Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto


Name: Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Date of Birth: January 5, 1928
Father’s Name: Sir Shahnawaz Khan Bhutto
Place of Birth: Larkana District
Mother’s  Name: Lady Khursheed Begum
Mother Tongue: Sindhi


Married at Karachi to Ms Nusrat Ispahani September  8, 1951.


  •   Benazir Bhutto        –  1953 – 2007
  •   Murtaza Bhutto       –  1954 – 1996
  •   Sanam Bhutto         –  1957
  •   Shahnawaz Bhutto   –  1958 – 1985


  • Cathedral School, Bombay – 1937 – 1947
  • Joined University of Southern California – 1947
  • Transferred to Berkely Campus of USC – 1949
  • First Asian to be elected to Berkely Student Council
  • Graduated with Honours in Political Science – 1950
  • Admitted to Christ Church College, Oxford – 1950
  • Graduated with Honours from Oxford University – 1952
  • Called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn – 1953
  • Lecturer of Sindh Muslim Law College – 1954
  • Member of Pakistan Delegation to the United Nations – 1957
  • Addressed the United Nations Sixth Committee on Aggression – October 25, 1957
  • Leader of Pakistan Delegation to United Nations Conference on the Law of the Seas, addressed the Conference on the Freedom of the Seas.- March – 1958

Ministerial Career

  • Minister of Commerce – 1958
  • Minister for Information and National Reconstruction  – 1959
  • Minister for Fuel, Power and Natural Resources – 1960
  • Leader of Pakistan Delegation to the UN – 1959, 1960, 1963 & 1965
  • Statement in support of Algeria against French Imperialism at UN – 1959
  • Leader of Pakistan Delegation to Moscow to negotiate agreement on Oil and Gas Exploration  with Soviet Union with 120 Million Roubles  credit  – 1960
  • Led Pakistan’s Delegation to UN and differed  with US by not voting against China’s Membership – 1960
  • Foreign Minister of Pakistan  – 1963 – 1965
  • Sino-Pakistan Boundary Agreement, gaining 750 Square Miles for Pakistan 2nd March  –  1963
  • Famous Speech at the U.N. Security Council  “We will wage a war for a thousand years” – 22-23 September 1965
  • Resigned from the Federal Cabinet  – June, 1966

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) 

  • Historic welcome in Lahore after resignation as Foreign Minister – 21st June, 1966
  • Manifesto of Pakistan Peoples Party prepared
  • “Islam is our Faith, Democracy is our Policy, Socialism is our Economy, All Power to the People”. October, 1966
  • Foundation of Pakistan Peoples Party, Lahore – 30th November, 1967
  • Led Mass Movement for Restoration of Democracy – 1968
  • Arrested for creating disaffection against Government – November 12, 1968
  • Landslide victory for PPP in 1970 elections in present day Pakistan –  December 7, 1970

