Zakhme Dil – A Scarred Heart

On Wednesday 25th June 2008 at the Lord Mayor’s Hospitality Suite in Coventry, Save the Children launches a ground-breaking film entitled ‘Zakhme Dil – A Scarred Heart’ – telling the story of a young unaccompanied refugee in the UK.

Written and directed by Shakila Taranum Maan in collaboration with the young people from The Positive Press Project based in the West Midlands, the film tells the story of Ali, a young unaccompanied refugee from Afghanistan and It portrays images of life both in Afghanistan and UK.

There was once a time of no war, of everyday the sun-rising and children going to school. When fathers and mothers would do their job and sisters and brothers played and learnt about how to be in the world. When beautiful buildings stood proud; ancient, historical, with memories. And fragrances that were Greek, Persian, Chinese, Afghani, unimaginable.”   Extract from Zakhme Dil – A Scarred Heart ©Shakila Taranum Maan 2008

The Positive Press project has been running for the past year with an aim to give young people a voice on issues affecting them and to challenge representations of young refugees through the media. Young people participating in the project are drawn from both refugee and non-refugee backgrounds from Coventry and Birmingham. The project was funded by Comic Relief

The DVD is being officially launched by Save the Children in Coventry and will feature in the “Refugee Week” festival in London.

For further details contact Joanna Turner on 0121 555 888 or email her on j.turner@savethechildren.org.uk

Save The Children, Save the Children West Midlands, Afghanistan, Asylum Seekers, Refugees, Comic Relief, Refugee Week

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The Incident of the Shaving of the Moustache that Changed the Political Face of Pakistan and Benazir’s Destiny

Picture a very Shakespearean drama  and then place the Bhutto family as its main players. It surpasses all expectations of a volatile story full of greed, power hungry and manipulative individuals.

Benazir Bhutto’s brother, Murtaza Bhutto’s   assassination comes to mind. A brutal killing by any measure, one that was pre-meditated and meticulously planned when a brother did not see eye to eye with his sister and brother-in-law, who happened to be the Prime Minister and the Minister for Industry respectively. Zardari along with Benazir has been accused of siphoning public and private monies out of Pakistan and into Swiss accounts. Anyhow, we all know that story.

Murtaza Bhutto was a radical leftist who was being supported by the Soviet Union at the time of his assassination. He had been in exile in Afghanistan but decided to return to Pakistan in the mid ’90s to be part of the political milieu and to partake in the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). 

Critical of Asif Ali Zardari, Murtaza lost ground with Benazir which in turn made him a strong and vocal critic of the PPP. Murtaza felt that the arguments were getting out of hand and decided to have a private meeting with Zardari which ended badly.

After a heated discussion, Murtaza and Zardari resorted to fisticuffs during which Murtaza managed to somehow shave off half of Zardari’s moustache. A deeply humiliated Zardari set about his revenge.

In a staged shoot out on September 20 1996, outside Murtaza’s home in Karachi, a gang of armed police officers hid in strategic places. As Murtaza’s car pulled up, he along with seven other members of his entourage got out. Murtaza was immediately felled by a sniper, who managed to shoot him through the neck as well as in several other parts of his body.

Murtaza and his companions were fatally wounded and were left to bleed for over two hours before they were taken to separate hospitals. Murtaza of course died soon after, along with his supporters.

No one has been arrested or charged with the killing of Murtaza Bhutto.