Original Articles

Truth is the greatest revenge – by Duane Baughman and Mark Siegel

Dear LUBP readers,

I wanted to let you know about a new article by Duane Baughman and Mark Siegel about the documentary film they have produced about the life of Benazir Bhutto. The film, Bhutto: You Can’t Murder a Legacy, was an Official Selection for the prestigious Sundance Film Festival and will be released later this week in the US and the UK. You can see a trailer for the film here: http://www.bhuttothefilm.com/trailer.html

But the main purpose of my writing to you today is to let you know about the article by Mr Baughman and Mr Siegel. In the interests of full disclosure, I want to let you know that neither myself nor Americans for Democracy & Justice in Pakistan work with or for either gentlemen. We do, however, seem to share a similar interest in seeing that the people of Pakistan receive what they so truly deserve, “truth and justice.” For this reason, I wanted to make sure you were aware of their latest article.

Seth Oldmixon
Americans for Democracy & Justice in Pakistan

Truth Is the Greatest Revenge

Originally published in The Huffington Post

It’s been nearly two and half years since the assassination of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Since her murder her party has won democratically contested parliamentary elections, established a government, elected a Prime Minister, installed the Muslim world’s first female Speaker, elected her husband Asif Ali Zardari as president and restored the nation’s democratic constitution that had been perverted by decades of dictatorship.

For a woman who once told a Joint Session of the U.S. Congress that “democracy is the greatest revenge” one would think her murder has been avenged. But the United Nation’s Commission of Inquiry into her death has recently opened new wounds with a blistering indictment of General Pervez Musharraf and his government, holding them responsible and accountable for the assassination by deliberate decisions to reject even minimal security arrangements for Ms. Bhutto during her election campaign that could have saved her life. With the death of the world’s first woman to have led an Islamic nation, only truth and justice can be the greatest revenge. That is what the people of Pakistan want. And that is what Benazir Bhutto deserves.

Immediately after Ms. Bhutto’s murder, we began a documentary on the Bhuttos and their inextricable link to Pakistan. The resulting film is a painstaking and methodological examination of what the US government has frequently referred to as “the most dangerous place on earth.” We conducted hundreds of hours of interviews with Benazir’s husband President Zardari, her children, her sister, General Musharraf, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and many others including her niece, a bitter and acerbic critic. The film, Bhutto, premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, and will open across Pakistan on June 11, shortly before what would have been Ms. Bhutto’s 57th birthday.

The documentary is hauntingly narrated by Bhutto’s own voice, culled from 50 hours of previously unheard tapes, and builds to the crescendo of her return to Pakistan and the tragedy of her assassination on December 27 of that year. The film’s narrative is unintentionally but strikingly similar to the courageous report of the United Nations released on April 15, 2010 which pointed directly to the actions of General Musharraf, his government, the police, the military and intelligence agency, and the all-powerful “Establishment” in Pakistan that determines not only life, but apparently death as well.

The film is expected to be controversial in Pakistan and simultaneous premiers in Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad are expected to add to growing chorus of Pakistanis demanding accountability, trial, punishment and justice for what the UN called in its report “a heinous crime of historic proportions.” Benazir Bhutto was the modern face of Islam, a uniquely positioned bridge between genders, cultures, religions and nations. She dared to unambiguously challenge the Jihadist perversion of Islam. Her loss to the world is incalculable. But could her murder have been prevented?

In the film General Musharraf looks straight into our camera and declares that he “resents” any suggestion that he could have done more to save Benazir Bhutto’s life. And he says that what he did for her, even though her assassination was successfully carried out, was “more than the maximum.” But the United Nations, after nine months of investigation and 250 interviews categorically disagreed with Musharraf. In language rarely written or uttered in the UN’s 64 year history, the report puts blame squarely on Musharraf for deliberately endangering Prime Minister Bhutto’s life by failing to protect her even after the October 18th attack on her when she returned to Pakistan killed over 170 of her supporters.. Her October 26, 2007 email to Mark Siegel asking that Musharraf be held responsible if anything happened to her, was vindicated by the UN report.

