Comparing Imran Khan With Mir Murtaza Bhutto

Comparing Imran Khan With Mir Murtaza Bhutto
In the 'latest' edition of the 'sensational' series of project Imran Khan - of which there may be several more episodes available in the market in the weeks to come - the tragic assassination of Mir Murtaza Bhutto has been 'selected' to embellish our imagination regarding the alleged plot to assassinate the former prime minister. Drawing parallels with the murder of Murtaza is an attempt to showcase a conspiracy to kill the ex-premier by police in a conceivable 'encounter'.

The entire map and details of how PTI workers would be provoked have also been shared by the former premier. Policemen are supposed to be killed as in the Murtaza Bhutto incident and then, in this two-sided war, an attempt would be made to neutralise the real target. Narrating this, the convoluted and mysterious murder of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's son might in a way have also been "sorted out".

However, this sudden revelation is not shocking by any means. Firstly, it is the incessant pattern of the different episodes filling the colours to the possible assassination attempt of the ex-premier. Secondly, the 'music' of Zardari's involvement in the murder of Murtaza Bhutto had also been going on for a few days, especially since the police raided the 'empty nest' of Zaman Park.

Of course, the popular leader's sources are difficult to dispute. Nevertheless, the precise details, including mentioning the days which obviously ring alarm bells, somehow created these 'dream-like' circumstances. To avert this, every imaginable investigation should be done, no matter how 'uncomfortable'.

Twenty-seven years ago, the probable cold-blooded murder of the son of the most popular public leader Pakistan had ever seen was painful and tragic. Leaving aside Murtaza Bhutto's vindictive politics and ideology, his foes too acknowledged his courage and bravery.

Upon returning to his homeland after a lengthy exile amidst his father's hanging, he challenged and took to task his own sister's government, especially her husband Asif Ali Zardari. In a short span of time, clear cracks started to appear in the fortress of the-then party in government. The embroiling situation had reached such a point that political workers started clashing with the government machinery.

In that blistering environment, Mir Murtaza reached the 'open cave' of the police, to secure the release of his colleague Ali Sanara. It was from that 'cave' that he could not escape; his assassination added another woeful trauma and unsolved murder to the country's history.

Khan excels at peppering future predictions with examples from history. By linking alleged police brutality at Zaman Park to the 70-Clifton incident, he tries to prove that the raids are not only part of his possible incarceration. He instead presents the notion that these operations are part of an organised conspiracy to permanently eliminate him. Though, quite contrarily, Imran Khan's reiteration of "I will be killed", does not match Mir Murtaza's body language of "Come on… Kill me if you have the courage".

Khan is not ready to come out from behind the fence after smelling danger, while the scion of Bhutto stood up for the workers and looked danger directly in the eye. Murtaza Bhutto risked his life to save his workers from being bound and tortured by the police; Imran Khan is keen to be sheltered by his workers, whether at home or en route to the court. It appears that by comparing himself with Murtaza Bhutto, Imran Khan has made another attempt to 'expose' the alleged conspiracy against him.

Even if there is no real comparison of the bravado of these two, it must be remembered that Pakistan cannot afford any foolishness or stupidity, especially at this time. Any kind of attack on Imran Khan will be a loss for Pakistan, which is already plunged in the grimmest period of its history. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) should protect its leader, but it is the utmost responsibility of the government to manage the security of the former prime minister who is also currently the most popular leader in the country.

Moreover, Khan might very well be advised to not assemble mobs of workers while going to court, or at home. He should keep in mind that it happens only in civil war. Khan should only be protected by his trusted and trained security personnel. By keeping unnecessary people in a volatile environment, Khan is putting himself at risk and creating problems with the security arrangements necessary for his protection.

As far as Murtaza Bhutto is concerned, Imran Khan is well within his rights to create analogies, but their attitudes in the face of danger is quite different. Murtaza's children, Zulfiqar Bhutto Junior and Fatima Bhutto, have been promoting art, culture, and the 'stable' politics of the new tradition. Even if there is no response from them so far, it is possible that at the very least Fatima Bhutto might be 'provoked' to reply to Khan's comparisons.

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