up at 12 a.m. He called out Sanam’s (Bhutto Sahib’s daughter) name a few times while he was sleeping.

At 11:55 p.m., Assistant Superintendents Majeed Ahmad Qureshi & Kazim Hussain Baluch arrived. They tried to wake Mr. Bhutto from outside, but he did not respond. Mr. Qureshi telephoned the jail office and asked what he should do. He was told to enter the cell and try to wake up Mr. Bhutto. He went inside but Bhutto Sahib still didn’t wake up. Mr. Qureshi informed over the phone that Mr. Bhutto was not answering, as if he was unconscious. I got worried at that state of affairs, as it was my responsibility to ensure that under no circumstances should Bhutto Sahib commit suicide.

One minute before the clock struck midnight, I entered the security ward along with the jail superintendent, the jail doctor and the magistrate. Bhutto Sahib was lying on the mattress inside the cell and his face was towards the cell. Chaudhry Yar Mohammad & the jail doctor saw that Bhutto Sahib had opened one eye and after seeing all of us he closed it at once.

Chaudhry Yar Mohammad and I called Mr. Bhutto’s name a few times but to no avail. I asked the jail doctor to check Mr. Bhutto. The doctor checked his pulse and then listened to his heartbeat with a stethoscope and whispered to me that Bhutto Sahib was fine. I again called Mr. Bhutto’s name but didn’t get a reply. I asked the jail doctor to check Mr. Bhutto again. The doctor checked him again and told me that he was fine. I asked the doctor to come outside with me and enquired why Bhutto Sahib was not answering. The doctor assured me that Mr. Bhutto was perfectly fine and that I need not worry. He told me that Mr. Bhutto was only faking. I told the doctor that he’ld be responsible if anything happened to Mr. Bhutto and told him to check Mr. Bhutto again. The doctor checked for the third time and told me that he was fine and was just faking.

At 1:10 a.m. in the night, Mr. Bhutto got up himself. Mr. Qureshi told him that warm water was available for his shower but Mr. Bhutto answered that he did not want to shower anymore.

Execution

According to the orders, Bhutto Sahib was to be executed on the night of 3-4 April, 1979, in the presence of Inspector of Jails. Chaudhry Nazeer Akhtar - who was present at the Rawalpindi Jail since morning on April 3rd. A stretcher had been arranged keeping in view Mr. Bhutto’s physical condition because of the hunger strike that he had been on. Arrangements had been made for a few petromax lamps as the night was extremely dark and there were thick clouds on the horizon.

The following officials entered the security ward at 1:35 a.m:

1) - Jail Superintendent, Mr. Yar Mohammad
2) - Security Battalion Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Rafi-ud-Din
3) - Magistrate First Class, Mr. Bashir Ahmad Khan
4) - Jail Doctor, Mr. Sagheer Hussain Shah
5) – Deputy Superintendent Jail, Khawaja Ghulam Rasool

Assistant Superintendents of Jail Majeed Ahmed Qureshi, Kazim Hussain Baluch, Mahabat Khan and warders selected by the Jail Superintendent also followed the above mentioned officials up to the security ward. Inspector of Jails Chaudhry Nazeer Akhtar went straight to the gallows from his office. Additional army personnel had been deployed on the route from the security ward to the gallows.

The officials entered Mr. Bhutto’s cell. Bhutto Sahib was awake and was resting on the mattress. Magistrate Mr. Bashir Ahmad Khan asked him whether he wanted to leave any will. Bhutto Sahib remained quiet. He had turned yellow and pale and seemed very weak physically. His voice was barely audible because of weakness. He said something to the effect:

“I…had…tried…but…my…thoughts…were…so…upset…that…I… could…not…do…it…I…have…burnt…it.”

I went near him and said as I bent over him, “Sir, are you able to walk or shall we pick you up?” He did not answer me, but kept looking into my eyes. I again repeated my question after a while. He kept on looking at me like that and then said, “I pity.” (He said something else also but we could not understand what it was).

I again leaned forward and told him that I could not understand what he said. He repeated the same sentence again but I could not comprehend the last one or two words. I bent fully upon him and said, “Excuse me Sir, but I did not understand what you said.”

After a pause and with a lot of effort he said, “I…pity…my…wife…left.”

He was in a very sad state at that time. May be what he wanted to say was that he could not walk but he also did not want to be carried. May be he was thinking that his wife could have given him support, had she been present.

The magistrate again came forward and asked him if he wanted to write a will. Bhutto Sahib remained quiet. The magistrate repeated his question. Bhutto Sahib replied, “Yes…I…would…like…to…dictate.”

At that moment, the time was up and the jail superintendent ordered the head warder to call his men inside and to lift up Mr. Bhutto. Four warders entered the ward. Two of them grabbed Mr. Bhutto’s feet and two his arms, and lifted him up.

While he was being lifted, Mr. Bhutto said, “Leave me.”