The United Nations report echoing information in the documentary Bhutto, raises questions about why the reports of UAE and Saudi intelligence which identified three close associates of General Musharraf as plotting against Ms. Bhutto’s life, were never acted upon by Musharraf. Even more haunting, one of the people identified by the intelligence agencies was Brigadier Ejaz Shah, who is directly linked to the murderer of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Shah, like others closely linked to Musharraf and the Bhutto assassination, has fled the country to avoid fallout from the UN report. But the link between the Pearl murder and the Bhutto assassination remains uninvestigated and unreported, and those responsible for both deaths remain at large. General Musharraf lives comfortably in London, making high paid speeches around the world, saying that he will return to Pakistan in three years to contest new elections, and flippantly hoping that on his return his “luck is better than Ms. Bhutto’s.”

The United Nations report concluded: “it is difficult to overstate the effect on the Pakistani people of the shock of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and the loss to her country This is made worse by the pattern of impunity for political crimes in Pakistan. The commission hopes that this report will help shed light on the truth behind this heinous crime and support steps toward ending impunity. It is solely up to the competent authorities to make this happen.”

As the producers of the documentary on her barrier-breaking life that is about to open in Pakistan and around the world, we echo the words of the UN and hope our film contributes to bringing the people of Pakistan what they so poignantly deserve — truth and justice.

Duane Baughman produced and directed, and Mark Siegel produced the award winning documentary “BHUTTO” which premiers in Pakistan and the United Kingdom later this week.

About the author

Abdul Nishapuri


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  • بینظیر بھٹو پر فلم کی نمائش

    پاکستان کی سابق وزیر اعظم بینظیر بھٹو کی زندگی اور سیاست کے بارے میں بنائی گئی دستاویزی فلم’بھٹو‘ جمعہ سے پاکستان کے سنیما گھروں میں نمائش کے لیے پیش کی جا رہی ہے۔

    پاکستان کے بانی محمد علی جناح کے بعد بینظیر بھٹو دوسری سیاست دان ہیں جن کی زندگی پر فلم بنائی گئی ہے ۔یہ دستاویزی فلم انگریزی زبان میں ہے جس سے ملک کی اکثریت ناواقف ہے۔

    اس دستاویزی فلم میں سابق صدر جنرل پرویزمشرف، دانشور طارق على، دفاعی امور کے ماہر شجاع نواز، امریکہ میں پاکستان کے سفیر حسین حقانى، امریکہ کی سابق وزیر خارجہ كنڈولیزا رائس، برطانوى صحافى كرسٹینا لیمب، بینظیر کے شوہر آصف على زردارى، بہن صنم بھٹو، بچوں بلاول، بختاور، آصفہ اور بھتیجی فاطمہ بھٹو كے انٹرویوز شامل ہیں۔

    ’بھٹو، تم میراث کو مار نہیں سکتے‘ کے نام سے بنائی گئی اس فلم کے ڈائریکٹر ڈوئن باؤ مین جبکہ آرلین سورکن اور بینظیر بھٹو کے مشیر اور دوست مارک سیگل اس کے پروڈیوسر ہیں۔ اس سے پہلے یہ فلم امریکہ اور کینیڈا میں ریلیز ہوچکی ہے۔

    فلم میں بینظیر بھٹو کی بڑی بیٹی بختاور بھٹو بتاتی ہیں کہ ان کی اٹھارہویں سالگرہ میں ایک مہینہ تھا مگر پاکستان روانگی سے قبل ان کی ماں نے انہیں برتھ ڈے کی مبارک باد تھی ’’ میں نے انہیں کہا کہ مجھے پیشگی مبارک باد نہ دیں جنوری میں مبارک باد دیجئے گا، ان کے جانے کے بعد ان کے خانے سے مجھے نیکلس ملا جس کے ساتھ اٹھارہویں برتھ ڈے مبارک تحریر تھا۔ میں سمجھتی ہوں کہ وہ موت کے لیے تیار تھیں“۔

