Old Wine in New Bottle

Old Wine in New Bottle

In the kingdom of the blind men, those who are blessed with one eye are kings.


Bilawal launched his political career on Benazir’s fifth death anniversary. Hundreds of thousands of people, including Pakistan Peoples’ Party’s (PPP) workers, supporters and the party’s top leadership had congregated at the Bhutto family mausoleum near Larkana in Sindh to pay their respects to the slain leader and witnessed what many have termed as the launch of  son’s  political career.


Unfortunately Pakistan is always ruled by rich families and dictators. In the name of democracy, these few families always share power inside their families.


We –Awam- are only their tenants and waiting for their notice that states “our lease has expired.”


The Great Grand Father of Bilawal, Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto, was a politician hailing from Larkana in Sindh province of British India, which is now part of Pakistan. Bhutto was the first cousin of Wahid Baksh Bhutto, a Sardar who was elected to the Imperial Legislative Assembly from Sindh in 1926 becoming the first member of the Bhuttho family to be elected to public office.


Bhutto was married to Khursheed Begum, formerly Lakhi Bai, who was of a modest Hindu family. She converted from Hinduism to Islam before her marriage. Their children included Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the first elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, and a daughter called Mumtaz.


Bhutto was a good friend of Governor General (later President) Iskander Mirza, who was a regular guest for the annual hunt in Larkana, staying at the Bhutto family home, Al-Murtaza. Mirza was usually accompanied by Ayub Khan for the hunt.


President Field Marshal Ayub Khan, who had seized power through martial law appointed ZA Bhutto to the Ministry of Power and Water, making him the youngest Pakistani cabinet minister. In 1960, he was advanced to the position of Minister of Commerce, the Minister of Communications, and the Minister of Industry.


His family ties made him a close and trusted political advisor to Field Marshal Ayub Khan. Bhutto ascended in influence and power despite his youth and relative inexperience in politics. As the old saying goes “a kingdom founded on injustice never lasts.” Unfortunately later we lost East Pakistan.


It was Bhutto, not Mujib, who broke Pakistan. Bhutto’s stance in 1971 and his stubbornness harmed Pakistan’s solidarity much more than Sheikh Mujib’s six-point demand. It was Zulfiqar’s high ambitions and rigid stance that led to rebellion in East Pakistan. He riled up the Bengalis and brought an end to Pakistan’s solidarity. Sadly, East Pakistan became Bangladesh.


His family remained active and influential in politics, first with his wife and then his daughter becoming leader of the PPP political party. His eldest daughter, Benazir Bhutto, was twice Prime minister of Pakistan, and was assassinated on 27 December 2007, while campaigning for 2008 elections. His son, Murtaza Bhutto, also served as the Member of Parliament, Pakistan.


After assassination of Benazir Bhutto, her husband Asif Ali Zardari took over PPP as granted. Now he is the president of Pakistan. His son Bilawal is ready to take over his Family Kingdom.


Where is the democracy here?


Bhutto family is one of the few families who enjoy political privileges in Pakistan. There are many others who are equally responsible for these family kingdoms.


Moreover, the political infrastructure in Pakistan is designed to cater the needs of influential people. These families across Pakistan are in national and provincial assemblies controlling both property and people. Current democracy system provides landlords the opportunity to practice feudal values in a broader field.


In these circumstances we are not seeing any change in upcoming election. We have already lost half Pakistan due to incompetence of our leaders. We cannot afford to hurt Pakistan more.


I urge “AWAM” to reject all traditional politicians and their families. If same families will run the show in the upcoming election, it’s better to have no election otherwise results would not be different than 1971.



Dawar Naqvi

A contributor for The News/Geo blogs

  • http://www.facebook.com/arthur.kaske Arthur Kaske

    In the kingdom of 5 words, those blessed with 6 are kings.

  • amrendra

    This is the problem with whole subcontinent.

  • Taj Ahmad

    All time great leader of Pakistan Mr.Z.A.Bhutto.

  • S Nasrullah

    @ Dawar Naqvi : It was bold, yet blunt, narrative about a Machiavellian Prince, who was Landlord, but identified himself with common man; was educated and enlightened, yet spoke the common dialect understandable to his electorate. Elegantly dressed and with eloquent expression, he had the attributes of a world statesman – but what a spendthrift of his own genius – that he undoubtedly was!.
    Even the heavily edited Mahmood-ur-Rehman Commission Report could not mitigate the dubious role of the Politicians and the Military combined to crush insurgency in East Pakistan and ignominiously lost the Eastern Wing of the country.
    As a deft Master of diplomacy and politics, he could read the mind of his antagonist to preempt their machinations, yet in the final moments, his lofty posturing distanced his friends and aggravated his enemies. His claim that ‘Himalayas would weep at his exit and that a sea of human beings would revolt against the military dictator and get him reprieve ‘ proved an unrealistic dream.
    But all said and done, ZAB was a Prince among the Pakistani politicians and his daughter BB was the Princess of the Pakistan Polemics. There can never be a PPP without Bhutto and the cunning AAZ knows it well to christen his kids as Bhutto Zardari.

