By Shahzad Shah Jillani
KARACHI: Several hundred fans from Lyari turned up for the party for Fatima Bhutto’s 26th and Ghinwa Bhutto’s 46th birthdays on Sunday at the Lyari-Trans ground in old Golimar.
“I can sit and wait here till midnight just to see my leader,” said Hanif, a worker from Lyari UC-2, who was one of the scores of people who started turning up at 5:00 p.m. despite the heat. For him, it was the first-ever gathering, particularly for Fatima, where so many people had showed their enthusiasm.
The ground was decorated with posters, banners, portraits and balloons with a huge dais elevated for the guests. Ghinwa and Fatima arrived nearly three hours late amid tight security with the People’s Student Federation in wearing black T-shirts like Benazir’s jaan-nisararan.
“I am glad to see such a crowd, as I have never seen such a big crowd in my entire political struggle, as I see now for a different occasion,” Ghinwa remarked as the people burst into applause. In her address, she went on to criticize government policies, inflation, unemployment, lawlessness and injustice. “We are waiting for the right time to take on the front. Some forces feel that we are nowhere but I want to tell them that a time will come when we will change everything,” she claimed.
She also said that she was not happy with certain matters, such as the freeing of culprits involved in heinous crimes, including murder. “I condemn the fact that Zardari was declared innocent in Murtaza’s case. I am not happy to see what is happening in Larkana, including petty thieves grabbing our ancestral property. We are silent because democracy and the people’s rights are our priority. It is matter of deep concern not only for us but also for the lawyers who are striving for the restoration of the judiciary,” she announced. Talking about the by-elections in Larkana, she said that she or Fatima did not contest because they did not want to consider Faryal Talpur (Zardari’s sister) a “worthy rival”. “Many supporters suggested that I file Fatima’s papers for the NA-207 seat, Benazir’s seat, which belongs to the Bhuttos. However, I told them that our ancestral seat is NA-204, not NA-207, in respect for Benazir,” Ghinwa revealed.
After her speech, Fatima and Ghinwa cut the hundred-pound cake, decorated in party flag colors and bearing the sword symbol, as PPP-SB office bearers surrounded the stage to get a slice.
Fatima’s birthday falls on May 27 and Ghinwa’s on June 1, so the workers decided to celebrate the two birthdays on the same day. It was interesting to note the presence of many diehard Benazir supporters, raising many eyebrows. “I have come here to see Fatima, who is the successor of the Bhutto family. I was a staunch supporter of Benazir, but after her death, I decided not to follow any other leader in her name. When I look at Fatima, she reminds me of Benazir,” said Abdul Ghafoor from Lyari. He said that this was the first such event in Fatima’s honor and it will go beyond this in the future.
Another PPP worker has now switched to the PPP-SB. Abdul Rasheed said that he felt hopeless after Benazir’s assassination but Fatima has turned his ideology and approach. “I was behind Benazir and am now behind Fatima, because she is a Bhutto and the Bhutto spirit is still alive in her form,” he expressed. However, he said that at times he felt very bad when Ghinwa spoke out against Benazir in her speeches. If he came closer to Fatima, he would advise her not to speak against Benazir.
PPP-SB office-bearers Minhan Khan Rind, Yunus Bhaan, Sardar Taj Domki, Reyaz Khan, Waseem Rasheed, Rukhsana Khatoon, Zainab Baloch and Rubina Ayub and the People’s Student Federation president were also present at the ceremony. At the end, a Ghinwa and Fatima gave away certificates to those who showed outstanding performances in various fields.
Courtesy: Daily Times