Ali Bhutto, founder of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), served as president of Pakistan in the 1970s. By 1977, opposition against Bhutto and the PPP had grown due to incidents of repression, corruption, and alleged election fraud. Violence escalated across Pakistan, and Bhutto was overthrown by his army chief, General Zia-ul-Haq. Bhutto was put on trial for authorizing the murder of a political opponent, and executed on April 4, 1979. However, his party remains Pakistan’s largest national political party, and his daughter, Benazir Bhutto, served as Prime Minister before her assassination in a 2007 bombing. Benazir’s husband, Asif Ali Zardari, served as President from 2008-13.

The death of Ali  Bhutto has shocked everyone in Pakistan. His hanging can spell the death of Pakistan.Days after the worst deluge in Pakistan in nearly five decades, Bhutto's government was overthrown in a military coup.The military coup that put General Ziaul Haq in power for 11 years. The socio-political discourse often holds the political instability responsible for Bhutto’s downfall.The opposition parties launched mass agitation against Bhutto because they considered the March 1977 elections, which strengthened Bhutto’s grip over power, rigged.It was not just the opposition parties, but also the flood waters that ran amok in the streets in 1977. In some parts of Karachi, the flood waters were five-to-eight feet high.Together, political riots and floods devastated the economy and weakened Bhutto’s government, which was already reeling from the floods from the year before.Bhutto’s political fortunes were hit by not one, but a series of annual floods.To put the aid numbers in context, the average annual per-capita income in Pakistan was no higher than $80 in 1973.Bhutto used the floods to strengthen his hold on power. Instead of focusing on an economic recovery, he followed a protectionist agenda that burnt bridges with the private sector. At the same time, his high-handed treatment of the dissent was nothing but disastrous.He waged military action against dissenting tribes and politicians in Balochistan and the North-West Frontier Province. He condemned his opponents to prison and shut down the opposing news outlets. No wonder General Zia found support among those who had suffered under Bhutto.If the masses found Bhutto’s regime to be a fire pan, Zia’s rule was nothing but fire.General Zia’s morbid fascination with harsh, even inhumane, punishments sowed the seeds of violence as public hangings and floggings desensitised people to violence.After the promulgation of the 1973 Constitution, the elections for the President, Prime Minister, Chairman of Senate, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly were to be undertaken. The 1973 Constitution had adopted a federal parliamentary system for the country in which the President was only a figurehead and the real power lay with the Prime Minister.During his period, six amendments were carried out in the 1973 Constitution. The First Amendment led to Pakistan’s recognition of Bangladesh. The Second Amendment in the constitution declared the Ahmadis as non-Muslims. The rights of the detained were limited under the Third Amendment while the powers and jurisdiction of the courts for providing relief to political opponents were curtailed under the Fourth Amendment. The Fifth Amendment passed on September 15, 1976, focused on curtailing the power and jurisdiction of the Judiciary. This amendment was highly criticized by lawyers and political leaders. The main provision of the Sixth Amendment extended the term of the Chief Justices of the Supreme Court and the High Courts beyond the age of retirement. This Amendment was made in the Constitution to favor the then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who was supposed to be a friend of Bhutto.The Bhutto Government carried out a number of reforms in the industrial sector. His reforms were twofold; nationalization, and the improvement of workers’ rights. In the first phase, basic industries like steel, chemical and cement were nationalized. This was done in 1972. The next major step in nationalization took place on January 1, 1974, when Bhutto nationalized all banks. The last step in the series was the most shocking; it was the nationalization of all flour, rice and cotton mills throughout the country.This nationalization process was not as successful as Bhutto expected. Most of the nationalized units were small businesses that could not be described as industrial units, hence making no sense for the step that was taken. Consequently, a considerable number of small businessmen and traders were ruined, displaced or rendered unemployed.In the concluding analysis, nationalization caused colossal loss not only to the national treasury but also to the people of Pakistan. During his period as the Prime Minister, a number of land reforms were also introduced. The important land reforms included the reduction of land ceilings and introducing the security of tenancy to tenant farmers. The land ceiling was fixed to 150 acres of irrigated land and 300 acres of non-irrigated land. Another step that Bhutto took was to democratize Pakistan’s Civil Service. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is dead and General Zia-ul-Haq is firmly in the saddle. His gamble to rid Bhutto without bloodshed has paid off. The massive upsurge of resentment that was feared has failed to materialize. Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP) has, albeit reluctantly, taken the execution of its leader lying low and in cowing down his critics and ignoring world opinion Zia has taken another stride forward in establishing an Islamic republic.Khomeini has become his hero and an Iranian type republic his goal. Beneath his religious cloak is concealed the military might that helped him retain power. His iron fisted method of using the Martial Law Regulations to put a tight lid on the nation's discontent has succeeded, at least for the time being.The MLRs, as the Martial Law Regulations are popularly referred to, are so designed that expression of dissent is completely ruled out. Under the MLRs no person can convene a meeting, organize a procession or a political party, canvass or campaign in public, or violate the sanctity of a shrine to further political ends. Maximum punishment is rigorous imprisonment for five years and/or 10 lashes. And the stiff sentences which have been doled out in Lahore, Faisalabad and Sialkot by the Summary Military Courts prove that General Zia means business. More than two dozen men charged under MLRs for taking part in demonstrations following Bhutto's execution were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment from three to 12 months, fined up to PRs 5,000 and ordered lashes from four to 10.Fear: A Pakistani journalist explaining the absence of crowds at mourning meetings said: "It's the lash which is keeping the crowds from the streets." There is a smell of fear in the air. On the day Bhutto was executed, the streets of Lahore were empty as soon as sun went down.Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, founder of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), served as president of Pakistan in the 1970s. By 1977, opposition against Bhutto and the PPP had grown due to incidents of repression, corruption, and alleged election fraud. Violence escalated across Pakistan, and Bhutto was overthrown by his army chief, General Zia-ul-Haq. Bhutto was put on trial for authorizing the murder of a political opponent, and executed on April 4, 1979. However, his party remains Pakistan’s largest national political party, and his daughter, Benazir Bhutto, served as Prime Minister before her assassination in a 2007 bombing. Benazir’s husband, Asif Ali Zardari, served as President from 2008-13.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto with Wife Begum Nusrat Bhutto - 23rd march is the birthday of Begum Nusrat Bhutto.Nusrat Bhutto was known as a style icon, the personification of grace under pressure and a sharp politician in her own right. She was ZAB’s second wife, and played a pivotal role in kick-starting his political career, using her Iranian heritage to win favour for her husband with then president Iskander Mirza. She took over the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) after her husband’s government was ousted by General Ziaul Haq in 1977.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto ( 1928 - 1979) was a Pakistani politician who served as the President of Pakistan from 1971 to 1973 and as Prime Minister from 1973 to 1977. He was the founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the largest and most influential political party in Pakistan.He was educated at the University of California, Berkeley in the United States and Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Bhutto was executed by hanging in 1979 for ordering the murder of a political opponent. His execution was ordered by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. Bhutto's supporters give him the honorific title Shaheed, the Urdu word for martyr. His name then becomes Shaheed-e-Azam Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto ("The Great Martyr") or sometimes Quaid-e-Awam (The Leader the Community).He was married to Nusrat Bhutto (née Ispahnie) from 1951 until his death. Their elder daughter, Benazir Bhutto (1953-2007), also served twice as prime minister. The couple had three other children: son Murtaza Bhutto (1954-1996) daughter Sanam Bhutto (born 1957), and son Shahnawaz Bhutto (1958-1985).When it comes to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, opinion is always divided. He continues to segregate the public sharply and decisively along the lines of class and support or opposition to civilian democracy’s supremacy over military hegemony.The conflicting positions of his admirers and detractors make his character contentious, his ideas divisive, his actions controversial and his achievements disputed. One may say that the contradictions of Pakistan’s state and society are all manifested in the life and death of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.He rose to prominence at an early age, achieved personal and political milestones at an extraordinary pace and was only 51 when he was hanged to death in 1979. His political career can be divided into four phases. In the first phase (1957-1965), he started his political career by joining president Iskander Mirza’s cabinet. He continued to work under General Ayub Khan after the 1958 military coup. He held various important ministerial portfolios, finally becoming foreign minister in 1963. The highlights of this tenure as foreign minister include the initiation of Pakistan’s relationship with China and success in attracting investment and commerce from countries in the Soviet bloc. