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Who got Mir Murtaza Bhutto killed 23 years ago?

KARACHI: Mir Murtaza Bhutto, son of former PM of Pakistan, was born on 18th September 1954.

He formed Al-Zulfikar when his father was hanged in the military regime of Zia-ul-Haq and opted to live in Damascus as Hafiz-ul-Assad’s guest.  When Murtaza came back to Pakistan after a long period of exile, he was assassinated on 20th September, 1996.

On the day of assassination Mir Murtaza Bhutto had left 70-Clifton for a public meeting around 5:30pm after addressing a press conference. A couple of days earlier he had created quite a stir by going to CIA Center to get his arrested worker Ali Sunnara released.  

Cynics go haywire wondering how could a brother of the sitting prime minister be killed without a trace of the killer(s) even after 23 years.

It is pertinent to mention here that Mir Murtaza Bhutto, his party leader Ashiq Jatoi along with their guards were killed in cold-blood in a Police Encounter and fingers were pointed towards (then) IB chief Masood Shareef Khattak and a number of police officials including (then) DIG  Dr Shoaib Suddle, ASP  Shahid Hayat, Rai Tahir, Shakib Qureshi. 

Murtaza’s wife Ghinwa Bhutto, Chairperson PPP-SB, told this scribe that former president of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari had phoned her at home. When (daughter) Fatima Bhutto received the call she was told that her father had been shot dead in front of her house (popularly known as 70-Clifton). She had accused Asif Ali Zardari of 20th September 1996 conspiracy but Murtaza Bhutto’s killers were never brought to justice. There has also been an insinuation from certain quarters that Mir Murtaza Bhutto’s mother Nusrat Bhutto asked him to return to Pakistan sensing that Benazir Bhutto’s husband Asif Ali Zardari was in the process of hijacking PPP that was led by her since ZAB’s execution.  

Yet Asif Ali Zardari’s son, Chairman PPP-P, Bilawal Bhutto stated here today:“Shaheed Mir Murtaza Bhutto waged a brave struggle against the dictator Zia-ul-Haq and suffered heavily at the hands of the dictatorial forces. At a very young age his father, former Prime Minister Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged under a conspiracy plot woven by the dictator and a part of judiciary…This ilk continues to operate in different ways against the democratic forces to crush people’s will and real mandate…Murtaza Bhutto and his younger brother Shahnawaz Bhutto were forced into exile and were hounded where ever they went finally being martyred…his was the third generation of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s, which also continues to be the target of the remnants of tin-pot dictator Zia under the prolonged conspiracy. However, those inheriting Bhutto’s legacy won’t be silenced through gallows and guns or the modern ugly tactics and tools. So-called accountability for political engineering and mud-slinging against PPP leadership was the oft-repeated tool but it will fail again…Murtaza Bhutto was killed under a “Kill A Bhutto to Get A Bhutto” plot to dislodge people’s government led by his sister Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and initiate fabricated cases against former President Asif Ali Zardari…Murtaza Bhutto will remain in our memories forever as an icon of bravery and democratic struggle…PPP would continue democratic and human rights of the people of Pakistan without any fear!”


Mir Murtaza Bhutto’s  daughter Fatima was born in Kabul when he was in exile and had spent her early life in statelessness. She is a writer. Son, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Jr., is an artist. Chairperson PPP-SB Ghinwa Bhutto is also teaching art and other métiers to the underprivileged children at her home besides running a venture called neighborhood kitchen.

A relevant piece published earlier: 

Ghinwa Bhutto’s message about Neighborhood Kitchen

KARACHI: Four years ago Ghinwa Bhutto has started a venture called Neighborhood Kitchen. 

In the following message she deciphers the objective behind Neighborhood Kitchen:

“Dear All, The Neighborhood Kitchen is an endeavor we started precisely four years ago. This is not only a kitchen, it is a society where we provide food to people at the lowest rate possible with the best quality possible.

We are doing this for two reasons: 

1) To make you aware of the connections between food consumerism, justice for food workers;

2) To recreate the cordial and cooperative social links that have been broken due to the economic hardships the people face every day.

We will be posting our menu every day, you can place orders through our WhatApp button. We will also be discussing issues relating to the consumer’s rights as well as the rights of food workers.

Your food in the Neighborhood kitchen is being prepared by women coming from the underprivileged areas of Karachi. Your purchases help pay their salaries. We do not charge you for any profit or rent.

We hope that one day we will be able to change the system that has entrusted our food to corporates and middlemen.

We hope, with your support, one-day food will become subsidized and profit free.”

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.