Pakistan: Now or Never?

Perspectives on Pakistan

Twist in the tale : Pakistan seeks reopening of Bhutto’s hanging case


Former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto prays at the grave of her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh near Larkana, 480 km (300 miles) from Karachi December 22, 2007. REUTERS/Nadeem Soomro

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has written a letter to the Supreme Court to review the hanging of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto — the country’s first popularly-elected prime minister — over three decades ago.

The reopening of Bhutto’s case was one of the long-running demands of the supporters of the charismatic leader but critics say the timing of Zardari’s move was intriguing.

Opponents say Zardari’s move seems to be a political stunt to divert people’s attention from more pressing problems like  inflation, the growing energy crisis and deteriorating security situation. Zardari, who is accused of corruption by his opponents, has seen his popularity waning in recent years. 

“At a more practical level, people ask why the president has suddenly acquired so keen interest in the case, especially since far more pressing matters remain unresolved,” the daily The News wrote in its editorial.”The suspicion that this is the first step in  a political game of some kind makes the whole thing seem especially sinister. Who knows what is being planned, what plots are being hatched, and why.”