Dawn.com invites its readers to share their memories of April 4, 1979, in this forum.
Thirty years ago, the nation awoke to learn that ex-Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had been hanged in Rawalpindi’s central jail. Although most Pakistanis were expecting Mr Bhutto to face severe punishment, no one was prepared for what happened at 2:00 a.m. on April 4, after all the mercy petitions made to General Ziaul Haq were rejected.
Gruesome details of Bhutto’s last hours circulated amongst the public. On April 5, Dawn carried the following description on its front page:
‘[Bhutto] was then told that his cell was about a furlong and half from the gallows, a distance which may be difficult for him to walk, and he should, therefore, lie down in a waiting stretcher to be carried by the jail warders. He protested and said that he would like to walk the distance himself. But he was made to lie down on the stretcher and carried to the gallows by the warders….
Before being taken to the gallows he had a ‘tasbih’ in his hand and was turning its beads and reciting something quietly. The ‘tasbih’ had not been seen with him before. It was either hidden in his luggage or handed over to him by Begum Nusrat Bhutto yesterday…. He did not misbehave or talked loudly till the end. He placed his tasbih round his neck when his hands were tied at his back….
‘Mr Bhutto was handed over to the hangman who tied his legs with a cord, placed the traditional veil on his face and fixed the hanging cord round his neck. His body remained hanging for half an hour.’
Do you remember how you heard about Mr Bhutto’s hanging? Do you have memories of that day, or of your or your family’s reactions to the events? Share memories of what you thought, did, or saw with Dawn.com.