    کافی پس منظر ملتا ہے لوگوں میں پڑھنے کی عادت ویسے ہی نہیں رہی، اب سے کچھ سالوں بعد جب نوجوان نسل یہ دیکھے گی تو انہیں بہت سی چیزوں کے بارے میں پتہ چل جائےگا۔
    ذوالفقار علی، سنیما بین
    بینظیر کی چھوٹی بیٹی آصفہ ستائیس دسمبر کے روز جب بینظیر بھٹو حملے میں ہلاک ہوئیں کے بارے میں بتاتی ہیں۔ ’دبئی کے گھر میں ہم بہن بھائی ایک کمرے میں تھے اور ہمارے والد دوسرے کمرے میں ٹی وی دیکھ رہے تھے ہمیں پتہ لگا کہ کچھ ہوا ہے اور ہم نے جانے کا فیصلہ کیا‘۔

    آصف علی زرداری کا کہنا تھا کہ چارٹرڈ طیارے کا بندوبست کیا جارہا تھا کہ اس دوران ان کی بیوی کی ہلاکت کی تصدیق ہوگئی یہ کہتے ہوئے زرداری کی آواز بھر آتی ہے اور آنکھیں نم ہوجاتی ہیں۔

    جمعرات کو کراچی کے نشاط سینما میں فلم کا تعارفی شو میں منعقد کیا گیا، جس میں شریک ایک خاتون مسز ماجد بھٹی نے بی بی سی اردو کے ریاض سہیل سے بات کرتے ہوئے کہا کہ وہ اپنے بارہ سالہ بیٹے کے ساتھ فلم دیکھنے آئی ہیں۔ ان کا کہنا تھا کہ بچوں کو تاریخ سے روشناس کرانے کے لیے یہ ایک اچھی دستاویزی فلم ہے۔ ’جنرل ضیا الحق کو بڑے سالوں کے بعد دیکھا جو اب ٹیلیویژن پر نظر نہیں آتے، سیاست کے وہ حقائق جو بھول چکے تھے جو دوبارہ یاد آگئے‘۔

    ایک اور سینئر شہری ذوالفقار علی نے بھی فلم کو تاریخی دستاویز قرار دیا اور کہا کہ خاص طور پر طالب علموں کو یہ فلم ضرور دیکھنا چاہیئے۔ ’ کیونکہ کافی پس منظر ملتا ہے لوگوں میں پڑھنے کی عادت ویسے ہی نہیں رہی، اب سے کچھ سالوں بعد جب نوجوان نسل یہ دیکھے گی تو انہیں بہت سی چیزوں کے بارے میں پتہ چل جائیگا‘۔

    سیاست کے وہ حقائق جو بھول چکے تھے جو دوبارہ یاد آگئے۔
    مسز ماجد بھٹی
    ان کا کہنا تھا کہ عوام کا رد عمل کیا ہوسکتا ہے اس کا اندازہ تو اس سے لگالیں کہ عوام فلم جناح تک دیکھنے نہیں آئی ان کو تاریخ سے کوئی دلچسپی نہیں وہ امید کرسکتے ہیں کہ وہ آجائیں۔

    رواں سال اپریل میں اقوام متحدہ کے کمیشن نے بینظیر بھٹو کے قتل کی رپورٹ شائع کی تھی، جس کے تقریباً سوا مہینے کے بعد اس دستاویزی فلم کو نمائش کے لیے پیش کیا جا رہا ہے۔

    نشاط سنیما کے مالک نواب حسن صدیق اس کے پیچھے سیاسی مقاصد کو مسترد کرتے ہیں، ان کا کہنا ہے کہ وہ آج کی نسل کو پاکستان کی تاریخ سے روشناس کرانا چاہتے ہیں اور یہ بتانا چاہتے ہیں کہ بینظیر بھٹو پاکستان کا مستقبل کس طرح دیکھنا چاہتی تھیں، دراصل وہ کہ غریب اور دکھی عوام کا بھلا دیکھنا چاہتی تھی۔ مگر یہ عجیب اتفاق ہے جسے ہم پیار کرتے ہیں اسے مار دیتے ہیں۔

