Isn’t Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto an oxymoron? Bhutto is Pakistan’s most revered democrat and Zulfiqar was a product of the Ayub Khan dictatorship. He is also the biggest champion of the people here, or what’s left of “here” but he didn’t listen to the people over there, or what’s now “there”.
Bhutto lost the elections in 1970. The massive rallies, the enthralling speeches and the diehard jiyalas came to nought as Sheik Mujeeb-ur-Rehman routed him, winning a simple majority in Pakistan.
What followed was an utter disgrace of a stance by Shaheed Bhutto as he refused to accept the result of the election. An election held under the Yahya administration that hated Mujeeb and despised the Bengals right from the start.
Bhutto wouldn’t let a session of the National Assembly be called and told anyone who wanted to participate in the democratic process that he would “break their legs”. This gave Yahya the opportunity to launch a military crackdown against the “traitorous” Bengalis while ZAB tore apart a UN cease fire resolution to rapturous applause.
Over the last week or so, everyone would have read about shameful acts our military carried out in what is now Bangladesh, but not many wrote to point out the role Bhutto played in that fiasco.
Why is that?
People do know this happened. There’s plenty of inflammatory Bhutto rhetoric against the Bengalis out on the web. If you go to East Pakistan go on a one way ticket, anyone? Oh, I “lost” the Hamoodur Rahman Report!
So why didn’t our many outspoken critics take him to task? Surely the press has enough guts to take on Bhutto if they can take on the mighty army? Didn’t they owe Bengalis the complete truth on the 40th anniversary of what we did to them?
The thing is, our media scene today is dominated by liberals or leftists or whatever. I don’t know how the labels work, but these folk are basically a reactionary entity to the high handedness of our esteemed military establishment, and they don’t take lightly to religious extremism or rightist tendencies.
That’s all well and good. However, in their attempts to offset the damage done by the Ghairat Brigade, the Beyghairats are fast becoming, or have become, what they set out to oppose.
Today the perspective they put forward is often biased, and almost never highlights the complete truth. Just as the Ghairat Brigade plays up rhetoric that suits their agenda, the beyghairats ignore anything that might compromise theirs.
The lesson learnt from the East Pakistan tragedy was that using our military against our own people is the worst possible course of action. Therefore, we are today engaged in two military campaigns, one in Balochistan and another in Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa.
The Ghairat lot gives some muffled justifications for the use of force in Balochistan, while the Beyghairats will hunt you down if you appose war in Afghanistan, or our tribal areas.
Lennon said “Give peace a chance”, we say “Give peace a chance, just not in this case”.
I am all for beyghairati, but if we are to be beyghairat we should do it wholeheartedly. When you pick and chose things to be beyghairat about, you end up being ghairati half the time. Make sense?
How about telling the whole story and letting people draw a conclusion on their own?