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Senior photo-journalist's work highlighting political struggle of the Bhuttos on display

Photographic exhibition titled as "Bhutto Family and My Memories" by senior photojournalist Zahar Ahmed on Thursday, which featured insight into political struggle of two former prime ministers of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhuuto and his daughter Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto.

The exhibition was organised by Sindh Culture Department at Karachi Arts Council, which was well attended by journalists and other civil society members. The three-day exhibition will remain open till Sunday. Zafar Ahmed, senior photojournalist, worked for Daily Hilal-e-Pakistan, a PPP owned publication and he toured many countries with former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He displayed about hundred rare photographs of Bhutto family which he captured on different occasions.

"I have arranged this photographic exhibition in connection with 86th Birthday of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto with the assistance of Sindh Culture Department," Zafar Ahmed told media persons. "I met Z. A. Bhutto in 1962 when he started his political career form Hyderabad. Later, he was appointed Foreign Minister of Pakistan by then President Ayub Khan," he shared his memories. There are two portions in the exhibition; one dedicated for political struggle of Z. A. Bhutto and the other for Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto.

A photograph was also on display in which ZA Bhutto was addressing mass gathering on the occasion of general elections, with stage banner read "Bhutto Jeeta tha Aaj Bhi Bhutto Jeetay Ga". Some family pictures of Zulfikar Ali Bhuuto and Benazir Bhutto captured by Zafar Ahmed are also on display in the exhibition. Some photos of ZA Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto with foreign leaders including that of late Libyan President Colonel Muammar Gaddafi on the occasion of public meeting at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore in 1974.

Former Palestinian President Yasir Arafat visited mausoleum of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1992 during the tenure of Benazir Bhutto, that moments were also captured by Ahmed, who is commonly known as "Chacha Zafar" among journalist community. Ahmed started photography when he was a Grade-IX student at the Government High School, Hyderabad, and his parents wanted him to be a medical student but he decided to become a photographer against his parents wish. Born on August 26, 1951 in Hyderabad, Sindh in a family of photographers hailing from Kanpur, India, Zafar had strong inclination towards photography since his school days.

"I took rare pictures of world leaders including Saudi King Shah Faisal and Muammar Gaddafi of Libya during Islamic Summit held in Lahore," Ahmed said. He came very close to Bhutto when he was released and started movement against Ayub Khan. "I first took a snap of Bhutto at Kotri Railway Station in 1967 on his sojourn to Karachi," Ahmed recalled.

Zafar Ahmed said ZA Bhutto was public leader with charismatic and dynamic personality, who always made himself available for masses. "He used to arrange Open Kacheris for listening to public complains," Zafar said. "Once, I remember, a elderly man came to ZA Bhutto requesting to send him for performing Hajj, Bhutto immediacy ordered concerned officer to make proper arrangements for that elder man," he shared. Earlier, Sindh Minster for Culture Sharmila Farooqi inaugurated the exhibition. On this occasion she lauded the efforts of Zafar Ahmed. She also announced Rs 0.5 million for Zafar Ahmed as token of appreciation. "The photographs displayed in the exhibition speak about the talent of Zafar Ahmed," she said. Secretary Arts Council Ahmed Shah also spoke.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014


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