Editorial : Rights and wrongs - Friday, April 15, 2011

The ‘re-trial’ of the Zulfikar Ali Bhutto case could, arguably, still bring forward facts that are relevant to our history. This is the reason that the PPP top brass cites for reopening the matter – even though doing so won’t, of course, undo the events of April 1979 and the hanging at dawn which changed the destiny of an entire nation. Many who were old enough at the time recall – as was the case with the assassination of President Kennedy or the events of 9/11 – precisely what they were doing at the moment they received the news. This makes it relevant that the full truth be known. But while the Supreme Court has indicated that it will ensure this happens, the real motives behind the PPP’s reopening of the case are open to question. Concerns have been voiced that the real intention may be to embarrass the apex court or distract attention from other issues. So far, the party has only succeeded in exposing itself by indulging in behaviour that many already consider ludicrous.

Bizarrely, the man who has taken upon himself the role of defending ZAB in the case, Babar Awan, is well known for having spoken out bitterly against the founder of the party in the days that led up to his death and even advocated his execution. His role as part of the opposition to the PPP too lives on in the memories of many. The fact that this man now holds so much power within the party – even as others known for years of staunch support for Bhutto and his late daughter have been sidelined – can only leave one wondering at the hypocrisy and deceit involved in the whole affair. Awan, in typical melodramatic fashion, has said that he will ‘speak’ in the voice of ZAB. It is a relief that the late Bhutto, a man admired for his courage and his refusal to abandon principle, is not alive today to see the charade, apparently thought up by Awan himself. Awan must also have considered all the consequences. Inevitably, tough questions about his own past will come up in court. We wonder what answers he will be able to offer about his own past or the reasons why the PPP should have allowed him to plead the case, given the feelings he once had against ZAB. While looking into history is important, it is also a fact that many will wonder if this is not a luxury we cannot afford at this time of multiple crises, when so many problems that concern our present need to be addressed on an urgent basis.

Source : http://thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=41694&Cat=8

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