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s personal inclination towards the socialist ideology and his desire to be seen as a pro-people politician helped him become the chief architect of Sino-Pakistan relationship that continues to flourish to this day.He also made Pakistan a prominent member of the Non-Aligned Movement, built close diplomatic relationships with the Arab nationalist-cum-socialist Ba’ath parties and extended support to movements for national liberation and progressive change in Latin America, Asia and Africa. These were remarkable achievements for a recently created developing country in the highly polarised world of the Cold War era.What Zulfikar Ali Bhutto did internally and vis-à-vis India, however, was in stark contrast to his policy choices in external affairs. He actively supported Ayub Khan in his presidential referendum against Fatima Jinnah and backed Operation Gibraltar in Kashmir that resulted in an all-out war with India in 1965. Soon after the Tashkent Declaration calling for a ceasefire, brokered by the Soviet Union, he fell out with Ayub Khan, accusing him of losing a war on the negotiation table after it had been won in the battlefield. This is when the second phase of his political career (1966-1971) began.After leaving the government, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto reached out to progressive political activists and socialist ideologues to garner their support. In 1967, he launched Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in Lahore which was then the capital of West Pakistan. His amalgamation of Islamic tenets of egalitarianism and justice with social ownership of public goods and resources, democratic rule and empowerment of the marginalised sections of the society made him popular overnight. His support was as strong among the workers and the peasantry as it was in the emerging middle class that was influenced by the global socialist and peace movements against the remnants of colonialism, right-wing dictatorships and neo-imperial western policies. His PPP won a majority of National Assembly seats in West Pakistan in the general elections of 1970 but he had no support in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) where Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Awami League swept the polls, winning all but two National Assembly seats there.This is where we see another major contradiction in his politics — he did not side with the democratic principle of majority rule and opposed the transfer of power to Sheikh Mujeeb. It will be, however, unfair to single him out because there was a consensus among the elites of West Pakistan – military, bureaucracy, politicians and business – not to accept Mujeeb’s mandate and allow him to rule a united Pakistan. It was also the military that was in power then, not Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Still, he cannot be absolved of his support for a military action in East Pakistan that culminated in its secession from West Pakistan.In 1972, the third phase of his political career began when he first became the president of Pakistan and then its prime minister. He termed his administration a people’s government and acquired the title of Quaid-e-Awam (people’s leader). His support among the poor, the landless, labourers, students and women was incomparable to any other politician. He made all political stakeholders agree to promulgate a new and fairly progressive constitution for the republic.He built institutions of learning and culture, invested in a school network taking it to slums and small villages, created basic health facilities, distributed land among landless farmers, initiated housing and infrastructure schemes and mobilised foreign investment in industries. He is also the architect of Pakistan’s current defence paradigm premised on nuclear weapons and a missile programme among other things. But, above all, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto gave a sense of dignity and pride to Pakistan’s impoverished and disadvantaged population. The elites and the affluent urban middle classes turned against him and their subsequent generations remain staunchly opposed to him even to this day. He fundamentally disturbed the class equation — not just in the economic sense but more so in social and psychological terms. But his policy of nationalising nascent and growing industry, banks and lending institutions as well as private and charitable trust schools and colleges had far reaching consequences on the growth and output of these sectors. Even more socially and politically consequential was a constitutional amendment under him that declared Ahmadis as non-Muslims.His half-baked socialist model applied in haste began to crack immediately, particularly because landlords subverted his land reforms and the usual bureaucratic inefficiencies crept into the administration of nationalised businesses. He never got time to fix the problems and was removed within six years of coming into power.Since no single leader could replace him and no single party could challenge his PPP, the state establishment forged an alliance of his political adversaries of all ideological hues and colours before the 1977 parliamentary elections which he was accused of rigging. The allegation led to a violent opposition movement that his government unsuccessfully tried to suppress. It was eventually followed by a military takeover.The last and crucial phase of his political career started in July 1977 – after his government was overthrown – and ended in April 1979 when he was convicted for murder in a highly controversial trial and hanged by Ziaul Haq. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto faced those tough times with courage and conviction. He never budged under pressure from an oppressive military ruler. The last two years of his life are entirely opposite to his first eight years in politics when he was working with non-elected rulers. This split in his career is mirrored in the way he is seen — evoking extreme like and dislike.For his supporters, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto symbolises the best elements in politics: struggle against poverty and inequality as well as sacrifices for democracy and civilian supremacy. For his detractors, he remains the man who played a major role in the division of the country and introduced policies that upset the economic and social equilibrium.

