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    Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

    Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (January 5, 1928 April 4, 1979) was a Pakistani politician who served as the President of Pakistan from 1971 to 1973 and as the Prime Minister from 1973 to 1977. He was the founder of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), which is one of the largest political parties in Pakistan. His daughter Benazir Bhutto has also served twice as prime minister. Bhutto is often addressed as the Quaid-e-Awam (Leader of the People).

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    Introduction
    Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (January 5, 1928 – April 4, 1979) was a Pakistani politician who served as the President of Pakistan from 1971 to 1973 and as the Pakistan from 1973 to 1977. He was the founder of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), which is one of the largest political parties in Pakistan. His daughter Benazir Bhutto has also served twice as prime minister. Bhutto is often addressed as the Quaid-e-Awam .
    History and Background

    Born in a wealthy and influential family, Bhutto became one of the youngest politicians in Pakistan when he entered the government led by President Ayub Khan. Bhutto rose quickly in power, serving as foreign minister and a close advisor to Ayub Khan during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. Falling out with Ayub after the war, Bhutto founded the Pakistan People's Party, which won a majority of seats from West Pakistan in 1970. Bhutto refused to accept the victory of the Awami League, leading to a political and sectarian crisis. After the Bangladesh Liberation War, Bhutto took over as president and the first civilian chief martial law adminstrator of Pakistan. In this capacity, he negotiated the Shimla Agreement with Indian leader Indira Gandhi to establish peace.

    Under Bhutto, Pakistan adopted a new constitution. Transferring to the post of prime minister, Bhutto nationalised many industries. Pioneering Islamic socialism in Pakistan, he undertook land redistribution and other socialist policies. Bhutto also ordered the Pakistan Army to suppress the insurgency in Balochistan and suppressed a military coup attempt in 1973. However, Bhutto became increasingly unpopular over allegations of corruption and suppression of political opponents. The boycott of the 1977 elections by opposition parties created a political crisis that ended when Bhutto was deposed by the army chief Gen. Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. Despite a controversial trial and protests, he was executed.

    In 1957, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto became the youngest member of Pakistan's delegation to the United Nations. He would address the United Nations Sixth Committee on Aggression on October 25, 1957 and lead Pakistan's deputation to the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Seas in 1958. In the same year, Bhutto became the youngest Pakistani cabinet minister when he was given charge of the energy ministry by President Muhammad Ayub Khan, who had seized power and declared martial law. He was subsequently promoted to head the ministries of commerce, information and industries. Bhutto become a close and trusted advisor to Ayub, rising in influence and power despite his youth and relative inexperience in politics. Bhutto aided Ayub in negotiating the Indus Water Treaty with India in 1960. In 1961, Bhutto negotiated an oil exploration agreement with the Soviet Union, which also agreed to provide economic and technical aid to Pakistan. Bhutto also became the de facto foreign policy spokesman for Ayub. In 1963, he was appointed Pakistan's foreign minister. His swift rise to power also brought him national prominence and popularity.

    As foreign minister, Bhutto significantly transformed Pakistan's hitherto pro-Western foreign policy. While maintaining a prominent role for Pakistan within the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization and the Central Treaty Organization, Bhutto began asserting a foreign policy course for Pakistan that was independent of U.S. influence. Bhutto criticised the U.S. for providing military aid to India during and after the Sino-Indian War of 1962, which was seen as an abrogation of Pakistan's alliance with the U.S. Bhutto worked to establish stronger relations with the People's Republic of China.[4] Bhutto visited Beijing and helped Ayub negotiate trade and military agreements with the Chinese regime, which agreed to help Pakistan in a large number of military and industrial projects. Bhutto also signed the Sino-Pakistan Boundary Agreement on March 2, 1963 that transferred 750 kilometres of territory from Pakistan-administered Kashmir to Chinese control. Bhutto asserted his belief in non-alignment, making Pakistan an influential member in non-aligned organisations. Believing in pan-Islamic unity, Bhutto developed closer relations with Muslim nations such as Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and other Arab states.

