BRUSSELS: PPP-International Conferences and Seminars Forum (ICSF), in collaboration with the PPP Gulf-Middle East, organised a grand online seminar to celebrate Begum Nusrat Bhutto’s 92nd birthday. The seminar was attended by Mohtarma Sanam Bhutto, daughter of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, and Victoria Schofield, a long-time friend of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, along with other senior PPP leaders and activists.
The seminar was hosted by senior party leader and human rights activist, Saifullah Saify and PPP-ICSF chief organiser Syed Tahir Abbas Bukhari. Thousands of Bhutto’s lovers from all over the world watched the conference live on social media and paid homage to Begum Nusrat Bhutto in their comments.
The seminar was presided over by PPP Gulf-Middle East President Mian Munir Hans, while the special guests included senior journalist and intellectual Mujahid Barelvi and in-charge PPP Research and Co-ordination Cell Bilawal House Karachi, Lal Bakhsh Bhutto.
Leaders from all over Pakistan, Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, including people from more than 23 countries, participated in the online seminar which lasted for more than four hours. They expressed their views on the struggle and the long story of not bowing to the tyranny of past dictators.
During the programme, the eyes of many, including Sanam Bhutto and other participants, were filled with tears while talking about Begum Nusrat Bhutto. President of the seminar Mian Munir Hans highlighted the sacrifices of Begum Bhutto during her stay in Dubai till her last breath.
Senior journalist Mujahid Barelvi said that those who remember Begum Sahiba’s struggle deserve a tribute. “The only way to remember Begum Sahiba’s sacrifices for democracy is to hold constant ceremonies in her memory at every level,” he said.
Lal Bakhsh Bhutto, in-charge PPP Research and Co-ordination Cell, Bilawal House, Karachi, said that Shaheed Bhutto’s mission must be fulfilled to pay homage to the Mother of Democracy.
Victoria Schofield, a long time friend of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, shared her memories with Sanam Bhutto and paid rich tributes to Begum Nusrat Bhutto.
In his address, PPP Central Punjab General Secretary Chaudhry Manzoor said that the sacrifices of Begum Nusrat Bhutto could not be ignored in the history of Pakistan.
“Without remembering Begum Sahiba’s sacrifices Pakistan’s history is incomplete,” said Manzoor.
PPP KP President Humayun Khan said in his address that his relationship with Begum Bhutto was like that of a mother and son.
“She loved all party workers like her children,” he said and reiterated the commitment to continue the sacrifices and struggle till the completion of the mission of Shaheed Bhutto under the leadership of Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
Paying homage to Begum Nusrat Bhutto, PPP Balochistan President Haji Ali Madad Jattak said: “We are proud to belong to a party led by brave leaders. Chairman Bilawal Bhutto and Co-Chairman Asif Zardari are leading the nation who will spare no sacrifice in getting Pakistan out of crisis.
Afzaal Hussain Inqalabi read out a special message from Wajid Shamsul Hassan, former High Commissioner of Pakistan to the UK and special adviser to Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. On the occasion, the eyes of all the participants including Sanam Bhutto were filled with tears and everyone present at the ceremony was saddened by the memory of the Bhutto family.
Senior party leader and intellectual Dr Zarar Yousuf read his special article on Begum Nusrat Bhutto. Former Special Assistant Chief Minister Sindh and in-charge People’s Secretariat Sindh, Farid Ansari, referring to his mother Begum Nargis Ansari’s long association with Begum Bhutto, said that whether anyone remembers Begum Nusrat Bhutto or not, “we will always remember her and history as well.”
“Her name will be written in the history book with golden words,” he said, adding that the “Bhutto family is not something to be forgotten.”
Anwar Zeb, in-charge of the PPP KP Study Circle, said that Begum Nusrat Bhutto kept the party alive at the time when Shaheed Bhutto was in prison and, even after his martyrdom, continued to fight for the rights of the people in the streets and courts.
Other speakers and participants who paid homage to Begum Nusrat Bhutto included senior journalist Khalid Hameed Farooqi, Senior leader PPP Belgium and Europe Malik Muhammad Ajmal, PPP Germany President Syed Zahid Abbas, PPP Research and
Coordination Cell Bilawal House Sub Office Central Punjab Saadat Hussain Shah, Sanaullah Jattak, President of People’s Youth Balochistan, Seemi Asad, General Secretary of PPP US, Syed Muzahir Bukhari, former Chief of PPPICF.
Members including Athar Sharif, Sardar Arshad, Shazia Tahmas, Sohail Khawar, Khurram Kiyani, Inam Qadri, Kuldeep Singh, Malik Akhlaq, Shehzad Khan, Raja Azam Advocate, Asghar Shahid, Ashraf Chughtai, Dr Ziaullah, Bilal Ali, Syed Aizaz Shah and others.
At the end of the event, Begum Nusrat Bhutto’s birthday cake cutting ceremony took place at the residence of President PPP Gulf-Middle East Mian Munir Hans.
Accompanied by Mian Munir Hans, Vice-President Nisar Khattak, Secretary Information Zulfiqar Ali Mughal, Deputy Secretary General Irfan Qamar Gondal, Secretary Information Women Wing Najma Jilani, Deputy Secretary Women Wing Najma Shah and Senior Vice President Dubai Shafiqur Rehman Siddiqui cut the birthday cake.
Finally, Chief Organiser Syed Tahir Abbas Bukhari thanked all the participants, forum members, and party leaders for making the event a success.