5 April 1979: Pakistan’s former Prime Minister was hanged for the murder of a political opponent following a trial which was widely condemned as unfair.World attention was focused last fortnight on the brutal execution of former Pakistani premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Despite universal pleas for clemency the deed is now done. President Zia-ul-Haq pushed through the horrific hanging at the cost of the stability of his own regime.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto executed, Pakistan in for a long spell of instability.World attention was focused last fortnight on the brutal execution of former Pakistani premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Despite universal pleas for clemency the deed is now done. President Zia-ul-Haq pushed through the horrific hanging at the cost of the stability of his own regime.Bhutto advocated a nonaligned foreign policy for Pakistan and opposed Pakistan's alliances with the United States. He believed that the United States was exerting pressure on Pakistan to adopt a conciliatory attitude towards neighboring India. The lingering post-partition animosity between India and Pakistan influenced Bhutto's hard-line thinking towards India. He was intent on gaining international support against India and securing Pakistan from a possible Indian attack. With this in mind Bhutto cultivated relations with China, which had been involved in a border conflict with India in 1962. Bhutto's astuteness in developing relations with China was later useful for the Nixon administration, which used Pakistan as a channel for initiating a dialogue with China. Bhutto also sought to strengthen relations with other Islamic countries, envisaging Pakistan's role as a leader not only of Muslim countries but also of other developing states.Pakistan had been under military rule by a government headed by Ayub Khan since 1958. Bhutto, who served as minister of foreign affairs until asked to resign in 1966, realized that the toleration of the people for repressive government was diminishing. He felt that this adverse situation presented an ideal opportunity for him to assume leadership of Pakistan. In December 1967 Bhutto formed his own political party, the Pakistan People's Party, whose manifesto promised to alleviate the lot of the urban and rural workers and advocated an equitable distribution of wealth. His program not only appealed to the lower income groups but was supported by the urban intelligentsia which was seeking an end to the military regime and felt that Bhutto offered a new and dynamic plan and a necessary alternative to traditional religious parties.Pakistan's defeat in the 1971 war with India led to the creation of Bangladesh. Bhutto, with the strongest party in the remaining western wing of the country, replaced Gen. Mohammad Yahya Khan as president. In April 1973 Bhutto became prime minister under a new constitution. His six years in office were marked by extensive nationalization of industries, banks, and educational institutions. Bhutto's policies, aimed at reducing the power of such traditional economic forces as major businessmen and feudal landlords, were well intentioned but lacked sufficient consideration of economic realities. His government's economic policies were implemented hastily by bureaucrats who did not have the requisite management skills and background. Consequently, the economy became chaotic and left most sections of society disaffected with the policies. Bhutto's frequently touted slogan of "Islamic Socialism" proved to be mere rhetoric in the face of daunting economic and social realities, especially the need to compromise with landed elites.Confronted by increasing opposition, Bhutto introduced repressive measures which included press censorship and imprisonment of political opponents. In an attempt to show the "democratic" nature of his government and his continuing popular support, Bhutto decided to hold general elections in March 1977. Confident of his success, he underestimated the collaboration of the opposition parties. Although he won the 1977 elections, his opponents accused him of flagrant manipulation of votes and mounted a civil disobedience movement against his government. As public discontent and violence spread, Bhutto was forced to impose martial law in several major cities of Pakistan, paving the way for military involvement. He was deposed in a bloodless coup by Gen. Zia ul-Haq on July 5, 1977. Several charges were brought against him, including the murder while in power of a political opponent's father. He was sentenced to death and was hanged on April 4, 1979, despite appeals for clemency by world leaders and international organizations.While Bhutto's policies in the domestic sphere were harshly criticized, his foreign policy won him some acclaim. He was intent on asserting Pakistan's role in international affairs and strove to fulfill his earlier ideal of Pakistan as a leader of developing countries. He attempted to pursue a foreign policy independent of both