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“I have never wavered”—Benazir Bhutto

BB birthday

If alive, former prime minister Mothermma Benazir Bhutto (BB) would be 60 today. I knew her since the 1980s till her tragic murder on December 27, 2007. Also I had the privilege to work with her and she was a personal friend, too. Let me share with you a few historical email messages that we had exchanged on her birthdays. She was committed to the cause of democracy and in defending rights of the Pakistani people in her public and private communications.

Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2005 21:45:33 +0400

From: sazdubai@emirates.net.ae

Subject: RE: Happy birthday

To: shiraz_paracha@hotmail.com

I wish to thank for the birthday greetings which you have sent to me. On

this day that I was born many years back, I reflect on how our country

has passed through a half century and more without being able to adopt a

constitutional system of governance. However, with your support, I am

sure that we will be successful in restoring democracy and bringing

development back for our people. I thank you once again for remembering me on this occasion. I send you

my prayers for your health and happiness.

Bibi

—-Original Message—–

From: Shiraz paracha [mailto:shiraz_paracha@hotmail.com]

Sent: Tuesday, June 21, 2005 2:09 PM

To: sazdubai@emirates.net.ae

Subject: Happy birthday

Respected BB,

I tried to write something that would stand out among all the messages

you will receive today. But I just don’t know how to say something more

than…a very Happy Birthday and many more to come.

Best wishes

Shiraz Paracha

London

+44 (0) 7971 469556

And in 2006

From: sazdubai@emirates.net.ae

Subject: RE: Happy Birthday

To: shiraz_paracha@hotmail.com

Dear Shiraz Paracha Sahib,

I thank you for the warm message on the occasion of my birthday. I first started on the political journey when Quaid e Awam was imprisoned. Hoping to see him released, I never imagined that it would be a lifelong commitment. Throughout the journey for the Federation’s democratic future and peoples economic emancipation, I have never wavered. Your prayers and support have enabled me to stand steadfast. I thank you once again for your good wishes and prayers.

Bibi

—–Original Message—–

From: Shiraz Paracha [mailto:shiraz_paracha@hotmail.com]

Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2006 12:27 AM

To: sazdubai@emirates.net.ae

Subject: Happy Birthday

Respected BB,

Trust with your courage, leadership and wisdom Pakistan will find its destiny. I can see light on the horizon. Have a wonderful day. Best Wishes on your birthday. Happy Birthday.I hope, I would be able to meet you in London next month. From mid August. I will st art teaching journalism and international relations at a leading university in Central Asia and thus will be leaving the UK for a few years.

God Bless you.

Warm regards

Shiraz Paracha

+44 (0) 7971-469556

About the author

Shiraz Paracha

Mr. Paracha has worked as a journalist, with newspapers, television, radio and online companies in Britain, Central Asia and Pakistan. Between 1995 and1996, hosted and presented very popular television programs (Awami Forum and Awami Jirga) in Pakistan. His former employers include the BBC and Press TV among other notable names. Mr. Paracha is also a journalism professor and has taught journalism and communication courses at international universities outside Pakistan.