  • ali

    totally agree with the writer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tariq.qureshi.566 Tariq Qureshi

    How much more time is required to PPPP to provide assential neccessitities to common man of Pakistan.They built Palaces for them self,their horses eat Marabas and they wear Safari Suits.This what actually they want to obtain through making us foolish by slogan of “Roti,Kapra or Makan”.Us your Vote who cares for you not who makes fool of you.

  • Sam

    The writer does not know the history “fall of dhaka”. He must not write blog on his own…

    • col hazir

      The writer is correct in his judgement that situation leading to the fall of Dacca was the creation of Bhutto more than Mujeeb. Z.A.Bhutto is on record having said that any person going to Dacca to attend N.A. Session called on 3 March 71 would be sorted out or words to that effect. Session was postponed, Mujeeb future P.M of Pakistan declared GHADDAR. The rest is history.

  • Sam

    This is the tragedy of literate people that they find time writing on
    such thing which is useless. Come on, rather than writing on ZAB and
    his family demerits, think about the system that we needed since the
    establishment of Pakistan. Please keep the system going on or if you really love
    your country than others, come into Politics. You insensible Edison with
    fused bulb…

  • Farooq Hashmi

    I wonder where our dear friend, Mr.Qalim is these days. Probably,he is enjoying his vacation somewhere.

  • http://twitter.com/aminarab amin

    same with nawaz sharif

  • S Nasrullah

    Mr Hashmi: Rather than going into elliptical loops and driving down the tangents, lets’ focus on the issue itself which is “Old wine in New bottle” in particular reference to ZAB and definitely not ‘Political Science’ its principles and practices, as you venture: ” The matter under discussion is the philosophy of Political Science, and not Politics.Thus,the matter how and what events took shape in the process of the secession of East Pakistan, is out of the pail of the topic.” Besides, the common foundation of Nationhood, as defined by the Principles of Political Science, is Common Interest – whether Social, Religious or Traditional. During the fierce struggle to throw over the yoke of British Imperialism, people of all nationalities of India (undivided) joined forces and once the victory was in sight, it dawned that there were two principal groups with distinct identities of “Name and nomenclature, customs and traditions” as expounded by that meticulous lawyer – the Quaid-e-Azam, M. A .Jinnah.

    That ZAB played a villainous role.is undeniable as has been documented in the Mahmood-ur-Rehamn Commission Report. The Cardinal spirit of Democracy demanded that the victorious party at the hustings, is facilitated to form the government and if denied, the events would ferment into dreadful and deadly clashes to culminate in unforeseen climax – UDI (Unilateral Declaration of Independence).

    • Farooq Hashmi

      “Rather than going into elliptical loops and driving down the tangents lets’ focus on the issue itself which is ‘ Old Wine in New Bottle’………….”! Mr.Nasrullah, an unbiased analysis of the article reveals that the author is a prey to a unified attack of dejection, frustration and cynicism. In his frustration,he vents his spleen on the Bhutto dynasty but,of course,in an oblique way.His recapitulation of the history of the Bhutto dynasty is a revelation of a revelation, hence,it arouses ennui.As to “going into elliptical loops and driving down the tangent”, in stead of wavering sideways,I hit the nail right on its head,with the principles of Political philosophy,in the course of exonerating ZAB from the charge of severing the East wing of the country.It’s in our nature that by the passage of time the crust of our beliefs,and feelings for and against a person or a thought, becomes too hard to be broken with the sledge-hammer of rational argumentation.This rule is applicable in case of ZAB-bashing, as well. Though it will be an abortive attempt to bring about a cataclysmic change in your ZAB-aversion sentiments, I desire of you to squeeze out some time to revisit my previous post, especially the last thirteen or fourteen lines.The hard facts are blind to our egoism and wishful thinking.The invariable scientific reality is that if we try to deceive the science of politics, it bowls us down on the ground, inflicting wounds which, though,heal up by the passage of time but the recurring pain never dies out ,never, never and never.The principles of ‘nationhood’,as propounded by Political thinkers, were infringed,and the result was as the secession of East Pakistan.The frayed,hackneyed and threadbare hear-say that ZAB orchestrated the severance of the East wing and the subsequent subtleties of the Mamood-ur-Rehman Report,etc, are a matter of pooh-pooh for the political philosophy.Some desultory and scattered incidents apart, Bengalis have never missed their unification with Pakistan..Again,had religion been a viable and strong force,it would have bound the Middle Eastern countries into a single unbreakable unified country.The bottom line is that we need to make a departure from the world of romanticism into that of realism.

  • Anonymous

    Hashmi Sb
    I read your replies to Nasrullah Sb’s and my posts and remain perplexed with the rationalisation you pyt forward.