superpowers, which brought him into considerable conflict with the United States, especially over the issue of Pakistan's nuclear program. Bhutto brought power to the people, campaigning in a western style. He promised food, clothing and shelter. He exchanged his Savile Row suits and silk handkerchiefs for baggy trousers and long Pakistani shirts, and he went electioneering in the bazaars and in remote areas previously shunned by his rivals.The people loved him. If Bhutto muzzled the press and sacked independent-minded journalists and editors, so what? Freedom of the press is not a concept which much exercises the minds of a largely illiterate people.If Bhutto bent the rules on paying import duties on air conditioners and other luxuries, or handed out gifts at the expense of the state to his friends, ordinary Pakistanis shrug and look puzzled. Of course he did, they say. Don’t they all?Bhutto was a complex and contradictory figure. He was intellectually sharp and came from an illustrious family: the combination often jelled into arrogance.If Bhutto was a bully, he was no coward. His bearing and his demeanour in the last appalling months were noble. He would not be beaten by adverse circumstances, would not beg, or plead.Zulfikar Ali Bhutto lacked far nothing as a child. His family were rich and influential. His education was rounded off in the United States and Britain: he graduated in political science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1950, and later studied at Christ Church, Oxford. There he was awarded MA honours with distinction in jurisprudence in 1952, and became a barrister at law in Lincoln’s Inn, London. Later Bhutto went to lecture in international law at the University of Southampton - the first Asian to teach there.He kept up his legal work briefly when he returned to Pakistan, but soon became enmeshed in politics. In 1957, he was sent to the United Nations General Assembly as part of the Pakistan delegation and the following year he led a team to the Geneva conference on the law of the sea.At that time Pakistan was coming up to another of its military coups. According to some reports, the plot was hatched on the Bhutto family estates, where some officers would come for the game shooting. When Field Marshal Ayub Khan (then General) seized power in 1958, he invited Bhutto to join the Cabinet.

Ali Bhutto's being hanged by General Zia Ul Haq.Zia's biggest stumbling block lies in the peculiar provincial rivalries that have brought about the political demise of virtually all leaders in the past. Escalating tensions among Pakistan's four ethnically distinct provinces could explode in his face and shatter his Islamic republic forever.

As it turned out in Pakistan, the coup seemed to be welcomed. The opposition that had been badgering Bhutto in the streets certainly welcomed it, and Bhutto’s own party seemed quite passive. They did not take to the streets and resist the effects of this. The actual coup was bloodless and in the middle of the night. Some soldiers marched into Bhutto’s quarters, woke him up and informed him that he was under arrest. There was apparently no resistance from presidential guards or anything of the sort. So we did not learn of the coup until the following morning when we woke up and people turned on their radios and martial music was playing. There was suspension of the normal programming.In the spring of 1977, Bhutto fairly quickly found that trying to shove his difficulties off on the United States, in an effort to create some sort of groundswell of support based on nationalism and anti-Americanism, really wasn’t taking him anywhere. The opposition was not cowed by this effort. In fact, there was no great anti-American rallying in the country.So Bhutto began to back off from this and look for ways to reach some kind of an accommodation with us. But his difficulties in the streets continued and even got worse. The Saudis became very active in trying to mediate some sort of a compromise between Bhutto and his political opponents. For a while it looked as if they might be successful. It was very clear that Bhutto was going to have to give something very substantial, like new elections monitored in some way. The surprising development, I guess, was the fact that in the middle of this mediation effort by the Saudis, Zia made his move and overthrew Bhutto.Zia wasPak general zia the Chief of Staff of the Army, who had been hand-picked by Bhutto presumably because he would be dependent on Bhutto, was not senior enough in the military, did not have that prestige to run the military as an independent entity. And Bhutto thought that he would be dependent on him, that indeed Zia did seem to be for some period.But pressures within the military were growing to do something. The thing that the military has always hated in Pakistan is to be used as a force for the maintenance of civil order and turn their guns on the population. And it was that feeling that impelled Zia to strike.It would have been more understandable if he had made his