Islamabad: The highest civil award of Nishan i Imtiaz and the title of Maadar-i-Jmhooriayt (mother of democracy) was bestowed by the government on Pakistan’s former first lady Begum Nusrat Bhutto in recognition of her services for the cause of democracy in the country.
The civil award and the title were conferred on her a day after she died in Dubai following protracted illness and long years of exile and hours before her dead body was flown from Dubai and buried in the family mausoleum in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh.
On the advice of the Prime Minister the Acting President today approved the conferment of the highest civil award of Nishan i Imtiaz on her as well as the title of Madar i Jamhooriyat Spokesperson Farhatullah Babar said.
Begum Nusrat Bhutto was great woman and a national asset not only because she is the woman behind two great leaders of our country—Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto—but also in her own right for having fought a heroic struggle for the restoration of democracy in the country, the citation said.
It described Begum Nusrat Bhutto as a great national asset whose heroic struggle for the cause of democracy in the country will be long remembered.
Begum Sahiba is a living example of a life standing tall despite unspeakable tragedies inflicted upon her by successive dictatorships bent upon destroying the social, political and constitutional fabric of the country.
In the struggle for democracy she witnessed and endured the execution of her illustrious husband through judicial abuse, the tragic assassination of her two sons in the prime of their lives and of her daughter, the Muslim World’s first elected Prime Minister.
It is hard to find a comparable example in contemporary history of a brave and strong woman who endured so much of personal ordeal in a life long struggle for democracy and rights of the people, it said.
“Her courage and sacrifice will continue to inspire generations of democrats”.
When democracy was subverted and Pakistan’s first directly elected Prime Minister was incarcerated she led upfront the political struggle against tyranny and dictatorship with rare courage and conviction.
She also was brutalized by forces of dictatorship, the scars of which she wore on her mind and body for as long she lived, it said.
There is a great consolation in the realization that the democratic Constitution, for the defense of which she led the fight upfront, has finally been restored and vestiges of dictatorship removed from it.
But it is also a great irony of fate that as her struggle bore fruit in her own life time, she could neither comprehend the true meaning of this triumph nor bask in the glory of this historic achievement, it said.
Begum Sahiba stood tall despite great and unspeakable personal tragedies. She is a rare example of courage and personal sacrifice in the struggle for democracy.
As long she lived she wore on her mind and her body the scars of brutalization by forces of dictatorship.
Tomorrow these very scars will be remembered as the precious medallions ever worn by a woman in the path of a heroic struggle for democracy and emancipation of the people, it said.
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