Mr. Bhutto’s back was almost touching the floor while he was being brought out of the cell. The lower part of his shirt got entangled in the warder’s shoes and I heard the sound of the shirt being torn. He was put on the stretcher in the lawn. His hands were placed on his stomach and he was handcuffed. In the meanwhile, helper Abdur Rehman came with the cup of tea that Bhutto Sahib had ordered before we had entered his cell. I wondered: "on the other side of the Jail house’s wall, in the Prime Minister House, Mr. Bhutto used to get anything that he wished for, from anywhere in the world. And today he could not even fulfill his simple wish of having a cup of tea."

The four warders lifted the stretcher from each corner. Bhutto Sahib lifted his head but remained motionless otherwise. His feet were yellow as if all the blood had been sucked out of him. He remained motionless till we reached near the gallows. The warders put the stretcher down on the ground near the gallows. Two of the warders put their arms under Mr. Bhutto’s arm pits and helped him stand up on the plank of the gallows. I was the one closest to Mr. Bhutto. I was just keeping my feet away from the wooden plank of the gallows, but my ears were only a few feet away from his face. His handcuffs were removed, his hands and arms pushed to his back with a forceful jerk, and he was handcuffed again.

In the meanwhile Tara Masih (the executioner) came and placed a mask over his face. He was either having trouble breathing because of the mask or he was feeling pain because of the way his arms were twisted when he was handcuffed. He said, “These”. May be he wanted to say: " these are hurting me." I was very close to him. I had come so close to him, while avoiding the plank, that the distance between his face and my ears was not more than 1 or 2 feet. But I could not hear his last sentence.

At exactly 24 a.m. on 4th April, 1979, the executioner pressed the lever and Bhutto Sahib was executed. I climbed down the stairs to reach one level below to where Mr. Bhutto’s body was hanging. I saw that Mr. Bhutto’s body was moving slightly but that was because of the momentum of the body falling down. He was certainly dead at that time. I went and sat down near the Inspector of Jails on one of the chairs that had been placed near Mr. Bhutto’s hanging body.

The scene of Bhutto Sahib’s hanging body is something that I have never been able to forget. I shiver even now when I think of that moment again.

After a few minutes I saw someone moving Mr. Bhutto’s body. I asked Chaudhry Yar Mohammad who it was. Instead of him, IG Prisons spoke up and told me that it was Tara Masih and he was straightening the arms & the legs so that the body would not get twisted due to spasms.

Mr. Bhutto’s Burial

Half an hour after the hanging, and after the jail doctor had issued the death certificate, Bhutto Sahib’s hanging body was taken down at 2:35 a.m. His dead body was given a bath, the arrangements for which had already been made at the spot. A photographer, who had been sent by an intelligence agency, took some photographs of Mr. Bhutto (of Mr. Bhutto’s private parts, which the author also mentioned in an earlier chapter). The authorities wanted to confirm whether Mr. Bhutto had been circumcised in Islamic manner or not. After the photographs were taken, it was confirmed that he was circumcised in the Islamic way.

His body was then placed in a wooden casket and was sent towards Chaklala Airport. I also had to accompany Mr. Bhutto on this journey. I conducted this caravan to PAF Chaklala where a VIP C-130 was waiting for us. Bhutto Sahib’s casket was loaded on to the plane along with a few other boxes and the plane started its journey towards Jacobabad. While the plane was over Sakesar (which is near Mianwali), I was told that there was some technical fault and the plane had to be taken back to Rawalpindi where another plane would take us to Jacobabad.

Another C-130 was waiting for us at Chaklala. Bhutto Sahib’s casket was loaded onto the plane and we again started our journey towards Jacobabad. We landed at Jacobabad Airport on the morning of 4th April, a few minutes before 7 a.m. A helicopter was waiting for us. Commanding Officer of 7 Punjab Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Mohammad Sadiq, received Bhutto Sahib’s casket from me, had it placed in the helicopter and then took off for Nau Dero. Mr. Bhutto was buried in a grave already dug for him in Garhi Khuda Baksh.

* Yahya Bakhtiar, was one of Mr. Bhutto’s lawyers
** Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, another of Mr. Bhutto’s lawyers.


Do send your comments please about that OLD PAKISTANI TRAGEDY.
thanx

Last edited by Predator; Monday, June 20, 2011 at 11:54 AM.
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What a painful history Pakistan HAS
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Nice info. Mr. Khoso, Truly nice work, BRAVO AMIGO !!!
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Post The Assassination Of My Father


THE ASSASSINATION OF MY FATHER

"DAUGHTER OF DESTINY"
BENAZIR BHUTTO An Autobiography


They killed my father in the early morning hours of April 4, 1979, inside Rawalpindi District Jail. Imprisoned with my mother a few miles away in a
deserted police training camp at Sihala, I felt the moment of my father's death.

Despite the Valiums my mother had given me to try to get through the agonizing night, I suddenly sat bolt-upright in bed at 2 A.M. "No!" the scream burst through the knots in my throat. "No!" I couldn't breathe, didn't want to breathe. Papa! Papa! I felt cold, so cold, in spite of the heat, and couldn't stop shaking. There was nothing my mother and I could say to console each other. Somehow the hours passed as we huddled together in the bare police quarters. We were ready at dawn to accompany my father's body to our ancestral family graveyard.

