A bright shining star on the political landscape of Pakistan.


Byline: Bashir Riaz

In December 2019, as we mark the twelfth death anniversary of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, the essence of her principles and ideals have been etched into our collective memories just like the memory of our favourite fragrance. Once you experience it, it becomes a part of your memory forever. December is also the same month when thirty years ago, Shaheed BB took oath as the first female Prime Minister of the Muslim World. She showed us a glimpse of a progressive and democratic Pakistan.

Even during her life as a student, she was setting precedent as the first Pakistani woman who became the President of the Oxford Union. Today, the Benazir Bhutto Memorial Lecture has been established at Oxford to honour the life and legacy of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. Last month, the former British Prime Minister, Theresa May, delivered the inaugural Benazir Bhutto Memorial Lecture. Different European countries and American institutions acknowledge Shaheed BB's contributions towards democracy, rule of law and human rights. I still remember that in June 1984, during a visit to Denmark, two renowned newspapers wrote detailed articles on Shaheed BB and gave her titles akin to 'Princess of the East' and 'Iron Lady'.

There is no doubt that Shaheed BB represented the bright side and a positive image of Pakistan in the world and even after her loss, her name continues to live on. When we lost her, it was not any political party's loss but it was the loss of our country, it was Pakistan's loss who lost her biggest champion of democracy. She represented the federation and was the face of unity among the provinces. Only the enemies of Pakistan, lurking within as well as outside the boundaries, benefited from this act of terror. Shaheed BB always kept national interest at the forefront of her decisions. She continued her father's vision to ensure Pakistan became a strong nuclear power. If she were still with us, the political landscape would be different from what we have today. She would have dealt with the terrorists with an iron fist and no one would have been allowed to threaten the sanctity of the state. The whole world understood this as she had raised her voice for the people of Palestine and Kashmir on various platforms.

She highlighted the Kashmir issue on various international forums. In a conference by the OIC held in Morocco, the then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto spoke about Kashmir and helped the All Parties Huriyat Conference to become a...

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