    If religion justifies the political rational to the extent you state then what’s all the fuss with Taliban? This quite apart from my understanding that your own rationality is not a slave to rligious dogma, which feeds your spirituality.

    The reference to (Brigadier) Salik (may he rest in peace). His literary skills notwithstanding, when it comes to East Pakistan, his impartiality is highly questionable considering his own posting in East Pakistan and eventual POW status during 1971. The gentleman had the misfortune of being in the same plane as General Zia, if you recall.

    When it comes to lingua franca, Urdu’s position in East Pakistan as such was no worse than it was in Sindh. I am reminded of the backlash when sindhi in certain quarters was made compulsory during ZAB’s tenure.

    ZAB’s treatment of NAP leadership and quote attributed to Wali Khan by M. Saeed Sb just adds to my mental turmoil in seeing very rational persons accepting myths on the basis of personal appeal of the object of myths!

    • Farooq Hashmi

      Mr.Qalim,the viral cold which had hit me a few days ago has weighed me down. I’m fighting it with Azithromycin tablets and Albuterol inhaler.However,I braved it to reply to your post. Much to my consternation,my some previous statement has been misconstrued as I’m in favor of allowing religion a role in the state affairs. Genealogically speaking, I’m a descendant of the very religious ancestors____both paternal and maternal____, and my wife belongs to a renowned educational and religious family of Lahore, However,for my part,I believe in keeping religion and politics in two separate water-tight compartments.Thus, to believe that I support the inter-mingling of religion and state affairs is putting the cart before a horse. Apropos of your second point, I have to say that every writer seasons his work with a dash of his personal liking and disliking,and late-Brigadier Sadiq Salik is no exception to this universal rule. For instance,take the case of Henry Fielding. In his ‘Joseph Andrews’, he interpolates the definitions of ‘affectation’ and ‘ridiculous’. I take the permission to mention that late-Sadiq Salik belonged to my maternal grand parents’ native village, Manglia. in the district of Gujrat. I have a misty memory of the occasions when he used to run the chain-bucket- well to let my six-year old elder brother and me bathe in its water. As for Urdu, the inter-action, the inter- communication and the inter-connection of all the provinces of Pakistan have catered to strengthening its status of the Lingua Franca. It goes in ZAB’s favor,not in his disfavor,that he had promoted the propagation of the regional languages as well as the regional cultures. By contrast to the position of the provinces of West Pakistan, East Pakistan was more than a thousand miles flung away from West Pakistan,and Bengalis,were inseparably welded to their indigenous language,Bengali.Any attempt to foist Urdu on them was tantamount to further embittering their sentiments against West Pakistan,and history tell us it did..As to political relations between ZAB and Wali Khan, I reserve the right of making no comments.

  • Muslim

    And also for becoming intolerant to other religions, faiths and minorities. For always been in destructive and in enmity mode with other neighbors. Allah Pak is also annoyed for forcibly imposing Islam to non followers. Follow Islam strictly as par its teaching and enjoy the life.

  • Raj Chouhan

    Hahaha dear Hashmi bhai you are a great admirer of ZAB. Really you can not digest his criticism. “Bahut Maza aaya” after reading your comments. Love you

  • M.Saeed

    You very correct Nasrullah Sahib. It is no coincident that all three actors in Pak-disintegration, Bhutto, Mujib and Indira Gandhi, got eliminated in their days of jubilation after killing the “Two Nation Theory” by divided a Nation further within.

    It is appalling that, Muslim league was founded in Dacca, Pakistan resolution was drafted and presented by Sher e Bengal, and seconded by Ch. Khaliquzzaman, the first President of Pakistan Muslim League who later became the Governor of East Pakistan. Therefore, role of Bengali Muslims in the creation of Pakistan was paramount and cannot be ignored on any account.

  • M.Saeed

    Who capitalized on fears of the separation of East Pakistani
    and proposed a coalition form of Government with Mujib?

    Who deputed his most trusted companion to visit East
    Pakistan on a laudable task to discuss and convince Mujib on a coalition
    government for the sake of keeping Pakistan united and the task was successfully

    Who on second thoughts, refused to accept an Awami League-majority
    government and threatened to “break the legs” of any elected member
    who dared to attend the inaugural session of the National Assembly at Dhaka?

    Who after agreeing to have Mujib as prime minister and himself as the President in
    a coalition set-up, later backed out, connived with Yahya Khan, got the opening session of National Assembly cancelled,
    became a civilian dictator and ordered army action against Mujib?

    Answers to above questions can give enough of insight about
    the truth behind the truncation of an arm.

  • Aminullah Gandapur

    I am surprised as to how did you miss the important history event; when Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto, as Premier of Juna Garh State invited INDIAN GOVERNMENT to come over and take over the state after the Nawab had announced annexation with Pakistan in August 1947.