"I am in Iddat and can't receive outsiders. You talk to him," my mother said
dully when the jailer arrived, as she began a widow's four months and ten days of seclusion from strangers. I walked into the cracked cement-floored front room that was supposed to serve as our sitting room. It stank of mildew and rot. "We are ready to leave with the prime minister," I told the junior jailor standing nervously before me.

"They have already taken him to be buried," he said.

I felt as if he had struck me. "Without his family?" I asked bitterly. "Even
the criminals in the military regime know that it is our family's religious obligation to accompany his body, to recite the prayers for the dead, to see his face before burial. We applied to the jail superintendent ..."

"They have taken him," he interrupted.

"Taken him where?" The jailer was silent.

"It was very peaceful," he finally replied. "I have brought what was left."
He handed me the pitiful items from my father's death cell one by one: my
father's shalwar khameez, the long shirt and loose trousers he'd worn to the end, refusing as a political prisoner to wear the uniform of a condemned criminal; the tiffin box for food that for the last ten days he had refused; the roll of bedding they had allowed him only after the broken wires of his cot had lacerated his back; his drinking cup . . .

"Where is his ring?" I managed to ask the jailer.

"Did he have a ring?" he asked.

I watched him make a great show of fishing through his bag, through his
pockets. Finally he handed me my father's ring, which toward the end had
regularly slipped off his emaciated fingers.

"Peaceful. It was very peaceful," he kept muttering. How could a hanging
be peaceful?

Basheer and Ibrahim, our family bearers who brought us supplies every day because the authorities did not provide us with food, came into the room.
Basheer's face went white when he recognized my father's clothes.

"Ya Allah! Ya Allah! They've killed Sahib! They've killed him!" he screamed. Before we could stop him, Basheer grabbed a can of petrol and doused himself with it, preparing to set himself aflame. My mother had to rush
out to prevent his self-immolation.

I stood in a daze, not believing what had happened to my father, not
wanting to. It was just not possible that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the first prime minister of Pakistan to be elected directly by the people, was dead. Where there had been repression under the generals who had ruled Pakistan since its birth in 1947, my father had been the first to bring democracy. Where the people had lived as they had for centuries at the mercy of their tribal chiefs and landlords, he had installed Pakistan's first Constitution to guarantee legal protection and civil rights. Where the people had had to resort to violence and bloodshed to unseat the generals, he had guaranteed a parliamentary system of civilian government and elections every five years.

No. It was not possible. "Jiye Bhutto! Long live Bhutto!" millions had cheered when he became the first politician ever to visit the most forlorn and remote villages of Pakistan. When his Pakistan People's Party was voted into office, my father had started his modernization programs, redistributing the land held for generations by the feudal few among the many poor, educating the millions held down by ignorance, nationalizing the country's major industries, guaranteeing minimum wages and job security, and forbidding discrimination against women and minorities. The six years of his government had brought light to a country steeped in stagnant darkness—until the dawn of July 5, 1977.

Zia ul-Haq. My father's supposedly loyal army chief of staff. The general
who had sent his soldiers in the middle of the night to overthrow my father and take over the country by force. Zia ul-Haq, the military dictator who had
subsequently failed to crush my father's following in spite of all his guns and tear gas and Martial Law regulations, who had failed to break my father's spirit
despite his isolation in a death cell. Zia ul-Haq, the desperate general who had just sent my father to his death.

I stood numbly in front of the junior jailer, holding the small bundle that
was all that was left of my father. The scent of his cologne was still on his
clothes, the scent of Shalimar. I hugged his shalwar to me, suddenly
remembering Kathleen Kennedy, who had worn her father's parka at Radcliffe
long after the senator had been killed. Our two families had always been
compared in terms of politics. Now, we had a new and dreadful bond. That night and for many others, I, too, tried to keep my father near me by sleeping with his shirt under my pillow.

I felt completely empty, that my life had shattered. For almost two years, I
had done nothing but fight the trumped-up charges brought against my father by Zia's military regime and work with the Pakistan People's Party toward the elections Zia had promised at the time of the coup, then had canceled in the face of our impending victory. I had been arrested six times by the military regime and been repeatedly forbidden by the Martial Law authorities to set foot in Karachi and Lahore. So had my mother. As acting chairperson of the PPP during my father's imprisonment, she had been detained eight times. We had spent the last six weeks under detention in Sihala, the six months before that under detention in Rawalpindi. Yet not until yesterday had I allowed myself to believe that General Zia would actually assassinate my father.

Who would break the news to my younger brothers, who were fighting my
father's death sentence from political exile in London? And who would tell my
sister, Sanam, who was just finishing her final year at Harvard? I was especially worried about Sanam. She had never been political. Yet she had been dragged into the tragedy with all of us. Was she alone now? I prayed she wouldn't do anything foolish.

