Each time when the bitter memories compel me to go back, back to the lifeless moment the name Benazir Bhutto changed into Benazir Bhutto ‘Shaheed’ as once again the soil of Garhi Khuda Buksh got reddened with a young Bhutto’s blood, my heart is tugged away – life is ceased till an unknown period. One is left alone, all alone in obscurity. However, “No, she could not be taken away – she was an institution herself, a dream, a vision, a legacy – legacy that never dies…” is the inner voice to break the solitude and to bring one back to the life. Then I am always recalled of her words: “With me coming and going, I always worried they (children) were fearful I wouldn’t return … I told themNO MATTER WHAT, I WOULD ALWAYS BE BACK.”
The trust on each saying of my martyred leader is unshakeable, though these words prove out to be true for the entire world when her young 19-year-old son chants “Democracy is the best revenge”, right after losing the best he had… Yes, a mother — a Benazir mother…
There has not been a single person to match my BB’s stature. But when I try to draw parallels between a mother and her son, it becomes feasible to comprehend what Bilawal is destined to be. So here begins the parable of valor of this heroic son.
Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari – my veneration for my BB’s children commences with this name. It recollects the historic life span of an incredible couple that lost all the charm of their marital life to the bloody politics of the country – a couple that sacrificed almost everything dearer to get people’s love. It has always been impossible to wrap up my words on my Bibi’s son without taking the discourse back to despondency. Emotions wriggle out of my hold to see the only son of my Benazir. A son, who visits the central jails throughout his childhood to see his father – imprisoned on the basis of false accusations, a son who loses his charismatic mother in his early age of adolescence, yet vows to carry forward the legacy of martyrs… this very commitment to the Bhutto cause despite being the biggest victim of bloodiest politics makes him Benazir in all aspects.
His name having the same literal meaning as that of his mother’s, Bilawal shares many happenings of his life with BB Shaheed. Like BB lost his father, Bilawal lost his young mother at the hands of terrorism and dictatorship. Burdened down with the party having leadership crisis after chairperson’s martyrdom, Bilawal took over party charge and have been assisting his father to manage and lead the biggest political party of the region the same way BB Shaheed did.
Like his mother, the silver-tongued Bilawal is never afraid to speak on any issue. Family’s tragic myth of assassinations; military or judiciary; US-Pak relations – he never fears speaking against the injustice. His bold stance for the rights of minorities differentiates him from the other ones supposed to lead, the nation, sitting in the assemblies with no vision to work for people. Whether it is the murder of Salman Taseer or Shahbaz Bhatti, Shiite or Ahmedi killings – he becomes the first prominent voice from Pakistani political leadership to condemn and highlight how Islam’s name has intentionally being trapped into bad picture. The young Bilawal – when looks into the eyes of super power (USA) and demands for the apology on Salala attack, ventures to declare TTP responsible for the suicide attacks, dares to intrepidly condemn the Israel’s aggression on Gaza, raises concerns on the Egypt and Syria violence, keeps an eye on all the issues running around the country even when in abroad, condemns the wrong decisions of the government as well as some his own party’s, and when he emphasizes us to be not the leaders of tomorrow but the leaders of today, he justifies being our leader. Despite being the youngest of all the politicians when he maturely invites all the adults to build consensus on the issue of terrorism, Bhutto’s warrior son becomes the perfect choice to be chosen as the biggest leader from the political fold of Pakistan.
So, “Like mother, like son” — That same way of chanting slogans, the same attribute of debating the foes and defeating them with strong arguments, that some love for Pakistan and the people, the same passion to alleviate oppression – he is just perfect to be my another Benazir. For he is the Benazir son, who marches on carrying forward the martyrs’ legacy holding the PPP flag.
Today when Bilawal celebrates his 25th birthday, elated with extreme delight, my heart reaches out to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY BILAWAL!! Whatsoever the antagonists plan, that has come to exist will exist forever. They could not kill my Benazir! See, she is back IN you; she is back AS you. There are many to exhibit resentment over your persona, however there are millions of destitute and marginal people that now comprise your life – for whom your single appearance among them dissipate any sense of deprivation. And there are many more to stand by you in the mission to achieve a Benazir Pakistan – a Pakistan where minorities are not killed in the name of Islam, where politics is not meant to be the most dirty of all; where each individual gets Roti, Kapra, Makan, where practicing own beliefs is not ‘haraam’.
We need many lessons to embark upon our martyrs’ mission and you are the only to lead us as the jiyala in you when chants ‘hum Bhutto kay deewanay hain, hum Bibi kay parwanay hain‘, our commitments to Shaheed Bhutto’s cause are strengthened even more.
Today, I re-affirm my pledge that I will continue to strive for a Benazir Pakistan under your leadership jingling our mantras ‘Pakistan Khappay’ and “Zindah hai Bibi Zindah Hai” – the catchword that is more like a medicine, healing the spirits of us all whose hearts are woven around by the ribbons of love of Benazir. Bibi Shaheed is my existence and you three flag-bearers of Bhuttoism are the reason of my continuation. You will never find this jiyala away. My Bibi lives in you. This life is dedicated to you!
For all the tomorrows to come, Jeay Bhutto! Jeay Benazir!
Dushmanon key dil pay teer,
Jeay Bhutto Benazir!!!
Qadam barhao Bilawal Bhutto hum tumharay saath hain!!