“I am romantic, I do not think that you can be a politician without being romantic and there is nothing so inspiring as a lover affair. Nothing wrong with falling in love and conquering a woman’s heart…I call myself a Marxist in economic sense. I see no solution except scientific socialism.” One can only be impressed and inspired by such words, thoughts of Z.A.Bhutto who we remember as a Political Genius in the history of our country.
Z.A. Bhutto was a man who could look right through his opponents, the genius, the guile he possessed always kept his enemies on the toes. He once proposed to Indira Gandhi that he might be interested in forming a confederation with India which must have taken Indira completely off guard, however, deep inside Bhutto knew her weaknesses to exploit. He pointed out once “Indira was a mediocre women with a mediocre intelligence, a creature devoid of initiative and imagination. She dreams of taking us over. When I shook her hands it was with acute disgust.”
The initial rise of Bhutto is better understood by some of his correspondence, first, a letter to President Iskander Mirza where he states “I feel that your services to Pakistan are indispensable. When the history of our country is written by objective historians, your name will be placed even before that of Jinnah.”
In 1961, as part of the Ayub Khan’s Martial Law Cabinet, Bhutto wrote for Pakistan Annual, “The President’s personality is striking. He is a giant among men and makes a deep and lasting impression on any gathering… He is tall, majestic and utterly handsome. So good looking, indeed, that Hollywood could film him with credit from any angle…”
Bhutto did exhibit an exquisite art of flattery, a desire, a boundless ambition for power, intelligence and an extraordinary mind. His thought process was slightly inconsistent in terms of loyalties but as Bhutto himself declared, “Come with contradictions. Change continually and attack from every side. Apparent inconsistency is the prime virtue of a politician.”
Bhutto’s political Ideology was part marxist, part secular, part socialism and part Islamic. He described his socialism as Islamic and scientific. The Islamic part, later vilified the Ahmedis forever in this country and the scientific part was to nationalize every bit of economic prosperity.
Bhutto’s admirers consider him to be the father of Pakistan’s foreign Policy. The guerrilla war in Kashmir, and the flirting with Chinese irked the Americans, enough to get wary of Pakistan because of Bhutto’s diplomatic bravado. As part of the team of the architects of the 1965 war, Bhutto had planned to bring the lost glory back to Pakistan but when the same war was lost ‘on table’ in Tashkent, Bhutto was the only person to stand defiant, refusing to accept the dirty compromise by the ruthless dictator Ayub Khan and his cronies. This is when Bhutto decided to turn to the common man with a promise to disclose the secrets of Tashkent. In many ways Bhutto stands above other politicians, most do politics over one war, but in Bhutto’s case, the 1971 war also played a distinct role. In 71, when General ‘Tiger Niazi’ had already surrendered in East Pakistan, Bhutto made an emotional speech in the security council at that moment, refusing to bow down, tearing down his notes and vowed to go back home and fight. In actual Bhutto had already won the fight by then, which was to lead West Pakistan. Such was the genius of Bhutto that on his return he single-handedly out-maneuvered all his political rivals by assuming the post of Chief Martial Law Administrator of a ‘New Pakistan’.
Soon after, in the new Pakistan a political wild west was established to fix the politicians of mediocre stature, a PPP government blatantly enforced on Baluchistan and N.W.F.P. In addition an army operation was carried out in Baluchistan through out his rule. A new force called Federal Security Force(FSF) was established which had similarities with that of Iraqi republican guards and an essential political wing was created in Intelligence to re prioritize the objectives of Intelligence Agencies. The remarkable thing about Bhutto’s tenure is the void that we see in history books in terms of governance between his rise to power and his demise. This is also because there isn’t much to mention except for big entourages with dance troupes to world capitals, loads of diplomatic showman-ship and further accumulation of power to federation. Ironically Bhutto’s demise came by the hands of General Zia, who was chosen by himself. Zia, the Maulvi, picked for his quality of unbounded loyalty which he displayed in Operation Black September, a loyalist who could stoop to extreme levels of flattery.
Zia, the chosen meek Maulvi, was not only ambitious but also savvy, a dangerous combination in a person with an army under his command. As soon as Zia sensed weakness during the political agitation caused by Bhutto’s political opponents and the disconnect with the masses, Zia made his move to oust Bhutto from the Government. A little later Zia could sense Bhutto’s survival would mean his own demise, and at one point could foresee just one grave for the two of them. This is when the General with the gun made his move through a judicial murder.
It is unfortunate that the most populist leader that we saw after Jinnah, the only person to give hope to the working classes met a tragic end by the hands of one of the worst dictators that we came to know soon afterwards. The political romance had cost Bhutto his life in the end.