    فلم کا اختتام اس عبارت سے ہوتا ہے کہ بینظر بھٹو کا قتل حل نہیں ہوسکا، جب کہ اس فلم کے ریلیز ہونے کے بعد اقوام متحدہ کی رپورٹ بھی آچکی ہے، جس میں قتل کی ذمہ داری مشرف حکومت کے کاندھوں پر ڈالی گئی ہے۔ فلم دیکھنے والوں میں بزنس مین حسین چاگلا بھی موجود تھے، جن کا موقف ہے یہ قتل کا معمہ حل نہیں ہوگا،۔ نہ کوئی جواب ملا ہے اور نہ کبھی مل سکے گا۔


  • @Abdul Nishapuri
    In the last night episode of Kal Tak(June 8, 2010) Faisal Raza Abidi was publicly accused by Javed Ch of staying in PC at the expense of PIA. Faisal Raza Abidi challenged him to prove this otherwise tender a public apology. As we all know this will not be done yet Faisal Raza Abidi and PPP needs to take care of this, by bringing the hotel record in to public as well as challenging these contemptuous and defamatory words into a court of law. Such propaganda needs to be stopped.

  • @aley Javed Chaudhry himself is publicly accused of the gap between what he says and what he does; his stories and pictures are abundant on the internet. Although this is his personal issue, he must consider the fact that the business of allegation and defamation can travel in both directions.

    I, however, agree that Senator Abdi must confront such defamatory and contemptuous allegations in a transparent manner.

  • The Bhutto family has occupied a well-known place in the world politics and surely, when one articulates about democracy in Pakistan, the Pakistan Peoples party is the only party, which from the beginning of its foundation; laid by Quaid-e-Awam Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto fought against dictatorship and moved with its objective of “Islam is our religion. Democracy is our policy. Socialism is our economy. All power to the people & Martyrdom is our destination”. It was Z A Bhutto who laid the foundation of atomic program, organized Islamic Summit in Pakistan in a bid to give boost to depleting moral of the nation and openly defied US policies. Resisting against the Martial Law of Ayub Khan and bringing an era of prosperity in Pakistan, regaining thousands of miles, that had been taken by India during the War of 1971 and later, the Bhutto Government, aimed at providing Bread, Clothing & Shelter to the people of Pakistan, providing education and health facilities to every body & removing unemployment & diseases. Yes, it was Bhutto, who vowed to make Pakistan a nuclear power even if they’d to eat grass.
    Later, his daughter Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, continuing with the legacy of her father strived with might and main to make Pakistan a land of her father’s dreams, the Pakistan, for which Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto _ her father had given his life. Benazir, who was too young a woman in politics felt the sorrows of her nation and struggled to bring about democracy & the rule of justice _ Providing equality to all, strengthening a Pakistan, which worked on laws, not the principle of MIGHT IS MAIN. Benazir Bhutto _ the Daughter of Destiny, who aimed to empower women & improve the literacy rate_ who worked tirelessly to remove poverty, unemployment & disease from Pakistan and of course, remove the black mark of terrorism from the name of Pakistan.

  • Today is the day when a great leader of Pakistan was born years ago. The lady despite of her political views admired by me for her intellectual personality and grace. She was very well educated and a brave women. When I compared her with some of other leaders of political parties she truly beats them. She had a vision and if this time life allows her she would definitely impress Pakistanis. A graceful lady and a visionary Leader departs after a mysterious assassination. The whole nation mourns on the loss.

  • This is vary proudfull for every pakistani that you are first muslim “PRIME MINISTRR” lady, YOU GREAT but after your assasination there is no body replace you.