Pakistan has gone through loads and loads of blood-curdling and gruesome incidents during the last sixty years. We are assailed by problems like corruption, poverty, adulteration, usury, calumny, theft, injustice, inequality, falsehood, backbiting, lying and fraud. Assassinating people standing in the way of one’s nefarious designs has also become a problem that has solidified its roots in our dear country.
Since 1947, we have lost many of our leaders to these loathsome assassins. Following is the account of some of the most significant personalities including some foreignerss, who had to bite the dust because of political rivalries and affiliations.
Liaquat Ali Khan
One of the most active leaders of the Pakistan Movement and the first prime minister of our dear homeland, Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated in Rawalpindi. On October 16, 1951, he was addressing a public meeting in a park. All of a sudden, two bullets were fired at him from about a distance of 15 meters. He died almost instantaneously. After his assassination the park was named Liaquat Bagh. It is said that he was about to announce something important in that particular address. Syed Akbar, the murderer of Liaquat Ali Khan, was also killed by the police on the spot.
The first chief minister of West Pakistan, Dr. Khan, was murdered on May 12, 1958. He was the elder brother of the famous communist leader Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan who was known as ‘Sarhadi Gandhi’. He had also formed a republican party. The cause of his murder still remains unknown to the world.
Hussain Shaheed Suharwardi
It was December 5, 1963 when the fifth prime minister of Pakistan, Hussain Shaheed Suharwardi was mysteriously found dead. Officially, heart attack was declared the cause of his death. However, witnesses claimed that he was poisoned.
Suharwardi founded Public League in 1949 and became the fifth prime minister of Pakistan in 1956. He is considered to be the first most popular politician in the history of Pakistan. He enjoyed a close relationship with Quaid-e-Azam during Pakistan Movement.
Muhammad Ahmad Khan Qasoori
The information minister of Tahreek-e-Istaqlal, Nawab Muhammad Ahmad Khan Qasoori, was killed in Lahore. He was in his car, probably going home, when he was brutally killed on November 11, 1974. He was a staunch opponent of the late Mr. Bhutto. When General Zia-ul-Haq overturned the government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, he (Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto) was accused of the murder of Muhammad Ahmad Khan Qasoori and was arrested.
Hayat Muhammad Khan Sherpao
Hayat Sherpao was one of the oldest members of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). He was the president of PPP (N.W.F.P). On February 8, 1975, he was killed in a bomb blast that took place in the History Department of Peshawar University.
Chaudary Zahoor Elahi
The father of Chaudary Shujaat Hussain (the chairman of Muslim League-Q), Chaudary Zahoor Elahi was targeted in Lahore on September 25, 1981. He, along with Justice Mushtaq Hussain (the judge who announced the death sentence to Mr. Bhutto) and a lawyer M.A. Rehman (who filed the suit against Mr. Bhutto on behalf of the then government), was travelling in his car. Some unknown people opened fire on them, killing Mr. Zahoor Elahi on the spot.
President General Zia-ul-Haq
The Chief of Army Staff and the president of Pakistan General Zia-ul-Haq was assassinated on August 17, 1988. He, along with the US Ambassador to Pakistan, Arnold Lewis Raphael was travelling in his plane. The plane crashed near Bahawalpur. This particular incident is considered by many as a preplanned assassination. Some blame the CIA while the others accuse Mir Murtaza Bhutto’s secret organisation Al-Zulfiqar to be responsible for this shocking incident. However, even after 19 years, the world is still unaware of the real culprits.
Hakeem Muhammad Saeed
One of the most noble, dignified and decent personalities of Pakistan, Hakeem Muhammad Saeed was cruelly slain on October 17, 1998 in Karachi.
Hakeem Muhammad Saeed was not only a top hakim, he was regarded extremely high as a writer, scientist, industrialist, traveller and inventor as well. He established ‘Hamdard’, one of the most significant medical institutes of Pakistan.
Maulana Azam Tariq
The chairman of ‘Milat-e-Islamia Pakistan’, Maulana Azam Tariq, who was also a Member of National Assembly, was killed in Islamabad on October 4, 2003.
