As narrated by Col Rafiuddin in his book Bhutto Kay Aakhri 323 Din (The last 323 days of Bhutto), the jail superintendent visited Bhutto at 6.30pm in his cell, along with a witness. He found Bhutto lying on the floor. He first called Bhutto’s name to draw his attention, and then read out the execution order.
What motivated Mrs Gandhi to release the POWs? What went on behind the scenes? Were there any compelling circumstances at play that have remained unreported? If there were any, ideally they should be brought into the public domain, so that future generations may benefit from the lessons of history.
In August 1977, a small crew from Pakistan Television (PTV), visited a house of a former general of the Pakistan Army. The general had also been the country’s president between March 1969 and December 1971. He had been living in that house since early 1972 and was hardly ever seen in public for over five years. He had been under house arrest. Apart from this, he had also become a virtual recluse.
In writing about a country like Pakistan, it is a hard task to determine who its three greatest leaders were. Unlike India, which had a stable political system, Pakistan has often swung from a presidential system to a parliamentary system to military dictatorship. Almost all its leaders, even great ones, had many flaws. Nonetheless, here are the three Pakistani leaders, who did the most to improve Pakistan.
Forty-seven years ago this month, Pakistan’s then Foreign Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, while on a visit to Vienna, had an unscheduled chat with a young, obscure nuclear scientist called Munir Ahmad Khan. “I briefed him about what I knew of India’s nuclear programme and the facilities that I had seen myself during a visit to Trombay in 1964,” Dr. Khan was to recall soon after Pakistan’s 1999 nuclear tests. India’s plans “added up to one thing: bomb-making capability.”