Ahmad Raza Khan Kasuri

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Sahibzada Ahmed Raza Khan Kasuri is a Pakistani politician and lawyer.[1] the son of Nawab Muhammad Ahmed Khan and grandson of Khan Bahadar Sardar Sher Baz Khan. Kasuri is a member of the Musharraf-led All Pakistan Muslim League political party.

Kasuri's father was allegedly murdered on the orders of Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1974. Bhutto was later arrested and convicted in 1979 by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Although formerly acquitted of this alleged murder the “re-filed case shortly after the coup” by Ahmed Raza Qasuri, (Pakistan- A Modern History by Ian Talbot) came in handy for the dictator. Kasuri was driving and his father was sitting in the front seat when it was fired upon repeatedly in Shadman, Lahore. Kasuri showed considerable grit and drove his injured father straight to the United Christian Hospital in Gulberg, Lahore after the attack, even though his car had been blown out. He donated blood to try to save his father, but the injuries were too severe and he died that night. [2]

Kasuri was educated at Central Model High School, Lahore and the Government College, Lahore. He has a masters in law from the University of Cambridge, UK. Mr. Kasuri's law firm is of considerable repute. He is considered to be one of the best legal minds in Pakistan.

Assassination of NAWAB Mohammad Ahmad Kasuri

On November 11, 1974, Bhutto was awakened by a telephone call. Masood Mahmood, the director-general of Federal Security Force (FSF) was at the other end and told him that Nawab Mohammad Ahmad Kasuri had been killed as his son Ahmad Raza Kasuri drove him and the family after attending a wedding party in Shadman Colony, Lahore. It was past midnight when the car was ambushed from both sides.

Nawab Mohammad Ahmad Kasuri was sitting beside his son Ahmad Raza in the front. The young Kasuri drove the car straight to United Christian Hospital, where Nawab Kasuri was pronounced dead. Although the assailants were not visible, Ahmad Raza nominated Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as the man behind the murderous attack. The simple reason he mentioned was that he, Ahmad, was dead set against Bhutto’s policies and although elected on a PPP ticket, he had become a member of the opposition party led by Asghar Khan. He was so critical of Bhutto’s policies that he had not signed the 1973 Constitution.

While lodging the FIR at the Ichhra police station, Kasuri recorded every detail of the tragic event, and when asked about the possible culprits behind the attack, Kasuri mentioned the name of Bhutto, despite the police official’s opposition. Kasuri had a reason to suspect Bhutto. During his student life he was bold and outspoken and often argued with his teachers on one point or another. He was even rusticated for one year when he was studying law in 1964. He completed his law and joined law practice. When Bhutto quit the Ayub government, Kasuri was so impressed by his fiery speeches that he joined his party at its launch. Seeing his eagerness and the will to work Bhutto appointed him as a member of the central working committee.

However, Kasuri was an idealist and soon became disillusioned with Bhutto’s pragmatic policies. Despite Bhutto’s strong opposition to attending the National Assembly session summoned at Dhaka on March 3, 1971, Kasuri remained adamant. Ghulam Mustafa Khar was asked to keep Kasuri from drifting away but that did not work and Kasuri continued criticising Bhutto in the National Assembly. Finally Bhutto wrote to Khar and the chief minister Malik Mairaj Khalid asking why Kasuri had not been ostracized. However, Bhutto underestimated the trouble Kasuri would create. Being a lawyer, Bhutto should have known the consequences of such an FIR; there is no understanding how he took it so lightly and continued work as usual.

On the other hand Ahmad Raza Kasuri appeared at the National Assembly session on November 20, nine days after his father’s murder. He had brought a small bottle of fluid claiming that it was his father’s blood and a blood-stained shirt and announced that the government’s murderous attacks on the members of parliament would be exposed. He continued in this vein for quite some time and always spoke of bad governance and injustice.

Nobody knows how and why the police kept the FIR and did nothing to dispose of the case. After the military coup, Gen Zia initiated the task of scanning various papers to find some legal flaw that could lead to the elimination of prime minister Bhutto once and for all, and this was the FIR that gave Zia the weapon he needed. Whether this FIR played a role in taking Bhutto to the gallows is a legal issue. Years later, many believe that the FIR became instrumental in ending Bhutto’s life. The case rested entirely on the confession DG FSF who it is believed became the approver and a witness to this crime after a tortourus two-month detention by the military. In the end there were no eye witnesses to the attack. So much so that the “FSF guns, which the ‘confessing accused’ claimed to have used in the murder attempt did not match the empty cartridges found at the scene.