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Zulfikar Bhutto Reference: PPP Strengthens Case with Additional Evidence Submission

Zulfikar Bhutto

ISLAMABAD: A nine-judge larger bench of the Supreme Court is poised to commence proceedings on Monday, January 8, addressing a longstanding presidential reference seeking a reevaluation of the controversial 1979 death sentence handed down to former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. In response, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has submitted an additional document containing transcripts and video recordings of various interviews.

Chaired by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa, the larger bench comprises Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Aminud Din Khan, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, and Justice Musarrat Hilali.

Filed through senior counsel Farooq H. Naek, the additional documents comply with earlier directives issued on December 12, 2023. They include passages from various books, USBs, CDs, and transcripts of interviews featuring personalities such as retired Justice Naseem Hassan Shah, Mian Muhammad Arshad, Sohail Waraich, Rafi Raza, Dr. Naseem Hassan Shah, Dorab Patel, retired Colonel Rafiuddin, and Khawaja Rahat Latif, among others.

The presidential reference was initiated by former President Asif Ali Zardari on April 2, 2011, seeking an opinion on revisiting Bhutto’s death sentence. The reference was presented under Article 186 (1 and 2) of the Constitution, granting the president the authority to refer significant public matters to the Supreme Court for its opinion.

Notably, the court had previously declined a request for video recording by former President Zardari’s counsel, Babar Awan. However, recent experiences with live-streaming court proceedings may prompt a reevaluation of this stance. The death sentence, handed down during the regime of military dictator Gen Ziaul Haq, has been a contentious issue, and the larger bench’s proceedings are anticipated to shed light on the complexities surrounding this historic case.

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I am a dynamic professional, specializing in Peace and Conflict Studies, Conflict Management and Resolution, and International Relations. My expertise is particularly focused on South Asian Conflicts and the intricacies of the Indian Ocean and Asia Pacific Politics. With my skills as a Content Writer, I serve as a bridge between academia and the public, translating complex global issues into accessible narratives. My passion for fostering understanding and cooperation on the national and international stage drives me to make meaningful contributions to peace and global discourse.

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