Monday Jun 21, 2021
The 68th birthday of the first woman Prime Minister of the Muslim world, Benazir Bhutto, is being celebrated today (Monday).
Several events will be held for the the celebration in different cities, including Karachi.
PPP Chairperson and the former PM's son Bilawal Bhutto will cut a birthday cake for Benazir in the Sindh Assembly today.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, in a video message on Benazir Bhutto's birthday on Twitter, said that she restored democracy in the country by sacrificing her life.
The Sindh CM said that Benazir had started vaccinating children in Pakistan's campaign against polio herself, urging people to get vaccinated against coronavirus to pay homage to the former PM.
Poets from Pakistan, India, Europe, USA, Canada, Middle East and other countries paid homage to Benazir at an event titled 'Dukhtar-e-Mashriq Ka Jashn-e-Benazir (Celebration of the Daughter of the East Benazir)' in Brussels.
It was hosted by the PPP-International Conferences and Seminars Forum, PPP Gulf Middle East and Bazm-e-Naz International.
The mushaira was presided over by renowned poet and playwright Tanveer Anjum. The chief guest was human rights scholar Anis Haroon and it was moderated by Dubai-based poet and host Ayesha Sheikh Aashi.
Other prominent poets who participated included human rights activist Attiya Daud, Tasneem Abidi from Houston, USA, Dr Sarwat Zahra from Dubai, Tasneem Jowhar from Hyderabad Deccan, India, Dr Ishrat Mooin Seema from Berlin, Germany, Dr Hina Ambereen Tariq from Canada, Hina Abbas from Aligarh, India, Kulsoom Zaib and Ashbar Jadoon from Peshawar, Samia Naz Malik from Faisalabad and others.
This was reportedly the first all-women global online mushaira.
The poets said Benazir was a role model for women. She is a martyr and will remain in our hearts forever, they said.
Benazir was a Pakistani democratic socialist who served as the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan in two non-consecutive terms from 1988 until 1990 and 1993 until 1996. She was the daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto‚ a former prime minister of Pakistan and the founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
In 1982‚ at the age of 29‚ Benazir became the chairperson of PPP, making her the first woman in Pakistan to head a major political party. In 1988‚ she became the first woman elected to lead a Muslim state and was also Pakistan's first (and thus far‚ only) female prime minister. Noted for her charismatic authority and political astuteness, she drove initiatives for Pakistan's economy and national security‚ and she implemented policies for industrial development and growth.
Read more: My last interview with Benazir Bhutto
Benazir's popularity waned amid recession‚ corruption‚ and high unemployment which later led to the dismissal of her government by then president Ghulam Ishaq Khan.
In 1993‚ Benazir Bhutto was re-elected for a second term after the 1993 parliamentary elections. She is also respectfully referred to as B.B. In 1996‚ the charges of corruption levelled against her led to the final dismissal of her government by President Farooq Leghari. Benazir conceded her defeat in the 1997 Parliamentary elections and went into self-imposed exile in Dubai‚ United Arab Emirates in 1998.
After nine years of self-exile‚ she returned to Pakistan on 18 October 2007‚ after having reached an understanding with Pervez Musharraf‚ by which she was granted amnesty and all corruption charges were withdrawn.
Benazir was assassinated in a bombing on 27 December 2007‚ after leaving PPP's last rally in the city of Rawalpindi‚ two weeks before the scheduled Pakistani general election of 2008 in which she was a leading opposition candidate.
With additional input from AFP