Sindh PA seeks apology over Bhutto murder: 158 MPAs take oath

KARACHI, April 5, 2008:
The Sindh Assembly on Saturday called upon the federal government to declare the death of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto a judicial murder and order an inquiry by the United Nations into the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

The assembly asked the Sindh government to rename Nawabshah district as "Shaheed Benazir Bhutto" district.

The demands were made in three resolutions adopted unanimously by the house at its inaugural session.

Earlier, at least 158 MPAs-elect were administered oath by the outgoing Speaker Muzaffar Hussain Shah.

Although the strength of the house is 168, only 161 members turned up. And of them, three members' namely, former Sindh chief minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim, Nuzhat Pathan of the PML-Q and Heer Suho of the MQM did not take the oath.

The assembly adopted the resolutions after the speaker relaxed rules under Rule 211 amidst cheers and ear-splitting slogans of 'Zinda Hai Bhutto Zinda Hai' and 'Ab Raj Karegi Benazir' by PPP activists and supporters.

The emotionally charged crowd of PPP workers and supporters, which had virtually taken over the governor's gallery, speaker's gallery and the press gallery, ignored pleas by senior PPP leaders to calm down.

After the oath-taking ceremony, all PPP lawmakers were greeted with slogans of 'Jiye Bhutto' and thumping of desks when they approached the rostrum to sign the roll.

Some PPP deserters, now members of PML-Q, had to brave jeers from PPP workers raising slogans against their party and President Pervez Musharraf.

Members belonging to MQM raised pro-Altaf slogans.

Towards the end of the ceremony, PPP and MQM members tried to out-shout each other, making the building resonate with thunderous slogans.

At the outset, the house offered fateha for Ms Benazir Bhutto.

After the oath-taking ceremony, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, who was sitting on the seat reserved for the Leader of the House, sought permission to move a resolution after the relaxation of rules.

The first resolution read: 'This Assembly resolves and recommends to the Government of Sindh to approach the Federal Government to term the death of "Quaid-i-Awam Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto", the former prime minister of Pakistan, a "judicial murder" and tender an apology to the nation for the loss of this great leader.'

The second resolution said: "This august House recommends to the Government of Sindh to approach the Federal Government to get the tragic assassination of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto probed through the United Nations to unearth her actual assassins."

The third resolution, moved by Tarique Masood Arain, read: "This Assembly offers to the great international leader Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, and in recognition of her services and sacrifices for the nation, recommends to the Government of Sindh to rename district Nawabshah as District Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto."

The resolutions were moved separately by Syed Qaim Al Shah, Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq and Nisar Ahmad Khuhro. The speaker, after merging the three resolutions, put them to vote. The assembly adopted all three unanimously.

  Blow to the West Bhutto's foundation of the PPP was a setback for the reactionary forces in a country long dominated by the Right. The slogan of "Food, Shelter and Clothing" shifted the focus of Pakistan politics from theological to economic issues. This focus has never shifted back. Bhutto nationalised the commanding heights of the economy; another blow to the capitalist West. During his tenure there was a massive transfer of resources towards the dominant rural economy by setting higher prices for agricultural products.
Bhutto's Talents As a member of Pakistan's delegation to the United Nation in 1957, at the age of 29 years, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto addressed the Sixth Conference of the United Nations on "The Definition of Aggression", a speech which is still regarded as one of the best on the subject. As a participant at the International Conference in Geneva, Switzerland in March, 1958 Zulfikar Ali Bhutto spoke for mankind with the bold declaration: "The High Seas are free to all." He was the youngest Federal Cabinet member in the history of Pakistan, at the age of 30. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto held the key portfolios of Minister of Commerce, Minister of Information, Minister of National Reconstruction, Minister of Fuel, Power and Natural Resources before becoming the Foreign Minister.


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