I felt as if my body were being torn apart. How could I go on? In spite of
our efforts, we had failed to keep my father alive. I felt so alone. I just felt so
alone. "What will I do without you to help me?" I had asked him in his death cell.

I needed his political advice. For all that I held degrees in government from
Harvard and Oxford, I was not a politician. But what could he say? He had
shrugged helplessly.

I had seen my father for the last time yesterday. The pain of that meeting
was close to unbearable. No one had told him he was to be executed early the next morning. No one had told the world leaders who had officially asked the military regime for clemency, among them U.S. president Jimmy Carter, British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, Leonid Brezhnev of the Soviet Union, Pope John Paul II, Indira Gandhi, and many others from the entire Muslim spectrum, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Syria. Certainly none of the cowards in Zia's regime had announced the date of my father's execution to the country, fearing the people's reaction to their prime minister's murder. Only my mother and I knew. And that, by accident and deduction.

I had been lying on my army cot in the early morning of April 2nd when my
mother had come suddenly into the room. "Pinkie," she said, calling me by my
family nickname, but in a tone that immediately made my body go rigid. "There
are army officers outside saying that both of us should go to see your father
today. What does that mean?"

I knew exactly what it meant. So did she. But neither of us could bear to
admit it. This was my mother's visiting day, allowed her once a week. Mine was scheduled for later in the week. That they wanted both of us to go could only mean that this was to be the last visit. Zia was about to kill my father. My mind raced. We had to get the word out, to send a last call to the
international community and to the people. Time had run out. "Tell them I'm not well," I said to my mother hastily. "Say that if it is the last meeting then, of course, I will come, but if it is not, we will go tomorrow." While my mother went to speak with the guards, I quickly broke open a message I had already wrapped to send out with Ibrahim and wrote a new one. "I think they are calling us for our last meeting," I scribbled furiously to a friend on the outside, hoping she would alert the party's leaders, who in turn would inform the diplomatic corps and mobilize the people. The people were our last hope.

"Take this immediately to Yasmin," I told Ibrahim, knowing we were taking
a great risk. There wasn't time for him to wait for a sympathetic or lackadaisical guard to come on duty. He could be searched and followed. He wouldn't be able to take the normal precautions. The danger was enormous, but so were the stakes. "Go, Ibrahim, go!" I urged him. "Tell the guards you're fetching medicine for me!" And off he ran.

I looked outside the window to see the Martial Law contingent consulting
with each other, then transmitting the message that I was ill on their wireless set and waiting to receive information back. In the confusion, Ibrahim reached the gate. "I have to get medicine for Benazir Sahiba quickly. Quickly!" he said to the guards who had overheard the talk of my ill health. Miraculously they let Ibrahim through, barely five minutes after my mother had first come to me in the bedroom. My hands would not stop trembling. I had no idea if the message would be safely delivered.

Outside the window, the wireless sets crackled. "Because your daughter is
not feeling well, then tomorrow will be fine for the visit," the authorities finally told my mother. We had gained another twenty-four hours of my father's life. But when the compound gates were sealed immediately after Ibrahim had fled, we knew something terribly ominous was about to occur,
Fight. We had to fight. But how? I felt so powerless, locked inside the
stockade while the moments toward my father's death ticked by. Would the
message get through? Would the people rise up in spite of the guns and
bayonets they had faced since the coup? And who would lead them? Many of the leaders of the Pakistan People's Party were in jail. So were thousands of our supporters, including, for the first time in Pakistan's history, women.

Countless others had been teargassed and flogged just for mentioning my father's name, the number of lashes to be administered painted on their half-naked bodies. Would the people heed this last desperate call? Would they even hear it? At 8:15 P.M. my mother and I tuned in the BBC Asia report on our radio. Every muscle in my body was rigid. I sat expectantly forward as the BBC reported that I had sent a message from prison that tomorrow, April 3rd, was to be the last meeting with my father. The message had got through! I waited for the BBC to announce our call for the people to rise in protest.

There was none. Instead, the BBC went on to report that there was no confirmation of the news from the jail superintendent. "She's panicked," it quoted one of my father's former ministers as saying. My mother and I couldn't even look at each other.

Our last hope had died.

April 3, 1979. A speeding jeep. Crowds frozen in fear behind security forces, not knowing the fate of their prime minister. Prison gates hastily opened and closed. My mother and I being searched again by jail matrons, first leaving our own prison in Sihala, then again when we arrived at the jail in Rawalpindi.
"Why are you both here?" my father says from inside the inferno of his
cell. My mother doesn't answer.

"Is this the last meeting?" he asks.

My mother cannot bear to answer. "I think so," I say.

He calls for the jail superintendent who is standing nearby. They never
leave us alone with Papa.

"Is this the last meeting?" my father asks him.

"Yes," comes the reply. The jail superintendent seems ashamed to be the
bearer of the regime's plans.

"Has the date been fixed?"

"Tomorrow morning," the superintendent says.

"At what time?"

"At five o'clock, according to jail regulations."

"When did you receive this information?"

"Last night," he says reluctantly.

My father looks at him.