President / Prime Minister

  • Economic Reforms Order Nationalisation of Key Industries – January 3, 1972
  • Announcement of Labour Policies –  February 10, 1972
  • Workers would participate in Profits
  • Old Age Pensions and Group Insurance
  • Land Reforms – 1st March, 1973
  • Ceiling reduced from 500 Acres to 150 Acres of irrigated land and 1000 Acres to 300 Acres for semi-irrigated land.  All lands in excess of 100 Acres allocated to Govt. Servants confiscated and redistributed.
  • The Law Reform Ordinance – giving effect to the recommendations of the Law Reforms  Commission. – 14th April, 1972
  • Martial Law Lifted 21st April, 1972
  • Simla Agreement Signed
  • Pakistan to get back 5000 square miles of territory occupied in 1971 war.  India and Pakistan to respect line of control in  Kashmir  without prejudice to Pakistan’s claim. – 2nd July, 1972
  • National Book Foundation established – 24th September, 1972
  • Inaugurated Pakistan’s first Nuclear Power Plant at Karachi.  – 28th November, 1972
  • Establishment of NDFC – 5th February, 1973
  • Establishment of Quaid-E-Azam University – 9th February, 1973
  • Constitution of Pakistan passed unanimously – 12th  April, 1973
  • Establishment of Port Qasim Authority – 27th June, 1973
  • Elected Prime Minister of Pakistan  – 14th August, 1973
  • Identity Cards for Citizens – 28th July, 1973
  • Agreement for repatriation of 93,000 POWs  – 28th August, 1973
  • Administrative Reforms Order – September, 1973
  • Laid Foundation Stone of Pakistan Steel Mill – 30th December, 1973
  • Nationalisation of Banks – 1st January, 1974
  • Establishment of Gomal University Dera Ismail Khan – 01 May 1974
  • Establishment of Allama Iqbal Open University – 21st May, 1974
  • Islamic Summit at Lahore – 22 February, 1975
  • Inaugurated Pakistan’s First Seerat Conference – 3rd March, 1976
  • Kissinger warned Zulfikar Ali Bhutto that if Pakistan continued with its nuclear programme  “the Prime Minister would have to pay a heavy price.”  – August, 1976
  • Bhutto proposed a Third World Summit – September, 1976

Betrayal and Assassination

file (15)General Elections were held on March 7, 1977.  PPP emerged as the victorious Party.  At the behest of General Ziaul Haq, PNA accused government of so-called rigging in the elections.  Negotiations with PNA resumed.  An Agreement was reached on June 8, 1977 for holding Fresh Elections on October 8, 1977.

On July 5, 1977 COAS General Ziaul Haq imposed Martial Law unilaterally.  The National Assembly, the Senate and  Provincial Assemblies were dissolved and Constitution held in abeyance.

Zia’s Military Junta established a dummy government of PNA with CMLA as President. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto arrested on July, 5, 1977 and released on July 28, 1977.

Re-arrested on September 3, 1977 from Clifton, Karachi, on the charges of a fabricated murder case; again released on September 13, 1977 against Lahore High Court bail.  Re-arrested at Larkana on September 17, 1977.

On September, 1977 the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr. Justice Yakub Ali Khan was suspended from service because he had admitted Mrs. Nusrat Bhuto’s Petition challenging imposition of martial law.

On October 9, 1977, Maulvi Mushtaq, Chief Justice, Lahore High Court, cancelled the bail already granted to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto by LHC.

Mercilessly and despicably murdered on April 4, 1979.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as ‘Author’

List of Publication

  • Peace-Keeping by the United Nations. Pakistan Publishing House, Karachi. – 1967
  • Political Situation in Pakistan, Veshasher Prakashan, New Dehli.  – 1968
  • The Myth of Independence, Oxford University Press, Karachi and Lahore.  – 1969
  • The Great Tragedy, Pakistan People’s Party, Karachi.  – 1971
  • Politics of the People (speeches, statements and articles), edited by Hamid Jalal and  Khalid Hasan: Pakistan Publications, Rawalpindi.  – 1948-1971
  • Speeches and Statements, Government of Pakistan, Karachi. – 1971-75
  • Bilateralism: New Directions.  Government of Pakistan, Islamabad – 1976
  • The Third World: New Directions. Quartet Books, London. – 1977
  • My Pakistan. Biswin Sadi Publications, New Dehli. – 1979
  • If I am Assassinated, Vikas, New Dehli. – 1979
  • My Execution. Musawaat Weekly International, London  – 1980
  • New Directions. Narmara Publishers, London. –  1980

The Legacy of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

As a member of Pakistan’s delegation to the United Nation in 1957, at the age of 29 years, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto 4377784_origaddressed the Sixth Conference of the United Nations on “The Definition of Aggression”, a speech which is still regarded as one of the best on the subject.  As a participant at the International Conference in Geneva, Switzerland in March,  1958 Zulfikar Ali Bhutto spoke for mankind with the bold declaration: “The High Seas are free to all.”  He was the youngest Federal Cabinet member in the history of Pakistan,  at the age of 30.  Zulfikar Ali Bhutto held the key portfolios of Minister of Commerce, Minister of Information, Minister of National Reconstruction, Minister of Fuel, Power and Natural Resources before becoming the Foreign Minister.  As Minister of Fuel, Power and Natural Resources, he signed a path breaking  agreement for exploration of oil and gas   with Russia in 1960.  He set up a Gas and Mineral Development Corporation in 1961 and Pakistan’s first refinery in 1962 at Karachi.

