The following is a transcript of the speech delivered by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at the Central Executive Committee PPP meeting on the occasion of the death anniversary of his grandfather, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Accuracy of the transcript has been confirmed.
Bismillah Rehman Raheem
We gather yet again to mark the martyrdom of our great leader Quaid-i-Awam Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
My mother Shaheed Benazir Bhutto taught us that democracy was the greatest revenge. The day she took oath as the first female prime minister of Pakistan was the day she took her revenge.
When she too was martyred I fought against my natural instincts as a son who’s mother was assassinated. My heart, my entire being pulsed with rage demanding violent vengeance.
Revenge against the dictatorial regime that purposely sabotaged the security arrangements, provided purposely inadequate resources, purposely flawed equipments, purposely designed to leave her vulnerable.
All the while having the complete knowledge, supported by unquestionable evidence that the extremists lay in wait at that exact spot ready to attack.
I believe my mother’s spirit and her teachings cooled the tempers of a hot headed 19yr old. Allowing me to convince a party ready for all out civil-war and a traumatized nation that democracy is the best revenge.
This remains our mantra. Be it the judicial murder of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto or the forces of extremism and dictatorship that assassinated his daughter: Democracy is and always will be the best revenge.
We know our great martyrs lives will not be avenged if any insignificant man alone is held responsible. For us to have our revenge we must insure that the circumstances that allowed for Shaheed Bhutto’s Judicial murder never arise again. For us to take revenge of Shaheed BB’s assassination we must defeat the forces of violent extremism and dictatorship that together assassinated my mother. To do this we must dedicate our lives to the establishment of a fully functioning democracy in Pakistan.
However, democracy is not our only revenge. There is a matter of Justice. The rule of law must be allowed to take its course. This after all is also an important component of democracy. It is our responsibility to history to ensure the full and complete facts – the truth – of these crimes are known to the world.
Thus, I fully support the party’s decision to revisit the case of the Judicial murder of Shaheed Bhutto. It is not just a question of law, it is also a question for history. It is right for us to finally set the record straight and ensure that such an autocracy never ever again takes place in our nations courts.
On my mothers assassination the circumstances are far more complicated. As her son and heir I am the only person to have received a complete briefing of the investigation into her assassination. I would like to thank our investigation team. In taking on this responsibility they have risked their lives. They have worked tirelessly for 3 years to come to the truth.
I would also like to thank the United Nations. They honored my mother by passing a resolution condemning her assassination. They also obeyed the wishes of the people of Pakistan, who demanded through unanimous resolutions passed by all 4 provincial assemblies, our national assembly and the senate, that the United Nations investigate her assassination. There detailed and invaluable report is of the utmost importance to history. It did the best it could in the confines of the parameters set. Both reports combined lead us towards the answers we seek.
Our national report identifies the individuals involved in the criminal act its self. It also follows the trail they left behind in an attempt to expose the financiers, orchestrators and co-conspirators involved. Everyone directly involved, who could be arrested and are still alive have been taken into custody.
The report also raises many questions. Having read everything it is easy to conclude that this was a grand conspiracy. A conspiracy to rid the world of its best weapon to combat international violent extremism. A conspiracy to rob Pakistan of its best hope to establish a fully functional democracy.
We must therefore proceed with caution. The premature release of the entire investigation report could legally sabotage the case currently in progress. It could also allow the conspirators – who may not be confined to our borders – to permanently deprive the people of Pakistan and the citizens of the world of the truth they deserve.
Therefore I advise the members of the CEC to appoint a limited number of its most senior members to have a full and complete briefing of the entire investigation report.
Given the complexities of this conspiracy this committee of senior members can advise us on how to proceed with the publication of the report. It will decide what information can responsibly be released to satisfy the desire of our supporters for information. While also ensuring we do not hamper the legal proceedings already in progress in our national courts. We cannot allow those that conspired to rid the world of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto to sabotage our desire for justice and our search for the truth.
I would like to conclude by saluting our martyrs all of whom deserve justice for their sacrifice. I salute our martyred founder who choose the gallows but refused to be silenced by tyranny. I salute his martyred daughter who refused to be silenced by fear. I also salute our party’s newest martyrs who have joined their leaders in the afterlife. I salute our martyred minorities minister – Pakistan’s modern day equivalent to Martin Luther King. I salute our martyred Governor – the real lion of Punjab. I salute all the martyrs of the PPP who have given their lives for our party, our country and our democracy.