"How much time do I have with my family?"

"Half an hour."

"Under jail regulations, we are entitled to an hour," he says.

"Half an hour," the superintendent repeats. "Those are my orders."

"Make arrangements for me to have a bath and a shave," my father tells
him. "The world is beautiful and I want to leave it clean."

Half an hour. Half an hour to say goodbye to the person I love more than
any other in my life. The pain in my chest tightens into a vise. I must not cry. I must not break down and make my father's ordeal any more difficult.
He is sitting on the floor on a mattress, the only furniture left in his cell.

They have taken away his table and his chair. They have taken away his cot.
"Take these," he says, handing me the magazines and books I had
brought him before. "I don't want them touching my things."

He hands me the few cigars his lawyers have brought him. "I'll keep one
for tonight," he says. He also keeps his bottle of Shalimar cologne.

He starts to hand me his ring, but my mother tells him to keep it on. "I'll
keep it for now, but afterwards I want it to go to Benazir," he tells her.
"I have managed to send out a message," I whisper to him as the jail
authorities strain to hear. I outline the details and he looks satisfied. She's almost learned the ropes of politics, his expression reads.

The light inside the death cell is dim. I cannot see him clearly. Every other
visit they have allowed us to sit together inside his cell. But not today. My mother and I squeeze together at the bars in his cell door, talking to him in whispers. "Give my love to the other children," he says to my mother. "Tell Mir and Sunny and Shah that I have tried to be a good father and wish I could have said goodbye to them." She nods, but cannot speak.

"You have both suffered a lot," he says. "Now that they are going to kill me
tonight, I want to free you as well. If you want to, you can leave Pakistan while the Constitution is suspended and Martial Law imposed. If you want peace of mind, to pick up your lives again, then you might want to go to Europe. I give you my permission. You can go."

Our hearts are breaking. "No, no," my mother says. "We can't go.

We'll never go. The generals must not think they have won. Zia has scheduled
elections again, though who knows if he will dare to hold them. If we leave, there will be no one to lead the party, the party you built."

"And you. Pinkie?" my father asks.

"I could never go," I say.

He smiles. "I'm so glad. You don't know how much I love you, how much

I've always loved you. You are my jewel. You always have been."

"The time is up," the superintendent says. "The time is up."

I grip the bars.

"Please open up the cell," I ask him. "I want to say goodbye to my father."
The superintendent refuses.

"Please," I say. "My father is the elected prime minister of Pakistan. I am
his daughter. This is our last meeting. I want to hold him."

The superintendent refuses.

I try to reach my father through the bars. He is so thin, almost wasted
away from malaria, dysentery, starvation. But he pulls himself erect, and touches my hand.

"Tonight I will be free," he says, a glow suffusing his face. "I will be joining
my mother, my father. I am going back to the land of my ancestors in Larkana to become part of its soil, its scent, its air. There will be songs about me. I will become part of its legend." He smiles.

"But it is very hot in Larkana."

"I'll build a shade," I manage to say.

The jail authorities move in.

"Goodbye, Papa," I call to my father as my mother reaches through the
bars to touch him. We both move down the dusty courtyard. I want to look back, but I can't. I know I can't control myself.

"Until we meet again," I hear him call.

Somehow my legs move. I cannot feel them. I have turned to stone. But
still I move. The jail authorities lead us back through the jail ward, the courtyard filled with army tents. I move in a trance, conscious only of my head. High. I must keep it high. They are all watching. The car is waiting inside the locked gates so the crowds outside won't see us. My body is so heavy I have difficulty getting in. The car speeds forward through the gate. At its sight the crowds surge toward us but are shoved back roughly by the security forces. I suddenly glimpse my friend Yasmin at the edge of the crowd, waiting to deliver my father's food. "Yasmin! They are going to kill
him tonight!" I try and shout from the window. Did she hear me? Did I make any sound at all?

Five o'clock came and went. Six o'clock. Each breath I took reminded me
of the last breaths of my father. "God, let there be a miracle," my mother and I prayed together. "Let something happen." Even my little cat, Chun-Chun, whom I had smuggled into detention with me, felt the tension. She had abandoned her kittens. We couldn't find them anywhere. Yet we clung to hope.

The Supreme Court had unanimously recommended that my father's
death sentence be commuted to life imprisonment. Moreover, by Pakistani law, the date of any execution must be announced at least a week before its
implementation. There had been no such announcement. PPP leaders on the outside had also sent word that Zia had promised Saudia Arabia, the Emirates, and others in confidence that he would commute the death sentence against my father to life. But Zia's record was filled with broken promises and disregard for the law. In the face of our persistent fears that
my father would be executed, the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia and the prime minister of Libya had promised to fly in should a date for execution be
announced. Had they heard my message on the BBC? Was there time for them
to fly in now?

