The 89th birth anniversary of the founder of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is being observed on Thursday (today), ARY News reported.
One of the most charismatic and renowned politicians in the history of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was born on January 5th, 1928.
He received his early education from Bombay’s Cathedral High School. He was admitted in the prestigious University of Southern California in 1947 and went on to join University of California at Berkeley in June 1949. He was conferred an honors degree in Political Sciences from the prestigious Oxford University.
He got married to Begum Nusrat Isphahani on September 8, 1951 and their first child, Benazir Bhutto, was born on June 21, 1953.
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto started his political career when he became a member of former President Iskander Mirza’s Cabinet in 1958, where he served as the Commerce Minister. After Iskander Mirza’s government was toppled by former Army Chief General (Retd.) Ayub Khan, Bhutto became the Foreign Minister after succeeding Mohammad Ali Bogra from his position.
Bhutto’s first accomplishment of his political career was to complete the Sino-Pakistan boundary agreement in 1963. He also stressed upon Ayub to form economic and social ties with Turkey and Iran which later formed the Regional Cooperation for Development (R.C.D) in 1964. He later quit as member of the Cabinet over political differences with the military dictator over Tashkent Agreement.
After his resignation from Ayub’s government, he formed the Pakistan People’s Party. He won the majority seats in the general elections of 1970 in the West Pakistan but did not come to an agreement with Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman who had the majority in East Pakistan now known as Bangladesh. Ex-military dictator General Yahya Khan stepped down and Bhutto became the President on 20th December, 1971.
Ten major industries of Pakistan were nationalized in 1972 during Bhutto’s reign and Pakistan also cancelled its membership from Commonwealth of Nations and South East Asian Treaty Organization (S.E.A.T.O) as many of the western countries had recognized Bangladesh as a state.
He introduced land reforms and Simla Agreement was signed with India on July 2nd, 1972 which paved the way for the return of 90,000 Prisoners Of War (P.O.W) and the lands which were lost in the 1971 Bangladeshi Liberation War.
Bhutto also passed a constitution of Pakistan in 1973 and became the Head of the Government.
The PPP founder laid the foundation stone of Pakistan’s first steel mill at Pipri on 30th December, 1973. All banks were nationalized on the first of January 1974. He also organized the second Islamic Summit in Lahore on 22nd February, 1974 which was attended by over 38 heads of Islamic states.
Then Army Chief General Zia-ul-Haq imposed Martial Law and ousted Bhutto in July 1977.
Bhutto was charged on a murder case of and was hanged on 4th April 1979 in a trial after the Supreme Court of Pakistan upheld the capital punishment sentence awarded by the Lahore High Court.
He was laid to rest at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh in his native Larkana district where his wife and children are buried as well.
PPP leaders along with citizens are visiting Garhi Khuda Bakhsh in Larkana to pay their respects to Bhutto.
Functions will be held across the country whereas the main function will be held in Larkana. PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari along with other party leader will address the gathering today