Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) or PPPP as it is now known after adding “Parliamentarians” at the end of its original name has been on an over drive to re-brand itself.
Bilawal Bhutto, despite being the butt of countless viral jokes has been all over the show traveling, addressing processions, making public appearances and holding press conferences.
At the same time, PPPP’s social media team and die-hard jiyalas are also hard at work to keep the party alive – at least on Twitter.
However, try as they may to re-brand themselves, letting go of the Bhutto name does not seem part of the plan. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s 89th birth anniversary and the internet hype around the same testifies the fact that the Party’s attempts at coming out from the dead and re-establishing itself as a serious political actor very much include keeping Bhutto’s legacy alive.
Now while the whole concept of this dynastic politics is a huge source of alienation for many young Pakistanis, the Party supporters continue to stand loyally behind Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and his legacy.
So, what was it that made Bhutto command this unconditional – and unprecedented – love despite policies that were terrible to say the least? Remember nationalization?
The key to Bhutto’s success, many historians believe was his unmatched eloquence and ability to connect with the masses through his words. Those who lived in the 70’s remember his fiery speeches all too well and to this day swear by the charisma that he commanded.
Here’s a look at Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and the famous speeches that made him an icon whose name continues to remain relevant three decades after his death.
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s Famous Walkout from the UN Security Council
This speech continues to be posted and re-posted on various social media platforms periodically. The Party supporters believe that this was the only time that a Pakistani leader showed some spine in the Security Council.
However, fact be told, had Bhutto taken the deal that was offered to him then, 90,000 Pakistani soldiers could have been saved from languishing in Indian jails for years.
Bhutto’s 1971 Speech After Fall of Dhaka
In the aftermath of the fall of Dhaka and the creation of Bangladesh, anger and resentment was running high among the disgruntled Pakistanis. At first, like a wise parent, Bhutto tried to rationalize the loss and asked his people to graciously accept what had happened. However, after being overwhelmed by an angry crowd chanting, “Namanzoor, Namanzoor” (i.e unacceptable) Bhutto changed gears and joined the crowd in cursing the Bengalis.
Save the entertainment value of this speech, why it is so widely revered always fails to make any sense.
Bhutto’s Address to the Nation
While there is a whole lot that can be dissected with regard to this address, however what stands out is Bhutto’s body language. The composure with which most world leaders read their rehearsed speeches from the teleprompter is all but missing in this clip. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto is not addressing the nation, he is in conversation with it.
He says a number of things that might have put an already up set nation further into anxiety (e.g. the reference to a fallout with Henry Kissinger), however it’s hard to deny that the honesty with which he speaks forces the viewer to remain hooked to his every word.
Political ideologies and affiliations not withstanding, there is no denying that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s eloquence and charisma remains unmatched. We can disagree with his politics but we can’t disagree on his magnetism. For this reason and this reason alone: Kal bhi Bhutto zinda tha, Aaj bhi Bhutto zinda hai!