I hail from the country where women are considered inferior to men, where women are not seen fit for working, where often women got abused and treated as a commodity even traded like animals. Living in a male-dominated society where a woman can not dare to speak or lead, one can imagine how hard for an ordinary woman to survive. When the majority of women were miserable, helpless but with forlorn hopes, there was a ray of light shining through all that darkness. Yes, she was pinky, software spoken, deep eyes full of big dreams for her country and women, in particular. You know her as Benazir Bhutto (first elected woman Muslim prime minister), daughter of then prime minister (Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto), for me she is still a pinky of her father. Her life was full of twists, bends, turns, and mayhem like she was riding a roller coaster which ended in a disaster but with the divine to lead the country. Her father strengthen and gave life to democracy by sacrificing his own life, his Pinky guarded it till her last day of her life in a same way as her father did, who preferred to be hanged then bow to a dictator.
She fought for her people, her country and her honor. She stood up against everything and everyone to bring back rights and democracy back to her state. She faced many challenges and went through heartbreaking tragedies, but she didn’t break because she knew what she was standing for, she was a woman of courage and custodian of a democracy.
When I look at my calendar December brings lot of her memories, the month when my country lost a leader, a hope and a light.
I was just two years old when she was assassinated but the name of two Bhuttos and politics are interlocked and will never be forgotten.
There are endless reasons for remembering Pinky, she has been a source of inspiration of millions of women and girls in my country and I am one of them. Her life teaches us that how a women can be a strong to defeat the hardships of life. As a woman she faced a lot of horrible events in her life, she had been put in detention several times and she was put in full isolation, with no human to talk to but she remained strong through it. She suffered many losses including those of her brothers and father. She fought for the rights of her people and her country. She worked very hard to restore human rights and democracy back in Pakistan. She is an Inspiration because she was the first female prime minister and also the youngest. During her time as the prime minister, she brought many advancements to Pakistan, and she did a lot of good work, but something that she was proud of bringing woman’s rights to Pakistan. She made sure that women were considered equal to men and had equal rights. A country which was full of faults and violence, she managed to spread her message across the whole country. She presses me for progress because her life was full of tragedies, but she still put her head up high and faced what was to come next, and I hope to do the same, to stand up against all the odds, to spread the message and do what is right without violence. She was one of the most aspiring ladies I know. She lived a life full of good and evil. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Benazir’s father, used to say “Whether you grasp an opportunity or let it slip away, whether you are impetuous or thoughtful, whether you have unsinkable nerves or are timid, all of these choices are up to you, what you make of your destinies is up to you.” She lived through these words after judicial murder of her father. She pledged to herself to bring democracy back to Pakistan and keep the hope high. At that time Pakistan was under General Zia’s Military rule, and his most significant opponent was the Bhutto Family, after forcing judges to hang the prime minister, Benazir was the target and Zia wanted the whole world to forget that there ever was a family called Bhutto but he did not know that Benazir was born to lead. She stood against the might of a military ruler as her only primary goal was to return Democracy and Human rights to Pakistan, she believed that democracy is the best revenge.
Her life was normal like other young girls until she went to Harvard, then her life turned into a nightmare when Zia had overthrown her father from his position and everything turned over. The military coup of 1977 or also known as Operation fair play. After her studies, she went back to Pakistan in June 1977 around the same time of the coup, and she got arrested when she was considered a threat to Zia’s military regime and wasn’t free until 1980. During that time she also lost her father in 1979.
She inspires me because of her courage and determination to bring democracy back and her demonstration of a woman which was new in the country at the time. She was afraid that the people would not accept a female prime minister but in 1986 when she returned, people poured to street to welcome her, and later after death of Zia she swept the general election and become the first female prime minister of a Muslim country. She wrote two books the first one her autobiography and the second one about Islam, democracy and the west. Even though the army was part of the regime, she had said that not everyone in it was under Zia’s spell, to quote her “The crime of the few had become the guilt of the many.” She says in this line that even though some soldiers had done bad but everyone had to pay the price. When she was given a choice to leave Pakistan and live her life or stay here and fight, she chose to stay in her country and recover it rather than abandon her homeland to people she knew who won’t let it live. She gave hope to millions of people, and because of that, she was the most popular leader in the country and people were ready to show her that they loved her, for example when she returned from exile more than 1 million people came to greet their favourite leader back home. Whenever she passed a village or a town in which the family of a martyred PPP member lived she made sure that she visited them and gave them her condolences. She had a kind heart which was always with her people; she considered them as her brothers and sisters, not as her followers.
Though she was a leader of millions but powerful military in country never accepted her which resulted in ending her two governments even before completing constitutional terms.
When another dictator General Musharraf cooped, and packed then government of her bitter opponent Nawaz Sharif and brought military rule back in 1998. But she never gave up and stood against the new dictator again.
Despite threats from the extremists and deliberate refusal of security protection from the military ruler she kept meeting people and never give up her connection with people of her country. On the afternoon of December 27 she travelled to Rawalpindi for a campaign rally, but when she was returning she was shot two times and fell back, and then she was taken to the hospital where she was declared dead. So today on her death anniversary I urge everyone to remember the woman who fought against all the odds to bring back democracy to our country and appreciate her efforts and her works for us.