    Bhutto advocated hardline and confrontational policies against India over the Kashmir conflict and other issues. After a brief skirmish in August 1965 between Indian and Pakistani forces near the international boundary in the Rann of Kutch, Bhutto counselled Ayub to launch an invasion of Indian Kashmir in September, which came to be known as Operation Grandslam. After the incursion of Pakistani forces was detected, India launched a full-scale military operation in Kashmir and the Punjab region. Following the outbreak of war, Bhutto delivered a fiery speech at the UN Security Council condemning India for aggression and declaring "we will fight for a thousand years" before storming out of the hall. After two weeks of fierce fighting, both nations faced considerable political pressure from the U.S., the U.K. and the Soviet Union and agreed to a ceasefire sponsored by the UN. Although the conflict had resulted in a stalemate, the advance of Indian forces into close proximity with the city of Lahore caused widespread criticism of Ayub's management of the war. Bhutto joined Ayub in Tashkent to negotiate a peace treaty with the Indian Prime Minister  Bahadur Shastri. Ayub and Shastri agreed to exchange prisoners of war and withdraw respective forces to pre-war boundaries. This agreement was deeply unpopular in Pakistan, causing major political unrest against Ayub's regime. Bhutto's criticism of the final agreement caused a major rift between him and Ayub Khan. Initially denying the rumours, Bhutto resigned in June, 1967 and expressed strong opposition to Ayub's regime.


    Early Years

    Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was born to Khursheed Begum and Sir Shahnawaz Bhutto in their residence near Larkana in what later became the province of Sindh. He was their third child — their first one, Sikandar died from pneumonia at age seven in 1914 and the second child, Imdad Ali died of cirrhosis at the age of 39 in 1953.[1] His family was of a noble Rajput line that had converted to Islam.[2] His father was a wealthy zamindar (landlord), businessman and a prominent politician in Sindh. Sir Shahnawaz enjoyed an infuential relationship with the officials of the British Raj and played a major role in the provincial Muslim League. As a young boy, Bhutto moved to Mumbai (then Bombay) to study at the Cathedral High School. During this period, he also became a student activist in the League's Pakistan movement.

    Zulfikar Ali Bhutto completed his early education from Bombay's Cathedral High School. In 1943, his marriage was arranged with Shireen Amir Begum, but would die while Bhutto was studying in the United States. In 1947, Bhutto was admitted into the University of Southern California. In the same year, his father Sir Shahnawaz played a controversial role in the affairs of the state of Junagadh (now in Gujarat). Coming to power in a palace coup as the dewan, Sir Shahnawaz secured the accession of the state to Pakistan, which was ultimately negated by Indian intervention in December, 1947.[3] In 1949, Bhutto transferred to the campus at Berkeley, where he earned an honours degree in political science. Here he would become interested in the theories of socialism, delivering a series of lectures on the feasibility of socialism in Islamic countries. In June, 1950 Bhutto travelled to England to study law at the Christ Church College in Oxford. Finishing his studies, he was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1953.

    Bhutto had married his second wife, a Kurdish woman Begum Nusrat Ispahani in Karachi on September 8, 1951. Their first child, his daughter Benazir was born in 1953. She was followed by Murtaza in 1954, a second daughter Sanam in 1957 and the youngest, Shahnawaz in 1958. Bhutto accepted the post of lecturer at the Sindh Muslim College before establishing himself in a legal practise in Karachi. He would also take over the management of his family's estate and business interests after his father's death. His family's pre-eminent position in public life also raised speculation that the young Bhutto would enter politics.