Bhutto emerged on the world stage as Leader of the Pakistan Delegation to the UN in 1959.  To muster the support for Kashmir issue he successfully toured China, Britain, Egypt and Ireland.  He also held a series of talks with the Indian Foreign Minister Swaran Singh.    He was appointed Foreign Minister in 1963 and remained at that post until his resignation in June 1966. Bhutto made indelible imprints on world community by his inimitable oratorical skills in United Nation’s General Assembly and the Security Council. He had the vision to build a strategic relationship with China at a time when it was isolated.  Zulfikar Ali Bhutto believed in an independent Foreign Policy which had hitherto been the hand maiden  of the Western Powers.  During his tenure as Foreign Minister, Pakistan and Iran cemented a special relationship.  His opposition to the Tashkent accord between India and Pakistan led to his resignation from the government.  Zulfikar Ali Bhutto believed in a Foreign Policy of bilateralism in which no state would be entitled to interfere in Pakistan’s relations with other states.

bhutto111During his student days, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had acquired an anti-Imperialist view of the world.  He was a firm believer in economic self reliance and political independence themes he  expounded in his famous book “Myth of Independence”.  Bhutto’s finest hour came in the reconstruction of Pakistan after the traumatic dismemberment of Pakistan upon the fall of Dhaka on 16th December, 1971. He successfully put the derailed nation back  on the track by rebuilding national institutions.  His lasting  achievement was the unanimous adoption of the Constitution in 1973.  He established the  Pakistan Steel Mills, Heavy Mechanical Complex Taxila,  Port Qasim Authority, Quaid-e-Azam University, Allama Iqbal Open University, Karachi Nuclear Power Plant; thus,  fortifying the  prosperity, integrity and security of Pakistan.  Using his experience as Foreign Minister, Bhutto cemented Pakistan’s relation with Afro-Asian and Islamic countries and by 1976 had emerged as the Leader of the  Third World. As an author,  he brilliantly advocated the cause of hewers of wood and drawers of water of the Third World.

Bhutto was the founder of Pakistan’s Nuclear Program. Under his guidance and leadership as Minister for Fuel, Power and Natural Resources,  President and Prime Minister, Pakistan developed into the unique  Muslim State with a nuclear capability for which he paid with his life.  In his book “If I am Assassinated” written from the Death Cell, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto revealed  how Kissinger had said “We will make an example of you”.

The Pakistan People’s Party won the elections held in 1977 with a large majority; but the conspirators soon joined hands with Ziaul Haq at the behest of foreign powers who feared Bhutto’s capacity of uniting the Third World countries and sought to punish him for developing Pakistan’s nuclear capacity, and imposed  Martial Law upon  the country on 5th July, 1977. Soon afterwards, Bhutto was arrested and on 18th March, 1978, was sentenced to death in a politically motivated murder trial. The majority of original Court was for acquittal but was whittled down to a 4-3 verdict by the retirement of two judges.   Despite appeals of clemency from several world leaders, Bhutto was executed on 4th April, 1979.  The great leader of downtrodden masses and a visionary of unparalleled charisma will forever be remembered by his countrymen as Quaid-e-Awam (Leader of the Masses).


