The First Day

Mr. Bhutto : My Lord, i know that according to protocol and the ethics of the court, i am not supposed to express my thanks and grtitude to this hounouable court for permitting me to appear before you this morning. Neverthless, according to the social conditions of the country, and in Rome do as the Romans do, i am very thankful to you for allowing me this opportunity.

In my application to your lordsship on the 4th of december, i submitted that i would like to present before this honourble court my point of view because not only my life as life of an individual is involved but because, according to my objectives appreciation, far more is at stake. My reputation, the honour of my family, my political carrer and above fall the future of Pakisatn itself is involved. This is my view; it may be a mistaken view but it an honest and sincere view.

In my application, i said that in the interest of justice i would appreciate that a favourable consideration be given to my application. On the 5th of december, your lordships were kind enough to pass an order stating that your lordship had decided at the inception that if needed i should make an appearance before this honourable court in the coruse of this apeal. Your lordships reiterated the observation mabe originally and observed that it was not in any way connected with the developments that took place subsequently as a result of the necessity of Mr. justice Waheeduddin's departure fron the bench. Your lordships also i think indicated in that order that you would hear me in the interets of justice and that i could speak on any subject. You expressed that hope that i would choose not to cover those points that have already been covered.

Now, i would like to give this assurance to your lordships straight away that i would not like to cover those points that have already been covered but if at all i go on the beateb track, it would be because i am not familiar with everything that has been said in this court. I have been in a death cell, 7 by 10 feet. I cannot really adjust myself to the momentum and equilibrium of this room and people. It is nice to see people. Therefore, i am being a little slow in this presentation.

My second assurance to you that i have no intention of scandalising the institution as mentioned in one of the newspapers. I do not know whether that newspaper correctly reported these remarks, but i was a little amused by them. why i should scandalise institution? in the first place, previous few institutios are left to scandaliase. Secondly, i have been deeply connected and associated with the institutions of this country and i have tried to build them. I never tried to destroy them.

I have actually promoted the insitutions. Your lordships will very well remember that when i was president of Pakistan and your lordships were members of hounourble Hamood-ur-Rehman commission, chief justice Hamood-ur-Rehman and the hounourable Rahman commission wanted to examine me in the president's house. I immediately sent a message through my special Assistant saying that i could not conceive of the chief justice of the high court of our country coming to me;that it was my duty to go to the commission and that i would not think it right for the commission to come to me meremy because i am the first elected president of Pakistan.

It has been said, for instance, that i am a Muslim in name. Now this is something which no representative, however eminent would be able to elaborate or elucidate. God forbid, if were to say to Mr. justice Safdar Shah that he is not a Pakhtoon, i think he would feel that he has a right to comment on whether he is a Pakhtoon or not. And then, My lord being a Pakhtoon or a Sindhi, or a Punjabi or a Baluchi is not so important, but being a muslim is important for this relates to one's faith, one's religion, one's "deen".

A subsidiary point arising out of these comments on my person is the question of my temprament, my character, my capacity to bear insult. In this connection, My lord, the state council, after winding up his arguments in the Lahore high court, where i had been repeatedly and unnecessarily subjected to insult, made what he thought was a very profound observation.

Next, i would like to speak on the question of social conditions because a great deal has been said about the social conditions prevaling at the time i was president and prime minister of Pakisatn. For every unproved probability in the case, the answer is either the telepohne or the prevaling social conditions. The telephone has become the greatest procecuter against me, both in this case and in the white paper. When no evidence is available, then the telephone is brought into the play. for the basis of convicting the leader of the country for murder and for giving him capital punishment, the telephone is used as a powerful instrument of oppression against him and as the surest means of collecting evedence.

Then there is the conspiracy, My Lord. It is a bewildering thing that an effort has been made to prove conspiracy from the tail to top. In that case, My Lord, to give an analogy, it can be well proved that president Carter is responsible for what happened in Guyana recently. You see, it can be said that congressman Ryan approached the state department saying that he must go to Guyana he had heared that strange thing were happening there and still permitted him to go. He went, a massacre took place. and he was killed, and tracing the things backward the blame can be laid at the door of the US president.

The question is not that of placing the cart before the horse. You can place the cart before the horse or the horse before the cart. The question is that of making the cart move. It will move only if the horse is placed before the cart and not the cart before the horse.

Before going on to the next stp, you must establish an agreement. Wher there is no agreement why waste time on duress. Duress becomes relevant only if the agreement is first established. In effect, there is no agreement, no conspiracy or pre-existing conspiracy dating from thetime of Haq Nawaz tiwana. There is no consistency to the date of teh conspiracy. Is it supposed to be April or june or at the time of the speech in August after the Islamabad incident ? As a matter of fact, i am not even directly implicated in teh FIR i have been mantioned in it. This does not make me the accused, this does not pinpoint me as the murderer of teh Kasuri's father. As Mr. Justice Waheeduddin aptly pointed out, this may be the reason for teh motive but it cannot be a motive.

Sorry, My Lord, i am not a rootless phenomenon. I have done nom harm. President Sadat is still trying to get the desert fron teh Israealis. Begin called it the land of israelis. Hindus called this land Bharat Mata, but i brought back ninety thousand prisnors of war. yet, i am treated like a criminal. i am not a criminal, i am not a criminal but i am treated worse then the other co-accused. I hear the sound of music. I hear their Laughter in the death cell from which i cannot get out. My Lord for ninety days i have not seenn the sunshine or the light. On the 15th of octuber when two prisnors ran away, i was locked up. What did i have to dowith their escape.? where was the connection? I have not run away from my country. I would not run away from my country.

My Lord, Mustafa Khar told me in Muree to leave the country. he said those people are after your blood. I said, no, you go if you want to, i will not leave my country, i will not leave my roots. On the 13th of september, after a press conference in Sadiq hussain quereshi's house, a foreign journalist, whose name i cannot mention, took me aside and said," Mr. Bhutto i cannot tell you what is in teh store for you. you better leave this country. I am an admirer of you." i thanked him and told him that i did not wish to hear more from him. Then he said,"Do not go to Larkana, please go elsewhere. You do not know what is hapening ." I said i would go to Larkana, the land fron which i sprang, the land to which i belong, and teh land to which i shall return. I would not go out.

My Lord. not that i would like to have pity, i do not want pity from anyone and i said earlier, i do not want mercy. I want justice. i am not pleading for my life. There have been so many attacks on my life. My Lord, i was attacked at sanghar, i escaped miraculously in sadiqabad. Then in the frontier tribal territories bomb exploded just before i was to speak. i did not wait for a minute and went up to speak. There were atleast four or five attempts in Baluchistan, once by Langha, who threw a hand granade at me and said,"Take this, you today of the Punjabis".The Khan of Kalat, who was one of my closest friends,told me not to go out for i would be killed. I said i have to do my public duty and i went and addressed a public meeting. So, it is not life as life that i plead for. I want justice.