    In Power

    Leader of West Pakistan

    Following his resignation, large crowds gathered to listen to Bhutto's speech upon his arrival in Lahore on June 21. Tapping a wave of anger and opposition against Ayub, Bhutto began travelling across the country to deliver political speeches. In a speech in October, 1966 Bhutto proclaimed "Islam is our faith, democracy is our policy, socialism is our economy. All power to the people."[5] On November 30, 1967 Bhutto founded the Pakistan People's Party in Lahore, establishing a strong base of political support in Punjab, Sindh and amongst the Muhajir communities. Bhutto's party became a part of the pro-democracy movement involving diverse political parties from all across Pakistan. PPP activists staged large protests and strikes in different parts of the country, increasing pressure on Ayub to resign. Bhutto's arrest on November 12, 1968 sparked greater political unrest. After his release, Bhutto attended the Round Table Conference called by Ayub in Rawalpindi, but refused to accept Ayub's continuation in office and the East Pakistani politician Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's Six point movement for regional autonomy.

    Following Ayub's resignation, the new president Gen. Yahya Khan promised to hold parliamentary elections on December 7, 1970. Bhutto's party won a large number of seats from constituencies in West Pakistan. However, Sheikh Mujib's Awami League won an outright majority from the constituencies located in East Pakistan. Bhutto refused to accept an Awami League government and famously promised to "break the legs" of any elected PPP member who dared to attend the inaugural session of the National Assembly of Pakistan. Capitalising on West Pakistani fears of East Pakistani separatism, Bhutto demanded that Sheikh Mujib form a coalition with the PPP. Under substantial pressure from Bhutto and other West Pakistani political parties, Yahya postponed the inaugural session of the National Assembly after talks with Sheikh Mujib failed.[5] Amidst popular outrage in East Pakistan, Sheikh Mujib declared the independence of "Bangladesh" on March 25, 1971 before he was arrested by the Pakistani Army, which had been ordered by Yahya to suppress political activities. Under Operation Searchlight, Pakistani forces tortured and killed political activists as well as a large number of civilians, religious minorities and Bengali intellectuals.[6] While supportive of the army's campaign and working to rally international support, Bhutto distanced himself from the Yahya regime. He refused to accept Yahya's scheme to appoint Bengali politician Nurul Amin as prime minister, with Bhutto as deputy prime minister. Indian intervention in East Pakistan led to the defeat of Pakistani forces, who surrendered on December 16. Bhutto and others condemned Yahya for failing to protect Pakistan's unity. Isolated, Yahya resigned on December 20 and transferred power to Bhutto, who became the president, army commander-in-chief as well as the first civilian chief martial law administrator.

    Leading Pakistan

    As president, Bhutto addressed the nation via radio and television, saying "My dear countrymen, my dear friends, my dear students, labourers, peasants… those who fought for Pakistan… We are facing the worst crisis in our country's life, a deadly crisis. We have to pick up the pieces, very small pieces, but we will make a new Pakistan, a prosperous and progressive Pakistan." He placed Yahya under house arrest, brokered a ceasefire and ordered the release of Sheikh Mujib, who was held prisoner by the army. Appointing a new cabinet, Bhutto appointed Gen. Gul Hasan as chief of army staff. On January 2, 1972 Bhutto announced the nationalisation of all major industries, including iron and steel, heavy engineering, heavy electricals, petrochemicals, cement and public utilities.[7] A new labour policy was announced increasing workers rights and the power of trade unions. Although he came from a feudal background himself, Bhutto announced reforms limiting land ownership and a government take-over of over a million acres to distribute to landless peasants. More than 2,000 civil servants were dismissed on charges of corruption.[7] Bhutto also dismissed the military chiefs on March 3 after they refused orders to suppress a major police strike in Punjab. He appointed Gen. Tikka Khan in a bid to assert control over the army. Bhutto convened the National Assembly on April 14, rescinded martial law on April 21 and charged the legislators with writing a new constitution.