Zulfikar Ali Bhutto has earned a place in the pantheon of  leaders from the Third World who earned everlasting fame 1004719-Zulfikar_Ali_Bhuttoin the struggle against colonialism and imperialism.  He had the privilege of interacting with many of those leaders who played a great role in the epic struggle  for national independence in the 20th Century including Mao Tse Tung, Ahmed Soekarno, Chou-en  Lai, Jawaharlal Nehru Gamal Abdel Nasser and Salvador Allende.  During the period between the end of the Second World War and the end of the Cold War, the world was divided into two blocks: The Capitalist West and the Socialist East.  All these leaders aspired to aspects of a socialist pattern of economy. Bhutto shared their faith in a leading role for the public sector as an instrument of self-reliance.

President of Allende of Chile  and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan pursued  socialist democratic  policies in countries long dominated by the military, and thus,  were overthrown in the same year – 1977 by the collaborators of the Neo-Imperialists, killed  at the behest of the Military  Juntas of Pinochet  and Zia and followed by long spells of repressive Military regimes which did not retreat until the Cold War drew to an end.

The key factor in the  over throw of Bhutto was  Pakistan’s nuclear capability.  The Karachi Nuclear Power Plant was inaugurated by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as President  of Pakistan  at the end of 1972 but long before, as Minister for Fuel, Power and National Resources, he has played a key role in setting up of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission. The Kahuta facility was also established by Bhutto.

Bhutto’s foundation  of the  PPP  was a setback  for the reactionary  forces in a country long dominated by the Right.  The  slogan of “Food, Shelter and Clothing” shifted the focus of Pakistan politics from theological to economic issues.  This focus has never shifted back.  Bhutto nationalised the commanding heights of the economy; another blow to the capitalist West.  During his tenure there was a massive transfer of resources towards the dominant rural economy by setting higher prices for agricultural products.

The Constitution of 1973,  passed unanimously,  is yet another lasting  legacy of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.  Time has shown that it cannot be replaced.  Constitution making in  Pakistan was  bedevilled, since  the birth of the State,  by three unresolved issues: (i) The role of Islam in the State, (ii) the degree of Provincial Autonomy, and (iii) the Nature of Executive.  Bhutto managed to bring all the political parties, including those like the Jamat-e-Islami, JUI and JUP, who demanded  an Islamic State, and the Awami National Party, which was the major party in the Frontier and Balochistan, calling for   maximum provincial autonomy, to agree to a consensus on the Constitution, thus, permanently  resolving all the three issues.  A new institution,  the Senate of Pakistan was,  created in which the provinces had equal representation, in order to redress the balance of power  in Pakistan,  probably the only country in the world where one federating unit has an absolute majority.  The creation of Council of Common Interest also gave to the provinces a greater weight in the federal dispensation.  Islam was declared to be the State religion and the  Council of Islamic Ideology given charge of Islamisation of laws.  At the same time the Constitution reiterated  the basic principle of socialism:  “from each according to his ability to each according to his work”.

Profile-of-Zulfikar-Ali-Bhutto-1928-to-1979The never ending tussle between the Head of State and Parliament was resolved by empowering the Prime Minister.  Ironically, it is opponents of Bhutto who have, through 13th Amendment of 1997, restored the role of the Prime Minister  as was envisaged  in the original Constitution of 1973  after General Zia had shifted power to dissolve the Assembly and make key civilian and military appointments to the President  No better tribute can be paid to the foresight and sagacity of the martyred leader.

Finally, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had the courage of his conviction to decide to lay down his life rather than compromise or seek appeasement.  The last chapter of his life is a glorious example of  martyrdom for the cause of resurrection of democracy.

At the time of his over throw, Bhutto was emerging  as a spokesman of the World of Islam and the leader of the Third World.  The age of Bhutto was an Age of Revolution.  Although his life and career were cruelly terminated, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto will forever shine in history as one of the Great leaders who took part in the liberation of the Third World from the yoke of Imperialism and Neo Colonialism during the Twentieth Century.


Our Honerable Personalities

Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto

Mohterma Begum Nusrat Bhutto

Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto

Mr. Aasif Ali