A Chinese delegation was in Islamabad. My father had pioneered Pakistan's friendship with China. Would they sway Zia on his behalf? My mother and I sat motionless in the white heat at Sihala, unable to speak. Zia had also let it be known that he would entertain a plea for clemency only from my father, or us, his immediate family. My father had forbidden it. How do such moments pass in the countdown toward death? My mother and I just sat. Sometimes we cried. When we lost the strength to sit up, we fell onto the pillows on the bed. They'll snuff out his life, I kept thinking. They'll just snuff out his life. How alone he must be feeling in that cell, with no one near him.

He didn't keep any books. He didn't keep anything. He has just that one cigar. My throat tightened until I wanted to rip it open. But I didn't want the guards who were always laughing and talking right outside our window to have the pleasure of hearing me scream. "I can't bear it, Mummy, I can't," I finally broke down at 1:30. She brought me some Valium. "Try to sleep," she said. A half hour later, in the early hours of April 4, I shot up in bed, feeling my father's noose around my neck.

The skies rained tears of ice that night, pelting our family lands in Larkana with hail. At our family graveyard in the nearby ancestral village of Garhi Khuda Bakhsh Bhutto, the people were awakened by the commotion of a military convoy. While my mother and I were passing the agonizing night in prison, my father's body was being secretly flown to Garhi for burial. The advance party of Martial Law administrators made their grim arrangements with Nazar Mohammed, a villager who oversees our lands and whose family has worked with ours for generations.

I was sleeping in my house at about 3 A.M. on 4th April when I woke to
notice strong lights of fifty to sixty military vehicles on the outskirts of the village. At first I thought they were rehearsing again for the actions they were to take after Mr. Bhutto was to be hanged as they had two days earlier, claiming they were normal military exercises. The people were quite terrorized then, especially after the police entered the Bhutto graveyard to take a careful look around. When the police summoned me out of my house at such an early hour, all the village folk—old, young, men and women—came out of their houses. All feared that Mr. Bhutto had either already been hanged or was soon to be. There was wailing and crying and desperation in their faces.

"We must arrange for the burial of Mr. Bhutto," the large number of army
and police personnel said to me at their temporary headquarters. "Show us
where the grave is to be." I was weeping. "Why should we point out the place of burial to you?" I asked them. "We will perform the final rites by ourselves. Mr. Bhutto belongs to us."

I asked that I be allowed to bring our people to dig the grave, fetch the
unbaked bricks to line it, cut the wooden planks to top it, and perform our
religious recitations. They permitted me only eight men to help.

While we got busy with this sad task, military and police vehicles not only
surrounded the entire village but blockaded every small street. No one from the village could go out and no one from outside the village could enter. We were completely cut off. At 8 A.M. two helicopters landed close to the village on the road where an ambulance was waiting. I watched the coffin being transferred to the ambulance and followed it to the graveyard. "Evacuate this house," the army colonel said to me, pointing to the small dwelling place in the south corner of the graveyard where the prayer leader who tends the graves lives with his wife and small children. I protested the cruelty and inconvenience this would be to the Pesh Imam and his family, but the colonel insisted. Twenty armed uniformed men then took up positions on the roof with their rifles pointed into the graveyard.

Near relatives must have a last look at the face of the departed. There were
Bhutto cousins living in Garhi right next to the graveyard. Mr. Bhutto's first wife also lived in the nearby village of Naudero, and after great argument the
authorities allowed me to fetch her. When she arrived we opened the coffin and transferred the body onto a rope cot I had brought from my house before carrying it into the walled home. The family lived in purdah and kept their women protected from the eyes of strangers. No males outside the family were allowed in. But the army people forced their way into the house against all norms of decency.

When the body was brought out half an hour later, I asked the colonel, on oath, if the bath in accordance with religious rules and traditional burial ceremony had been given. He swore that it had. I checked to see if the kaffan, the unstitched cotton shroud, had been put on the body. It was there. We were too perturbed and grief stricken to look at the rest of the body. I'm not sure they would have allowed it as their doings would have been
exposed. But his face was the face of a pearl. It shone like a pearl. He looked
the way he had at sixteen. His skin was not of several colors, nor did his eyes
or tongue bulge out like the pictures I'd seen of the men that Zia had hanged
in public. As ritual demands, I turned Bhutto Sahib's face to the west, toward
Mecca. His head did not fall to the side. His neck was not broken. There were
strange red and black dots on his throat, however, like an official stamp.

The colonel became very angry. Fourteen hundred to fifteen hundred people
from the village were forcing their way near the coffin and looking at the glow
from the martyr's face. Their wailing was heart rending. The colonel threatened to baton-charge the people if they didn't leave.

"The burial must take place at once," he said. "If we have to, we will do it with the help of the rod."

"They are mourning and heartbroken," I told him.

At gunpoint, we hurried through the last prayers for the dead and then with
ceremony befitting the departed soul, lowered the body into the grave. The
recitation of the Holy Book mingled with the wailing of the women rising from the houses.

For days at Sihala after my father's death, I couldn't eat or drink. I would
take sips of water, but then I'd have to spit it out. I couldn't swallow at all. Nor could I sleep. Every time I closed my eyes I had the same dream. I was standing in front of the district jail. The gates were open. I saw a figure walking toward me. Papa! I rushed to him. "You've come out! You've come out! I thought they had killed you! But you're alive!" Just before I reached him, I would wake up and have to realize once again that he was gone.

