In his time and long since you either loved him or despised him as a demagogue or a populist or a fascist, a socialist or a feudal, a radical or an establishment person or Pakistan’s second Quaid, but a Quaid-e-Awam.
Irrespective of what ones opinion of him he was undoubtedly a man who left a mark on Pakistan`s psyche in a way no leader has since. Yet despite that he confounds both his supporters and opponents in who he really was, he remains an enigma.
His life ended at a time, which I can barely recall, but he has always struck me as a fascinating character in Pakistan’s history. However, the more I read the harder it became to pin him down.
In the end, this variety of quotes that I wanted to share from a variety of books and magazines struck me as the most interesting:
"Idhar hum ..Udhar Tum.."
( Z.A.Bhutto circa late 1970: in reference to the upcoming Constituent Assembly session and his party`s refusal to attend)
"Roti,Kapra aur Makan!"
(PPP Campaign Slogan during the 1970 election Campaign>)
"I will break their legs..."
(ZAB responding to being asked what he would do to those MP’s who attended the first session of the assembly. He later in retracted his words by saying he meant break their legs in the political sense Quoted 1971 )
"By the grace of God Pakistan has at last been saved !...."
(Z.A Bhutto telling a crowd of people ..on the day of his return to West Pakistan ..on the same day of the Army Action in East Pakistan)
"Drive on !.... Nothing can stop me !"
(ZA Bhutto Quoted from Memoirs by Lt.Gen Gul Hassan....in Bhutto`s car ..after having just heard a story about Jinnah : how Jinnah had told Gul Hasan "That if he (Jinnah) didn`t obey the Law, who would”)
"Remember that ....we shall fight ,and we shall fight for 1,000 years as we have fought for 1,000 years in the past....we can continue ! "
(ZAB at the United Nations )
"The crisis was in our stars ..it was boiling ..nobody could stop it in 1970 .It could have been stopped in 1950 ...over the Language issue ..I was nowhere on the scene ..Let us face the truth .If you want to hang me , hang me by all means, but the fact remains that I am not responsible for separation "
(ZA Bhutto quoted from a speech to the National Assembly in 1972 )
"I am deeply grieved ..I have not struggled and toiled for this great country to make brother fight against brother , to engineer a situation in which damage is irremediable " (ZA Bhutto in a speech to the National Assembly in reference to the outbreak of the Mohajir-Sindhi riots)>
"Ali Bhutto was a great man ....but he could be cruel "
Mairaj Muhammad Khan (Ex PPP Minister of Manpower and Labour under ZAB, sacked by Bhutto and tortured by the FSF) quoted from Waiting for Allah by Christina Lamb)
"This is not a parliamentary government , but a Prime Minister`s dictatorship"
(Mr. Mahmud Ali Kasuri , former PPP Law Minister who resigned , speaking in reference to the 1973 constitution`s draft )
"We have given our lands ; we have given our homes ..to people from all parts , to the Pathans to the Punjabi`s , to the Muhajirs living in SInd ..What else can we do to show our loyalty , our love and our respect for Pakistan and our Muhajir brothers "
(ZA Bhutto speaking: in reference to the Mohajir -Sindhi Language riots)
"I found him brilliant, charming , of global stature in his perceptions ...he did not suffer fools gladly .Since he had many to contend with with ,this provided him with more than his ordinary share of enemies"
(Henry Kissinger quoted from The White House Years)
"Your host country has been a victim of International conspiracies and is concerned with an intense question in which ...it`s stand is based on nothing but Justice and concern for Muslim rights "
(ZA Bhutto speaking at the Lahore OIC Conference in 1974)
" We will eat grass ..."
(ZA Bhutto referring to the Pak Nuclear programme)
"I had come from Kabul only after I was assured that there was democracy in the country ..but what I saw here was the worst ever dictatorship, it was virtually a one man rule "
(Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan 1972, quoted from a conversation with Yusuf Lodhi)
"Yes I do drink wine ..but at least I don`t drink the people`s blood !" (Z.A Bhutto at a rally speaking in Urdu accusing the religo political leaders of "drinking" the peoples blood)
"Nobody can tell me how to allocate resources between the provinces of the country .If I wish I can divert everything to Larkana .I have the mandate of the people "
(Z.A Bhutto shouting in a cabinet session after a Punjabi bureaucrat had presented a paper regarding protection of Punjab`s water resources at G.M Khar`s behest.)
"You bloody flunkies can wait as long as you like for the Maharaja of Larkana ,I`m going home !"
(J.A Rahim ..former Sec. General and Federal Minister of the PPP ..shouting in disgust at a dinner being hosted by ZAB . Later that night he was beaten by FSF commando`s and sent into exile)
"Mr.Bhutto always accused his political opponents of the very actions which he intends to perform himself "
(Khan Abdul Wali Khan leader of the National Awami Party Leader speaking in court against charges of treason)
"He said ` either I`ll die or I`ll be killed ...he was obsessed with it ..At times he used to say , "I feel like giving up everything and going away ` ...he was man of intuition , but he always talked about death "
(Husna Sheikh : ZA Bhutto`s mistress and some say 3rd wife ..quoted from an interview with Stanley Wolpert)
"Murshid do not get me killed !"
(Zia Ul Haq speaking to Lt.Gen Faiz Ali Chishti upon the authorization of Operation Fairplay in which the Bhutto govt. would be overthrown quoted from Betrayals of Another Kind)
"I am a Muslim by Faith, by birth and by actions "
(Zia Ul Haq )
"What is a constitution? It is a booklet with twelve or ten pages. I can tear them away and say that tomorrow we shall live under a different system. Today, the people will folow wherever I lead .All the politicians including the once mighty Mr.Bhutto will follow me with tails wagging "
(Zia Ul Haq speaking to Iranian Newspaper in September 1977)
"I hate anybody projecting as a leader ..if you want to serve the Islamic Ummah and Humanity , do it as a humble person. Amongst Muslims we are all Muslim brothers.... not leaders "
(Zia Ul Haq quoted from an interview with Saudi Press Agency)
"Eight of my party workers commited self immolation.This was no joke , one does not even singe one`s hair for another`s sake "
(Z.A Bhutto quoted from a speech to the Supreme Court)
"The elections will be held ..Inshallah .."
(Zia Ul Haq quoted ..many times proving why he earned the title CMLA-Cancel my Last Announcement)
"They are going to kill me .It doesn`t matter what evidence you or anyone comes up with.They are going to murder me for murder I didn`t commit"
(Z.A Bhutto speaking to a young Benazir Bhutto ..quoted from Daughter of the East)
"From beginning to end the whole scheme is perverse .We will meet one day .You pursue me now .Wait till I pursue you "
(ZA Bhutto quoted from his final letter to Zia-Ul Haq before his execution)
"It is either his neck or mine !...I have not convicted him , and if they hold him guilty , my God , I am not going to let him off!"
(Zia Ul Haq quoted by Roedad Khan)
"There is one possible grave for two people ..let us see who gets in first "
(Khan Abdul Wali Khan quoted from Newsweek)
"He was the only one who appealed for clemency for his life "
(Latif Afridi, now a member of the ANP speaking in an interview he gave to NEWSLINE)