The First Bhutto

Today is the 29th anniversary of the execution of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, former prime minister of Pakistan and founder of the People’s Party (PPP).  Bhutto was a man of tremendous strengths and equally powerful weaknesses.  Public memory of him tends to see him either as an angel or a demon, though he remains the most popular politician short of Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Many speak of something called Bhuttoism.  I would contend, though I could be wrong, that such an ideology does not really exist.  Z.A. Bhutto’s greatest legacy, in my view, is the 1973 constitution of Pakistan.  Pakistan would be best served by marking his death with a renewed commitment to that document and its spirit.  It will help make Bhuttoism less a cult of the Bhuttos, and more an ideology that represents the ideas and values Z.A. Bhutto and his family, to a significant extent, aspired to.

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Arif Rafiq, a Washington, DC-based consultant on Middle East and South Asian political and security issues. [About]

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