"You must eat, Pinkie, you must," my mother said, bringing me some soup. "You will need all your strength when we get out of here to prepare for the elections. If you want to keep fighting for your father's principles, to fight the way he fought, then eat. You must." And I ate a little.

I forced myself to read messages of condolence that were slipped in to us.
"My dear Auntie and Benazir," wrote a family friend from Lahore on April 5th . "I have no words to describe my sorrow and grief. The whole nation is responsible to you for what has happened. We are all culprits. . . . Every Pakistani is sad, demoralized and insecure. We are all guilty and burdened with sin."

On the same day, ten thousand people gathered in Rawalpindi on Liaquat
Bagh Common, where a year and a half before my mother had drawn huge
crowds, standing in for my imprisoned father in the first election campaign.
Seeing the overwhelming popularity of the PPP, Zia had canceled the elections
and sentenced my father to death. Now, while offering funeral prayers and
eulogies for my father, his followers were once again teargassed by the police.

The people ran, hurling bricks and stones at the police, who moved in with
batons and started making arrests. Yasmin, her two sisters, and her mother
attended the prayer meeting. So did Amina Piracha, a friend who had helped the lawyers working on my father's Supreme Court case, Amina's two sisters, her nieces, and their seventy-year-old ayah. All ten women were arrested, along with hundreds of others, and imprisoned for two weeks.

Rumors quickly began to circulate about my father's death. The hangman had
gone mad. The pilot who had flown my father's body to Garhi had become so
agitated when he'd learned the identity of his cargo that he'd had to land his
plane and have another pilot called in. The papers were full of other lurid details about my father's end. He had been tortured almost to death and, with only the barest flicker of a pulse, had been carried on a stretcher to his hanging, ran one widely believed version.

The other persistent report claimed that my father had died during a fight in his cell. Military officers, this version claimed, had tried to force him to sign a
"confession" that he had orchestrated the coup himself and invited Zia to take
over the country. My father had refused to sign the lies the regime needed to give it legitimacy. In this version one of the officers had pushed my father. He had fallen, striking his head on the wall of his cell, and had never regained consciousness. A doctor had been summoned to revive him, giving him a heart massage and a tracheotomy, which would explain the marks Nazar Mohammed had seen on his neck. But it had been to no avail.

I tended to believe this story. Why else had my father's body shown no
physical signs of a hanging? Why else had I awakened at 2 A.M., a full three
hours before his scheduled execution? Another political prisoner, General Babar, told me he, too, had awakened in a sudden chill at two o'clock. So did other friends and political supporters scattered around the world. It was as if my father's soul was passing around among those who had loved him. And the
rumors persisted.

"Exhume the body and order a postmortem," my father's cousin and then
People's Party leader Mumtaz Bhutto urged me during a condolence call at
Sihala. "It could be to our political advantage." Political advantage? My father
was dead. Exhuming his body was not going to bring him back to life.

"They did not let him live in his death cell even before they killed him," I told
Uncle Mumtaz. "Now he's free. Let him rest in peace."

"You don't understand what historical importance this could have," Uncle
Mumtaz persisted.

I shook my head. "History will judge him on his life. The details of his death do
not matter," I said. "I will not have him exhumed. He needs his rest."

My mother's niece, Fakhri, was permitted to come to Sihala to condole with us, as was my childhood friend, Samiya Waheed. They were relieved to find that although we were grief stricken, we had not fallen apart. "We had heard you were so depressed you were going to commit suicide," said Samiya, recounting another rumor the regime was spreading.

Fakhri, who is quite emotional, rushed to embrace my mother, consoling her in
Persian. "Nusrat joon, I wish I had died. I wish I had never seen this day," she
cried. "People are saying hanging is too good for Zia."

Fakhri hugged me, too. She had been the one to bring me the news of my
father's death sentence a year before, slipping through the police guard at our house in Karachi where I was being held in detention. I had been sitting in the living room when she suddenly burst through the front door and prostrated herself in the entrance hall, howling in grief and hitting her forehead on the floor.

Within half an hour the military authorities had brought a detention order for
Fakhri as well, a woman who didn't have a political bone in her body but who
spent her days playing mah-jongg and bridge. She had been imprisoned with me for the next week, unable to return to her husband and small children.

Now we wept together. Hundreds of people, she told us, factory workers, taxi
drivers, street peddlers, were gathering in our garden in Karachi in preparation
for the soyem, our religious ceremony on the third day following death. Every
night for weeks before, women had come to the house by the busload to pray for my father through the night, holding their Holy Qurans over their heads. The uniforms of the army, which had always been a source of national pride, were now the objects of derision, Fakhri also told us. On the plane from Karachi, she and Samiya had refused to sit next to any man in army uniform. "Murderers!" they had screamed. Everyone in the plane had lowered their heads as a mark of respect toward those who were grieving. Nobody said a word. There were tears in everyone's eyes.

