Benazir Bhutto in Mehbooba Mufti

By Nayeem Showkat Khan


On the other side of the border, General Zia-ul-Haq hanged Quaid-i-Awam, Zulifakar Ali Bhutto on 4th April, 1979. This news spread like wild fire across the globe. The assassination of Liaquat Ali Khan, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan had opened the door to the succession of military leaders that followed. This was again one of deadliest coups d’état, Pakistan had witnessed.

Already facing the growing unrest due to the military rule, this incident increased a sense of fear among the political leaders across the country. The tall politicians like, next to Bhutto, Mustafa Khar, the uncle of Hina Rabbani Khar, had already vamoosed Pakistan. Tens of thousands of other leaders were already thrown behind bars. One of the most talked leaders of Pakistan after Quaid-i-Azam, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Bhutto was no more. The little, Benazir Bhutto was under house arrest. Pakistan was badly struck.

With no other alternative, Benazir Bhutto took the Pakistan’s baton in her hands to fight. She inherited her father’s leadership of the Pakistan People’s Party. Benazir organised rallies, mobilised and openly challenged Zia’s military rule to move quickly to hold “free and fair elections”. She took her father’s legacy and emerged as one of the most prominent figures of Pakistan.

After the death of military dictator, Benazir Bhutto won Pakistani General elections of 1988 and became the first democratically-elected woman to lead any Muslim nation.

One of the world’s renowned feminist and intelligent leader, Benazir proved to be a good daughter fulfilling the father’s legacy. Known as the architect of Pakistan, Bhutto’s legacy was to give a chance to the people of Pakistan to decide their fate. They wanted to fight the military rule. Benazir Bhutto did what the people of Pakistan wanted. She fought for the people.

Kashmir now, along similar lines, needs a Benazir Bhutto in Mehbooba Mufti. Last chief minister of the state, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s death has resulted in a political uncertainty in the state. Mufti died after inviting yesterday’s ‘alien’ party to the valley in power. His ‘surrender’ to the ‘agenda of alliance’ seems to have worked the other way around.

Kashmiris, who voted in a record number to ‘stop BJP from obtaining a ticket to the valley’ seems feeling betrayed. Mufti Sayeed left his daughter, Mehbooba Mufti at the centre of power with authority to decide. This very crucial decision may change the whole fate of the People’s Democratic Party in the state.

Mehbooba Mufti also has two main alternatives to go for. She may also follow her father’s legacy which in no way seems the will of people of Kashmir. The other one takes in the opposite direction as of her father’s legacy. By ending this much ‘misused’ agenda of alliances in the valley, Mehbooba Mufti may change the whole scene on the set.

Her future in Jammu and Kashmir will be decided by the people not legacies. She may not be called as a good daughter but she may be remembered as a ‘true’ leader of the people.

(The author is pursuing Ph.D. at Department of Mass Communication, Aligarh Muslim University)



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