Exactly 30 years ago history was made. The Muslim world’s first ever female Prime Minister, the ever-respectable Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was sworn in. On 2nd December 1988, she became the first woman ever to head a modern Islamic nation, an individual of unmatched dedication and valour. BB became the representative and hope of millions when she assumed office as Prime Minister of Pakistan for the first time, back in 1988. “General Zia called the first democratic elections since 1977, when he found out that I was pregnant, thinking that a pregnant woman couldn’t campaign, I could, I did and I won so that disproved that notion. Despite pregnancy, I campaigned for 15 hours a day. When Bilawal was born prematurely, I went straight back into the election campaign and in November as leader of the PPP won the election.” “The most exciting moment in my life, when I was sworn in as Prime Minister. I recall walking down the red carpet in the presidential palace and I felt as though an invisible army of all those who had died fighting for freedom walked with me and it was a tremendous moment of vindication. I also felt a wonderful sense that Pakistan had showed the way for other Muslim countries, that a woman could be elected as chief executive.”“I had experienced a great deal of gender discrimination as the first Muslim woman Prime Minister. This criticism based on gender was something I found very hard to deal with. I found that a whole series of people opposed me simply on the evidence that I was a woman. The clerics took to the mosque saying that Pakistan had thrown itself outside the Muslim world and the Muslim Ummah by voting for a woman, that a woman had taken over a man’s place in the Islamic society. I found that my opponents reduced themselves to verbal abuse rather than discuss issues, the very mere fact that I was a woman seemed to force them into a frenzy. So that was the big challenge for me. I don’t cognize how to deal with that, I can deal with political differences, but how do you deal with it when someone says I don’t like you because you’re a woman and you’ve taken a man’s place.” “In my father’s last letter to me he quoted Tennyson: Ah, what shall I be at 50 if I find the world so bitter at 25? He had then turned 50 and I was 25. He asked me never to be bitter. I have honoured my father’s dying wish” — Benazir Bhutto“We have learned that democracy alone is not enough. Freedom of choice alone does not ensure justice. Equal rights are not determined only by political values. Social justice is a trinity of freedom, an equation of liberty: Justice is political liberty. Justice is economic independence. Justice is social equality. The child who is starving has no human rights. The girl who is illiterate has no future. The woman who cannot plan her life, plan her family, plan a career, is fundamentally not free. I dream of a Pakistan in which women contribute to their full potential. I am conscious of the struggle that lies ahead.”BB felt that over the years the situation changed. When we first started out I remember that women had to show they were as tough as men. I certainly felt that I was a woman functioning in a man’s world, and so I had to prove to the men that I had all the male qualities, and so I could be quite aggressive particularly in terms of speech. But now, I think we can be more comfortable with the notion that it’s no longer only a man’s world. There are quite a few women out there and we women can start being more like women, we don’t have to outdistance or outperform men we can start being confident about ourselves. On the morning of 27 December 2007, BB gave a speech at a PPP rally held in Rawalpindi’s Liaquat National Bagh. On leaving in a bulletproof vehicle, she opened the car’s escape hatch and stood up to wave to the surrounding crowds. A man stood within two to three metres of the car, fired three gunshots at her, and detonated a suicide vest packed with ball bearings. Bhutto was fatally wounded, was rushed to Rawalpindi General Hospital but was clinically dead on arrival and attempts at resuscitation were unsuccessful. Authorities claimed that the assassin had been a teenage boy from South Waziristan. They claimed to accept proof that the attack had been masterminded by Baitullah Mehsud, leader of the Pakistani Taliban.Nearly 5 years later on 9 October 2012, while on a bus in the Swat District, after taking an exam, Malala Yousafzai and two other girls were shot by a Taliban gunman in an assassination attempt in retaliation for her activism. Masked Taliban gunmen answered her courage with bullets, singling out the 14-year-old on a bus filled with terrified schoolchildren.The Swat Taliban was a subgroup of the wider Pakistani Taliban movement based in South Waziristan. Their leader, Maulvi Fazlullah, rose to prominence in 2007, through an FM radio station that espoused Islamist ideology. A Taliban spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, confirmed by phone that Malala had been the target, sending for her crusade for education rights an obscenity. She has become a symbol of Western civilization in the area; she was openly propagating it, Mr. Ehsan said, adding that if she survived, the militants would certainly try to kill her again. Let this be a lesson to all. Malala was hit in the head with a bullet and remained unconscious and in critical condition at the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology, but her condition later improved enough for her to be transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, UK.At the age of 11, Malala Yousafzai took on the Taliban by giving voice to her aspirations. As turbaned fighters swept through her town in North-western Pakistan in 2009, the schoolgirl spoke out around her passion for education; she wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC Urdu detailing her life during the Taliban occupation of Swat. Her father Ziauddin Yousafzai ran one of the last schools to defy Taliban orders to end female education. The school was eventually forced to shut down, and Malala was forced to flee to Abbottabad. She rose in prominence, giving interviews in print and on television, and she was made for the International Children’s Peace Prize by activist Desmond Tutu.Malala’s voice could be deemed a threat to the Taliban. She knew her voice was important, so she spoke up for the rights of minors. Even adults didn’t have a vision like hers. She represents the brave girls of Swat. She had this vision, big dreams, that she was going to get into politics and bring about change.Despite being in the United Kingdom I never had a chance to listen to Malala live, I was given this opportunity to attend the book launch ceremony of her father Mr Ziauddin Yousafzai early this month in London, when I reached at the venue there was a long que of people holding umbrellas to get in, it was literally pouring down, after a long wait I got into the double story hall packed with people, I think there were about 1500 people attending the ceremony, Asian faces were a minority in the audience. As soon as Malala entered the hallway with her father, whole audience gave her standing ovation. While I was listening to her I was asking myself why I didn’t meet her earlier. Her politeness and intelligence left me and the audience in awe. Despite enduring the attack by Taliban, she did not spew venom against them; she spoke about the education instead of showing hate towards Taliban. That reminds me the words of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto; “In my father’s last letter to me he quoted Tennyson: Ah, what shall I be at 50 if I find the world so bitter at 25?He had then turned 50 and I was 25.He asked me never to be bitter. I have honoured my father’s dying wish.”The common enemy of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and Malala Yousafzai were Taliban, common dream of both the daughters of the land is empowering women through education, and I can assure you that the dream of both will become reality soon.Maleeha Manzoor always asks me, that why my writings are incomplete without BB? I hope she finds the answer.The writer is a traveller and freelance writer based in UK. He has previously written for @the nation @Dawn com @DunyaNews @TheAsians. Twitter @SyedIHusainPublished in Daily Times, November 30th 2018.