move after a collapse of the Saudi mediation effort, but he moved in the middle of it, for reasons which are not entirely clear. In one of those things that happens, a series of coincidences, Ambassador Hummel had just arrived in Pakistan and had presented his credentials to President Chowdri.As part of his desire to cool things down with the United States, Bhutto had indicated that he wanted to come to our Fourth of July party. So an effort had to be made to arrange an opportunity for Hummel to call on Bhutto. Because Bhutto was caught up in this very elaborate and intense political negotiation, it was hard to schedule an appointment.Exactly. It’s a protocolary point, but an important one in relations between states. In any event, Bhutto’s aide kept assuring Hummel that, yes, Bhutto wanted to see him, and to stand by. Well, we were into July 3rd, and then into the night of July 3rd, and the reception was at midday on the 4th. Finally, in the wee hours of the Fourth of July, about 12:30 in the morning, or one o’clock, Hummel got his call to come and see Bhutto. So he duly trotted over there.And the next day, Bhutto showed up at the midday Fourth of July party. And, in fact, everybody was there who counted in Pakistan. The opposition political leaders were there. General Zia was there. The President of the country was there. I only mention this because it was that very night, about eleven o’clock or midnight, that Zia made his move and overthrew Bhutto.At  the time was that Zia was a soldier and not likely to be very swift as a politician, and that he’d better figure out some way to turn power over to a civilian government, because he was unlikely to be able to handle the thing. Of course, we couldn’t have been more wrong.The moves that he made politically were very clumsy, but he learned fast. Within six months he had demonstrated that he really was in charge and knew what he was doing. He lasted for ten years, until his death in the airplane accident. He proved to be a very shrewd and astute politician, and very adept about maneuvering his opponents.This was early July when he was overthrown, and he talked about being back out of office in three months. His calculation was that Bhutto would be so discredited by revelations the government then started putting out about Bhutto’s misdeeds that the country could have elections and Bhutto would lose. Well, that was a miscalculation, because the Bhutto phenomenon was not over at all. He remained an extremely popular political figure. When he was released from prison he immediately started organizing massive political demonstrations. And they were huge. There were just enormous turnouts as he went to Lahore and to Karachi. These terrified the government, so they had to figure out something else.And that would be intolerable for the Army that had just thrown him out. They had made a serious miscalculation on what the effect of Bhutto’s arrest would be on the people’s party, on his support.The kind of thing that we were saying to the government was, yes, you need to go to elections, because we didn’t think that Zia could handle this politically. And we also felt that Pakistan needed to have democratic institutions, that the only way ultimately that Pakistan could develop political stability was through the exercise of a more democratic system.But Zia backed off and postponed elections. He continuously promised elections, but they began to recede into a more distant future until he figured out another plan. He then did, subsequently, have elections. He had some non-party elections. All of this was after I had left Pakistan. After this scare for Zia, when he let Bhutto out and it became apparent that Bhutto was still a highly popular figure, it was then that Zia and his advisors developed the strategy of trying Bhutto for his misdeeds, and then ultimately having him sentenced to death and hanging him.Those impacts of attention to human rights, greater interest in India, were truer of the period up to Bhutto’s overthrow, or maybe a few months before that. I think some of that began to give way to a slightly more realpolitik view as the Carter Administration found the world more complicated perhaps than it had initially thought.The Administration was hearing from the Shah that he was interested in stability in Pakistan. And, as every Administration finds, you can’t quite play the game with India that people like to think you can. Here’s the world’s largest democracy. We ought to have so much in common, why can’t we make common cause and be really close friends? Well, the Indians had their special relationship with the Soviets, their own hostilities to the Chinese, their difficulties with Pakistan, and considerable animosity against the United States. So they were never a player that we could quite bring into play the way some people tended to think. It just never worked out.So one’s attention was turned back, sometimes, to Pakistan, even though one didn’t quite start out there. Then, I believe it was in ’78, there was the coup in