The Hope Of Nahatti Larki

Author: Dr Saifur Rehman

Nicknamed ‘Asian Nelson Mandela’ the President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari made history while being democratically elected as President twice in the history of Pakistan and he also made history by addressing parliament for a record seventh time. Very warm congratulations to my leader Asian Nelson Mandela the president of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari!

Pakistan is blessed to have a learned figure, who has already been contributing to the betterment of people in healthcare in particular although she was not a member of Parliament now she has been elected as a member of the national assembly and took oath as a member of Parliament to formally start her career as a legislator. Bibi Aseefa Bhutto Zardari has done a master’s in global health and development. She initially served as a goodwill ambassador for polio eradication in 2012. As a Medical doctor and public health expert, I foresee reforms in healthcare in Pakistan in the coming days. Bibi Aseefa Bhutto Zardari is the trailblazer for all healthcare professionals!

Opposition members got paralyzed by these two historic developments in Parliament so they violated the sanctity of the house. What a beautiful statement by PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari over unconstitutional attitude, the chairman of PPP said, “It shows that they are afraid of a Nahatti Larki [an unarmed girl]. We will never be deterred by bullying tactics….”

Bhutto family and the Pakistan Peoples Party never compromised on democracy and human rights.

Bhutto family and the Pakistan Peoples Party never compromised on democracy and human rights.

Pakistan Peoples Party has a great history of non-violent movements for the restoration of democracy and the rule of law in Pakistan. It not only gave democracy to the Country but a unanimous constitution too. It is the successive governments of this party that gave all the Mega projects to our country, including the mother of all projects, the nuclear program.

Due to the non-availability of democratic institutions in Pakistan, there was no concept of democracy and human rights and it took at least two decades for the people of Pakistan to get hope in the form of Shaheed Zulfiqar Bhutto. It was none but the PPP that mobilized the silent majority of Pakistan to take its fate into its own hands. SZAB led the foundation of the Pakistan Peoples Party in 1967 and a long war for democracy and human rights got started in Pakistan and since then it is still going on.

PPP paved the way for people to participate in the government of the state, under the fundamental principle of democracy that they should have a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto emerged with the power of ballot as the first elected Prime Minister of Pakistan and the virtual founder of democracy in Pakistan. The founder of democracy had read his opponents’ minds very aptly and accurately and he also knew very well that they wanted his blood because the tycoons whose industrial empires he had nationalized had bankrolled all the movements against him and got the democracy, elected government and first elected prime Minister deposed and put behind the bars and executed.

That was in 1977, when a Nehati Larki (unarmed girl) Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed launched the historic movement for restoration in the east. PPP under the leadership of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed, made no compromise on democracy and the fundamental rights of people, women’s rights particularly. Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed led the democratic movement for the fundamental rights of the People and brought back democracy and prosperity to the country in 1988. Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto introduced the culture of non-violence and women empowerment in Pakistan. But similar forces again conspired to remove the PPP from power violated the constitution and did not let the PPP governments complete their terms.

From 1977 till her martyrdom in 2007, she faced the attacks of violent non-state actors and terrorists with a mammoth of courage and bravery, she never surrendered to the enemies of Pakistan and continued the struggle for democracy, human rights, women’s empowerment and non-violence alive in Pakistan. And PPP was the only party that opposed violence and terrorism while almost all other parties directly or indirectly supported it. Terrorism was never condemned in those dark eras when a Nahatti Larki, Daughter of the East, opted to fight against them for a prosperous and democratic Pakistan and we the Jiyalas are proud of it.

As a woman, Bibi Shaheed was also profiled by patriarchal and religious belief systems and since 1977, edicts from various religious figures were issued that a female cannot hold the position of prime minister to rule the country. But Bibi Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto with her courage, bravery, struggle and wisdom not only educated his opponents and changed their mindset but also got elected as prime Minister of Pakistan, she made history while being elected as the first female prime Minister in the Muslim world.

Bibi Shaheed is physically no more with us but her legacy is with every Nahatti Larki in Pakistan and following her legacy women are fighting for their human rights in every section of society. I am from the health department. I have witnessed so many female health professionals adore Bibi Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto as their role model to strive for their rights.

Among the true followers of the legacy of Bibi Shaheed, head of the department of radiology department in PIMS, Dr Ayesha Isani is topping the list and she is also facing similar issues in the recognition of her merit.

The writer is a senior journalist and TV analyst.

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