Bilawal Bhutto Zardari: Evolving Strength of Character – by Rusty Walker

If Pakistan needs a strong civil government, it will need a strong leader. If it looks for a heroic voice, someone who is courageous enough to take on a Justice system that has proven itself to be pro-Jihadi and anti-female, pro-rape, run by a Pro-Establishment, Chief Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry-  this hero may well be Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s recent speech, covered in two stories in LUBP, deserves another look. He reflected his mother’s bravery, Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, and her intelligent and fearless tone, unafraid to speak plain truth and stand up to injustice. His voice sounds like the voice of the people, and has a grassroots type manner of appeal. Unlike manufactured politicians like Imran Khan, Bilawal is not afraid to say the unpopular things.  When Imran Khan vaciliated in his condemnation of the murder of PPP governor, Salman Taseer, it was PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari who condemned it unequivocally.

It will take a new youthful strength of character, to build a consensus from within, to unite the moderately religious and secular elements of society to change the Pakistan into a force in the world. You have the natural resources, you need the leader. It would take a commitment to stay and fight, which I believe Bilawal Bhutto has, in order to make necessary changes to Pakistan’s Military-dominated nation. It was fear of the Bhuttos that have suffered so many deaths, assassinations, killing and judicial murder and it is this grand-son of Zulifiqar Ali Bhutto who is fast rising up to the challenge to take Pakistan into a better future.

What type of person could request that the Pak Army Chief Kayani to step down? Why wouldn’t a reorganization of the military and reformation of the ISI be in line, given its abuses? Shouldn’t the elected leader of Pakistan be the  one meeting with Afghanistan, China, USA, and yes, Indian heads of state and making foreign policy? Perhaps we need look no further than the handsome and evolving PPP chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Do not forget that this court and the security establishment it represents  is associated with assassins and Islamofascists. Therefore Pakistan needs to change from a security state to a fully empowered democracy that uses its resources for economic development.  It can no longer afford Jihadist adventures that  have undermined the region and destroyed the country and lead to tens of thousands of Pakistani civilian deaths by the very Jihadists nurtured for such misadventures.

In his speech he directs his calls for justice for Shaheed Zulfi Bhutto and Shaheed Mohtarma to the Supreme Court. This is the same court that took almost a decade to finally come to an erroneous decision by freeing multiple rapists of Mukhtaran Mai who was attacked on the orders of a feudal-type village council, (acquittal of fourteen rapists was strongly condemned by Human Rights organizations) and the CJ freed terrorist leader of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Malik Ishaq, who publically bragged of his crimes.

The courts have shown its bias towards the Sipah-e-Sahaba/Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat/Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (really one and the same party whose stated genocidal intent for Shias and bigotry for Christains, Ahmadis, Barelvi Sunnis is deeply troubling) , Jamaat Islami, Lal Masjid activists in the past several years, and partiality to political favorites- the smoke and mirrors Imran Khan, Nawaz Sharif, and Hamid Gul. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari took on the history of hate and manufactured, unsubstantiated accusations over the years towards Shaheed Zulfi Bhutto and Shaheed Mohtarma.

These political witch hunts of elected leaders are precisely the legacies that Pakistan should free itself of.  That is, he suggested in positive terms, as if expecting righteous justice from the court; a good tactic, perhaps, but also the only way to cajole the arrogant CJ and courts to hear him. During his address, he also questioned the alleged ethnic bias and chauvinist attitudes that has one standards for the rest of Pakistan and another standard for North Punjabi Pro-Taliban politicians like the Sharif brothers of PML N.  As a leader of a federalist party, it is heartening to see that Bilawal understands and appreciates the the diversity of the various ethnic and religious groups that live in Pakistan – in stark contrast to Urban-Punjabi centric PML N and PTIs who strive for manufactured homogeneity as opposed to a dynamic heterogeneity and a pluralist society.  One wonders what these two parties would do without relying on the manufactured anti-US hype of the Pakistani media and its bias for them.

Bilawal’s speech has highlighted the fault lines in Pakistan that need to be addressed urgently.  These are the ethnic fault lines where smaller provinces like Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa are getting more alieanated – not to forget Gilgit-Baltistan, a Shia majority province which is witnessed a surge in the genocide of its Shia population at the hands of ISI-backed Jihadists.  It also brought attention to South Punjab which has been badly ignored by the Sharif family provincial government of Punjab.  Together this constitutes nearly 75% of Pakistan’s population that have been alienated and whose only hope is that the 18th Amendment that is this PPP Government’s best legislative accomplishment is not hampered further by the PML N-Judiciary combine.

The Judiciary, whose bias towards Jihadists and rapists is a matter of record stands badly exposed. It scolds without any actual prosecution, junior army officers on the crucial missing persons case. In sharp contrast to this is its undignified populist-media pandering in going after an elected PPP prime minister, Gillani. By referring to this case, Bilawal has brought the world’s attention to the deplorable conduct of a seemingly biased and politicized Judiciary.  Some time back, it was shocking to see prominent journalist, Najam Sethi, referring to this judiciary as an assertive institute against the security establishment. After the Judiciary’s conduct in the Memogate case, this claim by the otherwise respected Mr. Sethi comes across as a joke!

This judiciary has exposed its bias. In going after PPP, it accepts petitions and issues orders on the basis of politically motivated trumped up charges where gossip and innuendo are deemed sufficient evidence.  However for ISI-backed Lashkar-e-Jhangvi terrorist leader like Malik Ishaq eye witness accounts and boastful press conference brags about mass murders of Shia muslims are termed as insufficient evidence. And the fact that while he was supposed to be in prison, Malik Ishaq was being flown in military headquarters to negotiate with terrorists not taken into consideration when the prosecution is unfairly blamed by Pakistan’s media – where many have s a soft corner for the Taliban.

These  are the challenges faced by Pakistan and they are not being helped by a politisized judiciary, which has eschewed much needed judicial reform in favour of its selective targeting of the elected PPP government. Bilawal’s courageous speech on this topic needs to be appreciated and is an indication that he is not afraid to speak the truth even if its hurts him – the true quality of a leader. As I write this, the Supreme Court has taken notice of his speech but remains somnolent on the ongoing Shia genocide

BB did not have the time to accomplish the educational programs, commissions for women, the economic growth plans, and to contend with entrenched military and ISI that fought her all the way. I believe that like his mother, Bilawal is not just talk, but, action, for pluralism in Pakistan, and the eventual addressing of the massacres of Shia Muslims, he would be, given the support needed from civil society and religious leaders, the one to begin making a difference. Perhaps he would then call for equality for Ahmadiya Muslims and revoke the 2nd Amendment, and the long overdue changes in the Constitution, to include repeal of the Blasphemy Laws. He could give a voice to Hindus and Christians. There is an inner toughness in the calm manner of his speeches. This is an appeal to those readers to listen more carefully to Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, he and you, together may be what is needed to make huge positive advances for Pakistan.

About the author: Rusty Walker is an Independent Political Analyst, educator, author, Vietnam veteran-era U.S. Air Force, from a military family, retired college professor, former Provost (Collins College, U.S.A.), artist, musician and family man. Mr. Walker is an ardent supporter of Pakistan. Here is a link to Mr. Walker’s other articles published on LUBP:



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