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Pak army officer victim of PPP Terrorism in Kabul

( By Dr Shahid Qureshi ): –

People of Pakistan and novice leaders of PPP should know that there past is full of blood of innocent Pakistani civilians and army officers due to the terrorism of Bhuttos. So when they point fingers at others they should look into their own backyard. They were involved in the murders of politicians and political activists including Chaudry Zahoor Ilhai and Dr Nazir Ahmed.

Maj Tariq Rahim 13L younger brother of Maj Khalid Rahim 13L/Guides was ADC to ZAB. He died at the hands of Al Zulfiqar in Kabul where a PIA aircraft was hijacked and commandeered by AZO terrorists. God bless his soul. Amen. This pic was taken by Zaidi’s in Peshawar in 1973.

In 1981, Al-Zulfiqar led by Murtaza Bhutto hijacked a Pakistan International Airlines flight en route to Peshawar from Karachi, and diverted it to Kabul in March 1981. The hijacking went on for thirteen days, during which Lieutenant Tariq Rahim was shot to death; the hijackers mistakenly believed Rahim to be the son of General Rahimuddin Khan. Rahim was executed following Murtaza Bhutto’s conferring with KHAD chief Mohammad Najibullah. The execution forced the Zia-ul-Haq regime to accept the demands of the hijackers, releasing dozens of Pakistan Peoples Party and other leftist political prisoners languishing in Pakistani jails.

Al-Zulfiqar and PSF activist Salamullah Tipu along with three other PSF militants hijacked the plane. The plane was first forced to land at Kabul airport, and was then flown to Damascus. Though undertaken to ‘avenge Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s hanging by Zia’, the hijacking was at once condemned by the young co-chairperson of the PPP, Benazir Bhutto, who was languishing in a Karachi jail.

The hijackers demanded that 55 political prisoners be released. These included PPP, PSF, NSF and some Marxist Jiyala activists. Zia-ul-Haq hesitated and Tipu shot dead Captain Tariq Rahim, whom he mistakenly believed to be the son of then-martial law administrator General Rahimuddin Khan on the plane accusing him of being a part of Zia’s coup against Bhutto. He wasn’t.

Around 50 prisoners were eventually released by the Zia-ul-Haq regime. Tipu was thrown in a Kabul prison and eventually executed in 1984 for murdering an Afghan national. His body was never returned, and he is said to have been buried somewhere near Kabul.

The successful hijacking not only saw many of the released men join AZO, but the organisation also welcomed a whole new batch of recruits who travelled across Pakistan’s tribal areas and entered Afghanistan

AZO described itself as a socialist guerrilla outfit, but its main purpose was avenging Bhutto’s death. The organisation was mostly made up of young PSF militants, and members of small left-wing groups such as the Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party.

Mir Ghulam Murtaza Bhutto (18 September 1954 – 20 September 1996), was a Pakistani politician and leader of al-Zulfiqar, a terrorist organisation[1][2] operating in Pakistan. The son of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Murtaza founded al-Zulfiqar after his father was overthrown and executed in 1979 by the military regime of General Zia-ul-Haq. In 1981, he claimed responsibility for the murder of conservative politician Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi, and the hijacking of a Pakistan International Airlines aircraft from Karachi, during which a hostage was killed.[3][4] In exile in Afghanistan, Murtaza was sentenced to death in absentia by a military tribunal.

He returned to Pakistan in 1993 and was arrested for terrorism on the orders of his sister, then-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Released on bail, Murtaza successfully contested elections to the Sindh Provincial Assembly, becoming a vocal critic of Benazir and her husband Asif Ali Zardari. After increasing tensions between the two, he was shot dead along with six associates in a police encounter near his home in Karachi on 20 September 1996.[5][6] Benazir’s government was dismissed a month later by President Farooq Leghari primarily citing Murtaza’s death and corruption.[7] Zardari was arrested and indicted for Murtaza’s murder,[8] but acquitted in 2008.[9][10] Murtaza’s own faction of his father’s Pakistan People’s Party, Shaheed Bhutto, remains active in politics.

After returning to Pakistan from exile , Bhutto offered his sister, Benazir Bhutto, the chance to revive the manifesto of PPP which his father championed. However, he was not happy with the ways of Benazir’s husband Asif Ali Zardari and wanted him removed from influence in the PPP. When Benazir decided to side with her husband, Murtaza became a strong critic of the PPP government and the ongoing corruption. Zardari, and his protege Abdullah Shah Lakiyari (then Chief Minister of Sindh), obstructed It is widely believed in Pakistan that this incident drove Zardari to rage and he used help from Lakiyari’s police machinery to assassinate Murtaza Bhutto.

Benazir became highly unpopular after this incident and her limo was stoned by PPP workers when she tried to visit Murtaza’s funeral ceremonies. After Benazir’s government was dismissed in 1996, Zardari was detained for having a part in Murtaza’s assassination. However, no charges were ever proven due to lack of evidence.


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