She is the “enigmatic Benazir Bhutto’s Daughter”… – By Saria Benazir.

3 Jul

Words do not suffice to illustrate the beckon of my sentiments as Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari graduates from the University of Edinburghwith a degree of Masters of Arts with Honours in English Literature on June 28, 2011. “Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari”, the eldest daughter of Shaheed Mohtarmah Benazir Bhutto and President Asif Ali Zardari engages a very inimitable position in the hearts of the devotees of the Bhutto clan, perceptibly one of the most legendary political families of the world. She, of course would get stacks of Congratulations from them (which she rightfully deserves), but I’m gawking at the other spot of the folio – Did Eternity recompense her on this very day for her sacrifice? – My eyes drop a series of tears as I begin to carve that this enormously beautiful woman in the centre (and both of her equally striking siblings) grew up, observing the incarceration of her father, facing the political reprisals against their family, the murder of an uncle, and later on the dismal ever day in the narrations, December 27, 2007, the assassination of their enigmatic mother, the Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan.

“Bakhtwar pulls out a computer from her knapsack and I help her with the quiz.” Benazir Bhutto inscribes in her diary. She had dreams – Dreams to see her children at the apex of triumph, and attain the best of educational qualifications. When Shaheed Mohtarmah Benazir Bhutto returned to her motherland on October 18, 2007, she had been messaging Bakhtawar with one hand, about her university application, and waving the masses who had journeyed from far and near to greet her, with the other hand, Itty dotingly recollects. How fervent she would have been to see her daughter achieve a degree from one of the most prestigious institutes of the world – I’m left oblivious. She could not live up to that sunrise of celebration; yet, I have been brought up to deem that the martyrs never pass away – Benazir Bhutto laid down her existence for the people of Pakistan, and why would the Almighty not remunerate her for enduring adversities to confiscate the torments of the mankind?

Yes, the Lord blessed her with a husband, and children – who carried the mantle of leadership in their youth, with an unyielding resolution to persist her heritage. Bakhtawar, which means the omen of good fortune, was already fated to accomplish her mother’s vision.

The blue trembles to listen to the voice of a dispossessed daughter: Its known we can’t move on, forever we shall mourn , Not there to correct me, lost so who will direct me?, You were my life, my light, my strength and my guide, Told me how to behave, how to get better grades..” The empathy wrecks into millions to see Benazir Bhutto having not stayed alive for long enough to see her daughter ultimately get into the university, and also designated for the Student Council of the University. I am in awe to see how Bakhtawar could possess the audacity to prolong… They took her mother from her hands! “ How we sat and played cards, even argued for hours, And went out for movies, you couldn’t drop me to uni, Chance got taken away, If you lived one more day, I got so much more left to say…”

Five years later, I am certain that Benazir Bhutto would be gazing down at Bakhtawar as the martyr’s valiant daughter. She has got the allure of her mother … Captivating and down to earth, Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari depicts the mirror image of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, and is now hailed as “the future leader” ofPakistan. Indeed, why not? – After all, who has endured more privations for transforming the fate of this deprived nation, more than Bakhtawar and her family? People come up with interrogations, but there is a glimmer of hope amidst all the disillusionments – After seeing Bakhtawar dutifully work to realize the vision of her mother as the Chairperson of Save the Flood and Disaster Victims Organization, and Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology, after heeding her voice against the bloody drone attacks and the genocide of the ethnic minorities in the country, I’m obliged – I’m persuaded to believe in the veracity of the catchphrase, “Benazir Ki Tasweer, Bakhtawar Bhutto Benazir”.

A June evening, the youngest daughter of Benazir Bhutto, Aseefa Bhutto Zardari’s tweet: Congratulations @BakhtawarBZ for getting a FIRST in your dissertation! You worked so hard you deserve it. So proud of you!” made every follower of the PPP proud. Benazir Bhutto Shaheed would always highlight the worth of education. I remember her saying “If children are in schools, they cannot be in factories”, and this is palpable by the number of literacy centres established inPakistan during her tenure. She would always say “Everything can be stolen from you, except your education”. Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari proved to be the “mother’s” daughter. She worked indefatigably for four years in the university to buy a birthday gift for her mother – the present of her degree, which I’m sure is too valuable and dear to her.

As I come down the stairs to leave for the airport, my 7-year-old daughter, Bakhtwar, looks up. Casually waving, she says, “Bye, it was nice seeing you. Come back soon.”

 “What do you mean,” I say. “I am your mother. I am stuck to you like that arm of yours for life.”

 “But, Mama, my arm keeps going away,” she complains.

 “But it always comes back,” I reply.

 “Yes, it does, it does,” says my 8-year-old son, Bilawal, as he gives me a hug. I’m sure Benazir Bhutto’s promise can never be untrue.

The sky was unruffled. There was tranquility in the ambiance, as a martyr watches the piece of her heart, Bakhtawar receiving her degree. The crowds at the Edinburgh applaud for a minute as a mark of respect to Benazir Bhutto, as her name is announced. President Asif Ali Zardari fulfills his obligation – the responsibility his wife left him, and is immeasurably blessed to be a part of the convocation which is being celebrated in the firmaments. The red in Bakhtawar’s hands is a love letter from her mother; it is her mother’s prayers. The crimson on her cheeks is Benazir Bhutto’s kiss. Enclosed in Aseefa’s hug is Benazir Bhutto’s warmth, and in Bilawal’s attendance is her mother’s care for her!

To Bakhtawar,

A little note from a friend who owes her existence to you!

You have made your parents too proud,

I’d never cease to say this in huge crowds….


Jeay Bhutto!


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