Benazir Bhutto's Life on Silver Screen

A Pakistani film company is rushing into the production of a movie based on the life of slain former premier Benazir Bhutto in collaboration with noted Indian filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, according to a news report in Pakistan Link.

Given the multi-dimensional significance of Benzair Bhutto to Pakistan and the world, it is not surprising that Lollywood and Bollywood together see her as an interesting subject to put on the big screen. What is surprising is the following statement by producer Aneela Khan: “The film is going to be released internationally and we don’t want to create any controversy with this film. The basic motive behind this announcement is just to dedicate this film to Benazir Bhutto."

While there is no question that Benazir Bhutto has left a deep mark on Pakistan's history and psyche, it is hard to imagine how a movie about her life can be non-controversial. In some ways she was quite traditional. But she also defied tradition in other ways by becoming the first female leader of a Muslim nation. She captured the imagination, love and affection of a large number of Pakistanis but, at the same time, she became the object of serious corruption allegations and required an amnesty to have the cases against her drop with the US mediation. Some saw her as a democratic leader and savior of Pakistani democracy while others accused her of incompetence, hypocrisy and authoritarian rule. Like her father before her, Benazir elicits strong emotions by her detractors and her supporters.

For this film to be really objective and historically interesting, the screenplay can not completely avoid the controversies that surrounded Benazir's life and continue to be debated after her tragic death. These controversies defined her as much as her accomplishments as the first female prime minister of a Muslim nation and a role model for many across the world.

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Comment by Riaz Haq on July 7, 2015 at 8:06am

Testimony: Security in-charge blames Benazir #Bhutto for her own death. Opened sunroof against advice. #Pakistan #PPP http://tribune.com.pk/story/916203/ex-ssps-testimony-security-in-ch...

RAWALPINDI: The security in-charge of slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto has said that had the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader not opened the sunroof of her bullet-proof vehicle to wave to party workers, her death on December 27, 2007 could have been avoided.

Former SSP Major (retd) Imtiaz Hussain gave the statement during cross-examination by the defence lawyer in the special anti-terrorism court in Adiala Jail hearing the ex-premier’s murder case.

His statement appears an about-turn from his previous stance when he had criticized the lack of security for Benazir at Liaquat Bagh, Rawalpindi, the venue of her rally at the day of her assassination.

In his statement, the ex-SSP said that on the day of her assassination, Benazir left Zardari House in Islamabad at 1:30pm for Liaquat Bagh to address a political rally. “I was sitting in the front next to the driver [Javaidur Rehman] and the former premier was in the back seat with PPP leaders Makhdoom Amin Fahim and Nahid Khan.”

Senator Safdar Abbasi, security guard Khalid Shahanshah and Benazir’s personal servant Raziq were in the backmost seat, he added.

As soon as the vehicle left the rally venue and entered Liaquat Road party workers gathered around the car and started chanting slogans in party’s favour, explained Hussain.

He recalled that as Benazir opened the vehicle’s sunroof and began waving to party workers and supporters, gunshots were heard followed by a blast which injured her and she slumped into the seat.

The vehicle’s passengers told the driver to rush to a hospital which he did, but they were forced to change cars on Murree Road after the driver said the vehicle could no longer be driven owing to the blast impact. They then moved into PPP leader Sherry Rehman’s vehicle which was following them and rushed to General Hospital. He said doctors tried to tend to the former prime minister but could not save her.

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