Bakhtawar has made her parents proud – by Maleeha Manzoor

My life ceases when it abruptly comes to my mind that my leader – Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, the hope of the oppressed people, has been snatched from us and is now residing in her grave, hemmed in by flowers, beneath the soil of Garhi Khuda Bukhsh. This sense of loss seizes me into oblivion and blankness and it becomes tough to get myself out of this obscurity until I see her glimpse and realize that she exists, nonetheless, my life commences after seeing that strongest girl – the proud daughter – Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari – growing up battling with the pain; crossing all the confines to not let the blood of her mother go in vain; combating with all the conspiracies and daringly supporting her father, to make people aware of the realities.

She writes for herself ‘the proud daughter’ in her bio data – why shouldn’t she be proud when she has the legendary parents, to be proud on. “Feel so blessed to have been raised by the best…” Her words explicit how proud she is on the mother, who has been an icon to the whole world. A curious sort of turbulence takes over my mind when I commence to ponder about her mother and my leader; my inspiration – Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto – ‘the daughter of the East’ who, leaving all the luxuries and comforts, fought for the people against dictatorship, tyranny, poverty and all the hardships faced by the nation; ‘the humanitarian face of Muslim world’ who enlightened the brighter side of Islam to the west and the entire world; ‘the martyr of democracy’ who forfeited her life to get her country out of the menace.

The loss of such an immense leader is indelible; nevertheless I am also beholden to the forfeitures of Bakhtawar’s father – President Asif Ali Zardari – the man I am proud to have as the ruler of my country. Spending even two days of your life in jail, breaks you mentally; nevertheless, he is the man of the courage, whom eleven and half years of prison cells couldn’t break but strengthened even more. After the assassination of beloved wife, burdened down with loneliness and numerous issues, he did not relinquish, following the will of her martyred wife: he took over the charge of her party; chanted the slogan “Pakistan Khappey”; put his own life in danger; and despite knowing the circumstances, sacrificed blood by making his ‘son’ the chairman of the party. Now he is fighting with all intrigues and conspiracies, and serving the country as a democratic President, who has conveyed all his powers to the parliament.

They are the parents who gave birth to the three but emerged to raise and secure trillions, and so the children of this nation are indebted to their sacrifices. One can never repay their kindness.

“I’m proud of my family” – She’s proud on – the grandfather, convicted for the crime he didn’t commit; the grandmother, put to trials for no reasons that resulted in her long illness and death; an uncle, the most handsome and the beat of many hearts, poisoned in France; the other uncle, brave like a lion, brutally killed outside his own house; the mother, assassinated by the evil mindset that has been exterminating the whole Bhutto family; the father, sent to jails to spend most of his marital life without the family and savagely tortured. She absolutely has more than much to be proud on and to learn from.

“I remember it like it happened yesterday” – Bakhtawar speaks about her mother’s assassination. My body trembles and mind splits when I think about her problems, nevertheless she remains strong and staunch; becomes a model of courage and bravery for me by being so daring and audacious.

“I want to stand up and be counted; to make an effort to help my country.”

That’s the Benazir daughter, well-trained by the mother and learned well how to forget own problems and help the distressed ones selflessly. Her NGO – “Save The Flood And Disaster Victims Organizations”, is the proof of her devoting nature. Though educated from the west, she reflects the eastern culture – wearing headscarf and respecting the elders. Here she proves that western traditions have not clung to her-self as she has been raised by the best.

Living in abroad – away from the father for studies, she has attained what she desired and what a father would have expected from his diligent daughter.Today, the proud daughter has made her parents proud by getting first in her dissertation and graduating, from the well-known ‘University of Edinburgh’, with Masters of Arts with Honours in English Literature. My elation on her success is indefinable. Her success is the specific instance of feeling hopeful and it revives people’s hope of having a bright future. All eyes are on her now that whether she will enter into the world of politics, but whatever the profession she chooses, one thing is obvious that she’d help her countrymen anyway.

“I want to continue my mother’s work on social issues such as women’s rights, education and poverty.”


A BIG “CONGRATULATIONS” on your graduation Bakhtawar!! I wish Shaheed Bibi were here today to grasp you in her arms and celebrate your success. But am sure she’d be proudly looking down at you and smiling to see that her little angel ‘Itty Bee’ is now done with her graduation and masters. You’ve always been an elder sister to me and today I’m feeling so proud of you!

May you have many more achievements and you always shine like a star.



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