    Bhutto visited India to meet Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and negotiated a formal peace agreement and the release of 93,000 Pakistani prisoners of war. The two leaders signed the Shimla Agreement, which committed both nations to establish a Line of Control in Kashmir and obligated them to resolve disputes peacefully through bilateral talks.[8][7] Bhutto also promised to hold a future summit for the peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute and pledged to recognise Bangladesh.[9] Although he secured the release of Pakistani soldiers held by India, Bhutto was criticised by many in Pakistan for allegedly making too many concessions to India. It is theorised that Bhutto feared his downfall if he could not secure the release of Pakistani soldiers, the return of territory occupied by Indian forces.[10] Bhutto established an atomic power development programme and inaugurated the first Pakistani atomic reactor, built in collaboration with Canada in Karachi on November 28. In January 1973, Bhutto orderd the army to suppress a rising insurgency in the province of Balochistan and dismissed the governments in Balochistan and the Northwest Frontier Province. On March 30, 59 military officers were arrested by army troops for allegedly plotted a coup against Bhutto, who appointed then-Brigadier Zia-ul-Haq to head a military tribunal to investigate and try the suspects. The National Assembly approved the new constitution, which Bhutto signed into effect on April 12. The constitution proclaimed an "Islamic Republic" in Pakistan with a parliamentary form of government. On August 10, Bhutto turned over the post of president to Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry, assuming the office of prime minister instead.

    Bhutto officially recognised Bangladesh in July. Making an official visit to Bangladesh, Bhutto was criticised in Pakistan for laying flowers at a memorial for Bangladeshi "freedom fighters." Bhutto continued to develop closer relations with China, Saudi Arabia and other Muslim nations. Bhutto hosted the Second Islamic Summit of Muslim nations in Lahore between February 22 and February 24 in 1974. However, Bhutto faced considerable pressure from Islamic religious leaders to declare the Ahmadiya communities as non-Muslims. Failing to restrain sectarian violence and rioting, Bhutto and the National Assembly amended the constitution to that effect. Bhutto intensified his nationalisation programme, extending government control over agricultural processing and consumer industries. Bhutto also inaugurated Port Qasim, designed to expand harbour facilities near Karachi. However, the performance of the Pakistani economy declined amidst increasing bureaucracy and a decline in private sector confidence. In a surprise move in 1976, Bhutto appointed Gen. Zia-ul-Haq to replace Gen. Tikka Khan, surpassing five generals senior to Zia.

    Current Status

    Zulfikar Ali Bhutto remains a controversial figure in Pakistan. He is criticised not for opportunism, corruption, nepotism and intimidating his political opponents. His socialist policies are blamed for slowing down Pakistan's economic progress owing to unproductivity, high costs and corruption. Bhutto is also criticised for major human rights abuses and ethnic cleansing perpretrated by the army in Balochistan.[ Many in Pakistan's military, notably the current president Gen. Pervez Musharraf condemn Bhutto for having caused the crisis that led to the creation of Bangladesh. Bhutto's supporters and proponents assert that he fought against military hegemony and restored democracy to Pakistan. Bhutto's socialist policies promoted social welfare, alleviation of poverty and expanding ownership of land and capital beyond a small number of feudal and industrial families.[7] Bhutto's action against insurgency in Balochistan is credited for preserving the unity of Pakistan after the 1971 war. Supporters assert that Bhutto was overthrown as a result of his refusal to accept the army's influence and interference in politics and policy.

    Bhutto is often referred to with respect as Shaheed (Martyr) or with the honorific title Quaid-e-Awam. Bhutto and his family remain widely popular in many parts of Pakistan, especially in Sindh. Bhutto is the namesake of many public institutions in Pakistan. Benazir Bhutto succeeded her mother as leader of the Pakistan People's Party and the pro-democracy opposition to the regime of President Zia-ul-Haq. In the elections held after Zia's death in 1988, Bhutto led the PPP to victory and became the first female leader of an Islamic nation, although her government was dismissed in 1990. Bhutto won re-election in 1993 but was again dismissed from office in 1996. Her husband Asif Ali Zardari was convicted of having plotted the killing of Benazir's brother Murtaza in 1993. In London when prime minister Nawaz Sharif was overthrown by Gen. Musharaf in 1999, Benazir Bhutto has been exiled since from Pakistan and legally barred from contesting elections. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto remains an icon of the PPP and one of the most influential Pakistani politicians in history.




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