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Last Dayf of Premier Bhutto

Last Dayf of Premier Bhutto

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Published by razi87

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Published by: razi87 on Mar 28, 2010
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 a  s  t  D a  s  of   e mi   e B u t   t   o
KAUSAR NIAZYReproduced in pdf form bySani PanhwarMember Sindh Council, PPP
Last Days of Premier Bhutto Copyright ©http://www.bhutto.org 2
“Abbaji ……Abbajan!”My son Rauf, affectionately called Roofi by the whole family was shakingme by the shoulder. He had barely called me the second time that I opened myeyes. His face seemed to be lined with worry. One look at his face and sleep fledfrom my mind and body. In a trice the fatigue of innumerable moments ofconstant wakefulness left me.It was the night between the 4
and 5
of July 1977. I had returned homeat about seven or seven – thirty in the evening after attending a Cabinet meetingat the Prime Minister’s House. The political situation in the country haddeteriorated to such an extent that today I can hardly recall any moment of restor quietude in those days. Every hour that passed was only adding to theworsening chaos that had spread everywhere. Turmoil, strikes, processions andprotest meetings - - it was a tidal wave of lawlessness and violence. All efforts tocontain this relentless wave were proving futile. It appeared as if all that washappening was being directed by some inexorable law of nature, and that it wasnow beyond the power of any one of us to stop it.The Cabinet meeting was truly important and had ended at about 7.30P.M. many issues of vital national consequence had been discussed. The chiefof the Army staff, General Zia – ul – Haq, had also participated in the meetingafter which he had gone along with Prime Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, to hisroom. Some of us Cabinet stood chatting outside the conference room. Suddenlythe General emerged from Mr. Bhutto’s room. He appeared to be in unusualhurry. Normally when the General shook hands with someone he would hold theother person’s hand in his powerful grip and would not let go easily. But that daywhen I shook hands with him he could barely touch my fingers. His face wasdevoid of his familiar smile. I immediately sensed that something was afoot. As Istood there thinking what it could be, Mir Afzal called me,“Aren’t you coming?”“yes, sure.”The two of us drove out of the Prime Minister’s House in the same car. AsI peeped through the window and saw them for the last time. Someone inside me
Last Days of Premier Bhutto Copyright ©http://www.bhutto.org 3
seemed to take up the refrain. “Time is up. After today, this ambience, thisperiod, this epoch, all will come to an end. Bid your farewell to these things.I don’t remember how the rest of the journey was passed. Mir Afzaldropped me at my place and drove off. He lived only a short distance away.When I entered my house my three sons, Tariq, Rauf and Rizwan were still up.My wife and daughter had gone to Saudi Arabia for Umra. I called the three ofthem into my room, and gave Tariq some necessary instructions; I also gave himmy cheque book and told him how to run the domestic affairs in my absences. Iam happy that my sons understood the instructions in the exact sense in which Igave them. They were neither unduly hesitant nor perturbed. They too wereaware of the daily worsening state of affairs. I advised them that if, in myabsence, they were required to vacate the present accommodation they shouldlook for a new place, and if none was immediately available they should leave forLahore.During this period I received a telephone call from Raja Abdul Aziz Bhatti,MNA, from Rawalpindi. I repeated the same message to him, “Time is runningout fast, the Army can take over any time; who knows whether even this night willpass off peacefully.”After telling my children to go to bed. I rang up my personal physician andfriend in Karachi, Dr. Ajmeri. He was coming over to see me.“You’ve already delayed it, “I said to him, “may be you reach heretomorrow and will not be able to see us at all.”That night I lay down in my bed at about 1.30 or 1.45 by that time myeyelids were already under the pressure of sleep. And now when I wasawakened by Roofi’s voice it was about 2.45 a.m.“What’s it, son? I asked, getting up from the bed, “is everything all right?”“Abbajan, some people have climbed up the roof; they have guns in theirhands.”“Guns!”I started to walk out of the room.Yes! Please take your pistol along.”He pulled out the pistol from under my pillow and handed it over to me.

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