Afghanistan by Communists. That caused great concern in Pakistan, and in Iran, and in Washington. So there was a change. Now we didn’t give up on certain basic premises. We continued to believe that ultimately Pakistan had to get back to democratic processes. But the way in which we dealt with that in Pakistan may have undergone some subtle shift…That was certainly very much the way events were seen in Pakistan by Pakistanis. They were extremely concerned about this. They had counted, for decades, on, if not an alliance with the U.S., U.S. benevolence and influence to hold back Soviet influence in South Asia and a Soviet thrust toward the Indian Ocean. So they were deeply concerned about the direction of American foreign policy, and then really quite panicked when the coup occurred in Afghanistan.It affected, obviously, the way we dealt with the Zia regime, too. Certainly, from the moment of a Communist coup in Afghanistan, we were not going to beat Zia around the ears to the point that his government collapsed. We were, from that point on at least, really interested in stability in Pakistan. Now we continued to believe that the long-range stability in that country depended on the development of democratic institutions.But we were not prepared to say to Zia, “You’ve got to step aside tomorrow and get on with elections,” because we appreciated the political dilemma that existed in Pakistan, the deep divisions between the PPP and the rest of the body politic….We were observing and reporting. We were not taking any kind of a policy position on this, other than letting the Pakistan government know, letting Zia know, that we thought he needed to find a way to get on to an election process and get the Army back in the barracks and out of power. As I say, the urgency with which that message was delivered shifted over time as other things happened in the region.More difficult for us, or more painful I think for everyone, was what was going to happen to Bhutto once Zia embarked on this process of a trial, a public trial, and then condemned him to death.The logic of it always seemed to me that, yes, he had to put him to death, that the way Zia had constructed his own position, there was no way out. There was a Punjabi saying: “Two men and one grave.” One or the other had to go in it.Even as we urged him, after Bhutto was sentenced to death, to pardon him, or to put him in exile, or in some way to spare him, I personally felt that the logic of it was that Zia could not do that. Bhutto, out of the country, would have been forever a threat to Zia’s regime. Bhutto, in jail in the country, would have been a similar threat. Zia built a political construct in which Bhutto had to be eliminated, which was unfortunate.Mr Bhutto, 51, who had been Pakistan's leader since 1973, was deposed in an army coup .He was sentenced to death for the murder of a political opponent following a trial which was widely condemned as unfair.The appeal process was also tainted by allegations of bias on the part of some judges.No advance warning of the execution had been given.Mr Bhutto's wife and daughter, Benazir, who are both under house arrest, visited him on the morning before his death.They had been told it would be their last meeting but the military regime, led by General Zia ul-Haq, continued to deny an execution was imminent.Shortly after his execution, Mr Bhutto's body was flown to his home village in the Sind province and buried in the family plot.His wife and his daughter were not permitted to attend the funeral.Another four men convicted with Mr Bhutto of murder remain in prison.Mr Bhutto, a member of a rich and influential family, was known as an autocratic leader but was respected internationally.The United Nations' Secretary-General, Kurt Waldheim, said he deplored the decision by Pakistan's leaders to ignore appeals for clemency. In 1986, after two years of self-imposed exile, Benazir Bhutto, daughter of the executed president, returned to Pakistan. She became Prime Minister in 1988.Bhutto was jailed shortly before her father's execution and spent five years behind bars, mainly in solitary confinement. She went into exile in Britain in 1984. After General Zia's death in a mysterious plane crash, Bhutto returned to Pakistan and became prime minister in 1988 when she was 35.She was sacked in 1990 for alleged corruption. She returned to power in 1993 and was dismissed again in 1996. 

Benazir Bhutto became Pakistan’s first female Prime Minister.Taking on a rather daunting role on 2nd December 1988 when she became the first ever woman to lead a modern Islamic nation, Benazir Bhutto was an individual of unmatched dedication and valor. While it just seems like a thing of yesterday when BB came to power, BB’s journey of struggle and power is one that is known to many. Born in an influential family that had its roots in politics, BB became the voice and hope of millions when she assumed office as Prime Minister of Pakistan for the first time, back in 1988.

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