We had applied to the authorities to visit my father's grave on the soyem,
and at 7 A.M. on April 7th we were told we had five minutes to get ready. We
didn't have black mourning clothes to wear and went in what we had brought
with us to prison. "Hurry! Hurry!" a Martial Law officer insisted as we packed into the car to drive to the airport. They were always hurrying us, frightened that the people would catch a glimpse of us, wave, cheer, or in any way demonstrate their sympathy for us and by implication their antipathy for Martial Law. But not all the military had turned into inhuman machines. At the airport, the crew of the military plane was standing like an honor guard when we arrived, their heads lowered. When my mother got out of the car, the crew saluted her. It was a fitting gesture for the widow of the man who had brought over ninety thousand of their fellow soldiers back safely from the prison camps of India. Not everyone had forgotten. During the short flight they offered us tea, coffee, and sandwiches, their faces showing their shock and sorrow.

The crime of the few had become the guilt of the many. The plane didn't land at Moenjodaro, the airport nearest to Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, but at Jacobabad an hour away. Nor did the local military authorities choose a direct route to the village over the modern roads my father had built. Instead our car bumped and lurched along unpaved lanes, the driver going out of his way to avoid the possibility of our being seen through the heavily curtained windows. We were covered in sweat and dust when we finally arrived at the entrance to our family graveyard.

As I moved toward the narrow portal, an army officer moved with me. I
stopped. "No. You can't enter. None of you can enter," I said. "This is our
graveyard. You don't belong here." "We are under orders not to let you out of our sight," he told me. "I cannot permit you to come in here and violate its sanctity," I told him. "You killed my father. You sent him here. If we mourn him now, we will mourn him on our own."

"We have been ordered to be with you at all times," he insisted.

"Then we won't visit the grave. Take us back," my mother said, moving
toward the car. He stepped back, and we entered the walled graveyard, leaving our shoes at the entrance as a sign of respect.

How peaceful it seemed. And how familiar. Generations of Bhuttos whose
lives had been sweeter lay there: my grandfather Sir Shah Nawaz Khan Bhutto, former prime minister of Junagadh State, knighted by the British for his services to the Bombay presidency before the partition of India; his wife, Lady Khurshid; my uncle Sikander Bhutto and his legendary brother Imdad Ah, so handsome, it was said, that when he drove his carriage down Elphinstone Street, Karachi's main shopping area, the English ladies ran out of their shops to stare at him.

Many other relatives also lay there, in the soil which had given us birth and to
which we return when we die. My father had brought me here just before I had left Pakistan to enter Harvard University in 1969. "You are going far away to America," he had told me as we stood among the graves of our forebears. "You will see many things that amaze you and travel to places you've never heard of. But remember, whatever happens to you, you will ultimately return here. Your place is here. Your roots are here. The dust and mud and heat of Larkana are in your bones. And it is here that you will be buried."

Through my tears now, I looked for his grave. I didn't even know where
they had buried him. I almost didn't recognize his grave when I saw it. It was just a mound of mud. Raw mud sprinkled with flower petals. My mother and I sat at the foot of the grave. I couldn't believe my father was under it. I dropped down and kissed the part of the mud where I imagined his feet to be.

"Forgive me, Father, if I ever caused you any unhappiness," I said silently.

Alone. I felt so alone. Like all children I had taken my father for granted.

Now that I had lost him, I felt an emptiness that could never be filled. But I did not let myself cry, believing as a Muslim that tears pull a spirit earthward and won't let it be free.

My father had earned his freedom, had paid dearly for his peace. His suffering had ended. "Glory be to Him who has control over all things," I read from the Ya Sin sura of the Holy Quran. "To Him, you shall all return." My father's soul was with God in Paradise. Now, in the nightmare that had engulfed Pakistan, his cause had become my own. I had felt it as I stood by my father's grave, felt the strength and conviction of his soul replenishing me. At that moment I pledged to myself that I would not rest until democracy returned to Pakistan, that the light of hope that he had kindled would be kept alive. He had been the first leader of Pakistan to speak for all the people, not just for the military and the elite. It was up to us to continue. As my mother and I were being taken back to Sihala after my father's soyem, soldiers were lobbing tear gas shells among the hundreds packed into our garden at 70 Clifton to read and reread prayers for my father's soul.

The barrage of shells was so intense that the canopy over the patio was set on fire. Clutching their Holy Qurans, the grieving people dispersed, choking.
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Old Friday, May 16, 2008
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Salam Dear Predator,

Thank U Very Very Much......
I Would Be Glad To Receive Any Information Regarding "great Leader Of People"


Regards,

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if you want to read further on it
Col Rafi has written book on it Bhutoo ke Akhri 363 din

written by bhutto who spent about last one year with him Jail

Really Khoon ka Ansooo say Dil Rota hia Ajj because of all this
what happen with all the chair man/person

Hanged
Shot
Bomb blast


This is our nation leader we treat them in such a manner


MAy Allah bless their Soul

Ameen
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