Kab ho gi paida phir aik aur Benazir: A Tribute to Shaheed Benazir Bhutto (1953 – 2007)
Note: I wrote the following tribute last year in memory of Benazir Bhutto. I am posting it again this year for my new friends and for countless admirers of BB to mark the 4th Anniversay of her martyrdom. This time, in both Urdu and Roman script [English translation also added, 28/12/2011] and with some excerpts from the book she so ominously finished on the same day she was brutally murdered.
From Note to the Reader by Mark A. Siegel, Washington, D.C., December 28, 2007 Benazir Bhutto was the bravest person I have ever known and a dear, irreplaceable friend. She was assassinated on December 27, 2007, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. I find some solace in knowing that the last memory of her will not be the bloody carnage of the murder scene, but rather the legacy of this book, which manifests the strength, optimism and vision of a great woman.
From “Reconciliation – Islam, Democracy and the West” by Benazir Bhutto
General Musharraf’s regime knew of the specific threats against me, including the names and numbers of those who planned to kill me… The extremist threat within the Islamic world and between the Islamic world and the West can be solved, but it will require addressing all the factors that breed it… It is time for new ideas. It is time for creativity… There has been enough pain. It is time for reconciliation.
کب ہو گی پیدا پھر ایک اور بے نظیر
لڑتی رہی وہ عمر بھر عوام کے لئے
امن کی وہ دیوی چار صوبوں کی زنجیر
شہادت کو جس پہ فخر تھا زندگی کو ناز
بیٹی وہ ذوالفقار کی غریب کی شمشیر
ابھرا ہے اسی درد سے امید کا سورج
اس خون سے مٹ جائے کاش غربت کی لکیر
جمہورئیت ہے بہترین بدلا یہ اس کا قول
ہر فعل اس کا تھا اس ملک کی توقیر
پیدا تو روز ہوتی ہیں بیٹیاں یہاں
کب ہو گی پیدا پھر ایک اور بے نظیر
© Shoaib Mir, Dec 2010
Transliteration in English
Ladti rahi woh umar bhar awam kay leay
Am’n ki woh devi, chaar suubon ki zanjeer
Shahadat ko jis pe fakhar, tha zindagi ko naaz
Beti woh Zulfikar ki, ghareeb ki shamsheer
Ubh’ra hai issi dar’d se umeed ka sooraj
Iss khoon se mitt ja’ay kash ghurbat ki lakeer
Jamhooriyat hai behtareen badla, yeh uss ka quol
Har fael uss ka tha iss mulk ki tauqeer
Paida tou roze hoti hayn baitiyan yahan
Kab ho gi paida phir aik aur Benazir
A goddess of peace
[English translation, mine; 28/12/2011]
Her entire life, she’d devoted
to the common man’s cause.
A goddess of peace, and
‘uniter’ of nationalities, really she was
Martyrdom stood in awe
as did Life feel proud of her:
Truly, a sword for the poor;
befittingly, a Zulfikar’s daughter
A new dawn of hope
her memory has engendered.
Alas, may it change the poor man’s lot
for the sacrifice she’s rendered
Democracy is the best revenge,
was her word, as a matter of fact.
As did every action of hers
duly enhance the nation’s respect
Blessed are we, with daughters
new-born, every day.
Oh, when will another Benazir
come again our way?
© Shoaib Mir, Dec 2011
The writer, Shoaib Mir, is a Lahore-based independent communication consultant, a former executive creative director; he has served time as a political convict in Lahore Fort, Kot Lakhpat and Camp Jail as an Amnesty International “Prisoner of Conscience 1984” who was sentenced to 7 years’ RI and 20 lashes by a military court for writing and
producing a fortnightly pamphlet “Awam Dost” during the martial law regime of General Zia-ul-Haq.