Pakistan People’s Party co-chairperson Bilawal Zardari Bhutto charge that Pinochet of Pakistan, Gen Pervez Musharraf, is the murderer of his mother, twice-premier Benazir Bhutto, is reminiscent of yet another murder in Pakistan’s history: that of Fatima Jinnah, sister of Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Bilawal Bhutto leveled the charge against the former dictator at a mammoth rally in his maternal Garhi Khuda Bakhsh on his mother’s 10th anniversary of death. The young but soft man cried “Qaatil! Qaatil! Musharraf qatil!” (Murderer, murderer; Musharraf’s the murderer!) in front of the emotional crowd, according to Dawn newspaper. He also accused Gen Musharraf of being the killer of former Balochistan governor and chief minister, Nawab Akbar Bugti.
India-born, but still India hater, fugitive Gen Musharraf taunted the softness in Bilawal bhutto’s personality and, Dawn reported him as saying, “I would like to say to Bilawal, who is raising these slogans like a woman, that he should first become a man.”
Killing of civilian politicians by military dictators is not new. Pakistan’s first Muslim army chief coup leader and dictator Field Marshall Ayub Khan is widely suspected of killing the country’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah sister Fatima Jinnah.
The Pakistani dictator refused the requests of noted Indian barrister Akbar Pir Bhai, Jinnah’s nephew, to order a judicial inquiry, exhume the body as no postmortem was carried out to ascertain the cause of aunt’s death or even interview the doctor who said Fatima Jinnah died of a heart attack
She was killed at the Mohatta Palace which was illegally taken by Mr Jinnah from Hindu merchant Shivratan Chandrata Mohatta, who had in 1927 built the most fabulous mansion in Karachi at the Clifton seafront, for his beloved wife. Mohatta knew Jinnah and tried to plea with him, but Jinnah did not listen. A heartbroken Mohatta left for India never to return.
Fatima Jinnah took over the Mohatta Palace in 1964 and named it Qasr-i-Fatima.
The Ayub regime insisted that Fatima Jinnah had died of a heart attack. However, Fatima Jinnah’s closest friend, Lady Sughra Hidayatullah, wife of Sindh’s first governor told this scribe she clearly saw marks on Jinnah’s neck showing she was strangled to death. Lady Hidayatullah was the first to reach the scene of the murder. Dawn newspaper confirmed what Lady Hidaytullah said and quoted the man who gave the ritualistic bath Hidayat Ali aka Kallu Ghusl “as saying that the corpse of Miss Fatima Jinnah had visible wounds on it.”
Despite her white saree, Fatima Jinnah was privately quite flamboyant and its is not clear if she was killed by one of her many trusted male servants.