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The F.E. Choudhry Gallery: Jiss dhaj say koee maqtal meiN gaya

Posted on June 25, 2008
Filed Under >Adil Najam, >Nadeem Omar, History, People, Photo of the Day
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Nadeem Omar and Adil Najam

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto going to Court for his Murder trial



Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in Court for his murder trial by Zia ul HaqA large number of the photographs in the F.E. Chaudhry Collection are of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto during the time of the Bhutto Primiership. None are more riveting for those interested in Pakistan’s history than the one of Mr. Bhutto’s trial in the Lahore High Court during 1978.

In the last installment from the F.E. Choudhry Gallery we brought you scenes of public agitation from outside the Lahore High Court where Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s trial was proceeding. Today we bring you some amazing photographs from inside the Lahore High Court.

These pictures are amazing indeed. If you did not know of the context you would never guess that the smartly dressed, confident, self-assured man in all of them is the “accused” being led by his captives to court. It truly reminds one of Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s immortal verse:

jiss dhajj say koee maqtal meiN gaya
woh shaan salamat rehti hai,
Yeh jaan tou aani jaani hai
iss jaan ki koee baat nahiN

If one did not know of the context one could easily assume that this is a confident Prime Minister, walking with his head held high, accompanied by his security detail. Instead, what it actually is a deposed Prime Minister being taken to court for a mock trial by the dictator who disposed him and surrounded by his captors and guards. He walks elegantly and confidently in and out of the court while police escorts follows keeping a respectful distance as if led by Mr. Bhutto into a state function.


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These four photographs attest to Mr. Bhutto’s sense of dress and decorum, but even more to his sense of history. Each one rivals the others in terms of Bhutto’s formal attire. Of course, Mr. Bhutto knew the fate that awaited him and in some ways he dressed not just for that moment, but for that fate. His sense of defiance was reflected through his choice of clothes and his calm, confident and self-assured appearance.

All these photographs from chacha F.E. Chaudhry, but especially this next one, also demonstrate what leadership really is. It comes not just from the office but from the person. It is the police that is supposed to be “leading” Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to court, and he who is supposed to be “following” them. Instead, it is very clear for all to see who is “leading” whom. Those with the guns and batons are “following” the dictates of a dictator. Those whose spirit they are meant to break, a man of many faults no doubts, walks with his head held high because he “leads” with his conscience.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto going to Court for his Murder trialZulfiqar Ali Bhutto going to Court for his Murder trial

Click here for the evolving F.E. Choudhry Gallery at ATP.

69 comments posted

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  1. panapodi says:
    April 6th, 2013 12:50 pm

    I would like to start from 1965 when zab threw a spanner in the very successful ayub economy by bluffing him into operation Gibraltar leading to war, zab leading Ayub into tailspin, than came 1971 and everybody knows what happened except nobody may have read the Polish resolution which he sabotaged despite yayha asking him to accept
    All of this because he wanted to be the king from day 1 and had chosen to disgrace the army in his ascent because he knew it to be the only route and enroute if half of the country is discarded so be it
    please leave out rhetoric and argue on facts

  2. Kashiri says:
    April 4th, 2011 2:43 am

    This is no dhajj here. All I see is an arrogant man who thought he was above the law and could get away with anything. Laws of nature do justice with anyone and everyone, even if he was convicted in a court of law with a weak case, however he was guilty of much much more. Just his crime of facilitating the divide of Pakistan was enough to hang him a thousand times. How quickly we forget that in the end it all evens out. He got what he deserved, just like his terrorist sons who inherited his immense arrogance if nothing else.

  3. Talat says:
    February 22nd, 2011 6:27 am

    ZAB gave us a ‘New-Pakistan’ by letting Jinnah’s Pakistan to be cut in half. We saw him saying,”Thank God, Pakistan has been saved” on anti-people operation having been started by the Paky army with the support of anti-Pakistan religion-mongers to curb the will of the people of Pakistan as exhibited by them in the general election held during 1970, first ever held freely and impartially on the basis of adult franchise. We the people of West-Pakistan should all be ashamed also that we supported this operation as is evident from the fact that we rose up against Yahya Khan only when he failed to crush the will of the people of East-Pakistan. So by simply shedding the epithets of East and West, Bhutto gave us a new Pakistan with a new Constitution, called, 1973-Constitution. This was the only commendable thing he did, but unfortunately within a year he sabotaged that constitution by the earth- shaking ’2nd Amendment’ which reduced it to just a ‘Takfiri-Fatwa’, which his appointee, the usurper Chief of Staff, used as a handle to introduce a new brand of muslims, ‘Halfy-muslims’ and to impose Blasphemy Law, which proved to be a sword in the hands of Yazidi mullah to terrorize the people and encourage murder in the name of the ‘Hurmate-Rasool’, the very Rasool (saw) called ‘Rehmatul-Alimeen’ by Allah, as envisioned by Allama Iqbal in his couplet:

    “کسے خبر تھی کہ لے کر چراغ مصطفوی
    جہاں میں آگ لگاتی پھرے گی بولہبی”

    At the end of the day, however, ZAB did pay his retribution (kafaara) for what he did by facing death as a ‘Uswa-e-Hussain’ at the hands of the Frankstein created by himself.

    But the question, history would ever ask, what we the West Pakies did to pay our ‘kafaara’ for supporting rampage of our Bengali brothers at the hands the dictator, Yahya Khan. Will we keep on hoping that the rain would help wash off this blot some day?

    No Sir, this is an indelible mark on the pages of history, un-washable by rain, even by shedding of tears!

  4. fuzair says:
    February 21st, 2011 6:51 pm

    Always interesting to see the PPP idiots fawning over Bhutto; personally I think its a toss-up as to who was worse for Pakistan? The democratic dictator or the military one? I’ll give the palm to Zia but only because he was around for 11 years and so did more damage than Bhutto who was only in charge for 5 1/2 years. Bhutto’s greatest accomplishment was to start the breakup of Pakistan but, technically, he wasn’t in charge then….

  5. FaizPoetry says:
    July 20th, 2010 10:18 am

    jiss dhajj say koee maqtal meiN gaya
    woh shaan salamat rehti hai,
    Yeh jaan tou aani jaani hai
    iss jaan ki koee baat nahiN

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