Nawab Muhammad Akbar Bugti
The former governor and ex-chief minister of Balochistan, Nawab M. Akbar Shahbaz Khan Bugti was killed in a military operation in Kohlo, Balochistan on August 26, 2006. Mr. Bugti was the 13th governor of Pakistan and 5th CM of Balochistan.
When the operation started, Mr. Bugti took refuge in a cave. However, the cave could not sustain the heavy bombardment and Akbar Bugti was killed along with his few associates.
The murder of Daniel Pearl is yet another shameful incident in the history of Pakistan. Daniel Pearl was an American journalist who was beheaded on February 1, 2002 in Karachi. Daniel Pearl was the bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal for South Asia (an English-language international daily newspaper) and was merely 38 years of age.
The star-crossed Bhutto Family
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto
Zulifiqar Ali Bhutto, the ex-prime minister of Pakistan and the chairman of Pakistan’s most eminent political party, PPP (Pakistan Peoples Party), was sentenced to death for the murder of Nawab Muhammad Ahmad Khan Qasoori. The chairman of federal security force and the approver of this particular suit, Masood Mahmood admitted that Mr. Bhutto ordered him to assassinate Mr. Qasoori. On March 18, 1978 Lahore High Court declared capital punishment for Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto along with a fine of Rs. 25,000 or six months of imprisonment.
Bhutto family calls this incident a political murder. To prop their point of view, they say that Mushtaq Hussain, the then Chief Justice of Lahore High Court, was given direct instructions by President Zia-ul-Haq to deliver this verdict. President Zia was pressurised by international leaders to withdraw the decision of execution, but the president didn’t budge. Hence, on April 4, 1979, first time in the history of the country a prime minister was executed.
The youngest among the four children of Bhutto, Shahnwaz was studying in Switzerland at the time of his father’s execution. Six years later, on July 18, 1985, when he was leading exiled life in France, he was found dead in his apartment in mysterious conditions. Bhutto family enunciates that the 27-year-old Shahnawaz was poisoned. However, this mystery is unresolved to-date. The spouse of Shahnawaz was arrested by French police for initial investigations, but was released soon.
After two unnatural deaths in the family, the wounds of Bhutto family were still unhealed when the ill-fated Mir Murtaza Bhutto — along with six men of his party — was shot dead. It happened during the reign of his own sister, Benazir Bhutto. On the evening of his assassination, 70 to 100 police officers were placed all around his residence. When he was at a distance of less than one kilometer from his house, his car was stopped by a police contingent. When he came out of the car to inquire what the matter was, fire was opened at him and at his supporters.
After his death all sorts of conspiracy theories came out. Many people claimed that Murtaza and Benazir Bhutto were not on very good terms with each other. Murtaza Bhutto had nit-picked at the charter which BB had reformed for PPP. Murtaza, it was said, believed that the new charter was not according to their father’s vision. Furthermore, he used to disparage his brother in law, Asif Ali Zardari as well.
In 1996, after the termination of Benazir’s Government, Asif Ali Zardari was detained in the murder case of Murtaza Bhutto. However, he was released due to insufficient evidence.
Benazir was the fourth member of this star crossed family who had to depart this mortal world unnaturally. After being exiled in April 1999, BB decided to return to Pakistan in 2007. On October 18, 2007, she came to Karachi. Her cavalcade was attacked by suicide bombers on the very same day. BB survived, but at least 135 activists of her party had to forgo their lives.
But finally, the iniquitous planning of the enemies worked. On December 27, 2007, as she was leaving after addressing a rally of thousands of supporters, Benazir Bhutto, who had been the first woman PM in an Islamic state, came under a two-pronged suicide attack and lost her life. A gunman shot her in the neck and set off a bomb almost simultaneously.
She breathed her last at Liaquat Bagh, Rawalpindi.
Keeping in mind the list of all these famous people who played an important role in the political scenario of our country, one wonders how we would have faced the Quaid if he were alive today. This certainly is not his vision of Pakistan where the rate of assassinations, murders, insecurity, injustice, inequality is touching the seventh sky… One can just pray that may Allah have mercy on all of us and shower His special blessings on Pakistan. Amen.
(Us Mag, The News.)