Al-Zulfiqar

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Al-Zulfiqar was a leftist organization of Pakistan. It was formed in the late seventies by the sons of former Pakistani Prime Minister, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who was also the Chairman of Pakistan's biggest political party, Pakistan Peoples Party. Al-Zulfiqar was formed to revenge the killing of Bhutto by the right-wing military regime of General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq in 1979. Zia had deposed the populist Bhutto regime in a Military coup in July 1977.

Bhutto was hanged by the Zia regime after a one-sided and controversial trial, Bhutto's two sons, Murtaza Bhutto and Shahnawaz Bhutto went into exile in Afghanistan which was then being ruled by a Soviet-backed communist government. There the two sons formed the Al-Zulfiqar along with hundreds of Pakistan Peoples Party militants who had escaped Zia's persecution.

The Al-Zulfiqar staged a string of political assassinations, bank robberies and bombings before pulling off its most daring act when in 1981 it hijacked a Pakistan International Airlines flight from Peshawar to Kabul.

The hijacking drama went on for thirteen days in which Lieutenant Tariq Rahim was shot, the hijackers believing he was the son of General Rahimuddin Khan, the martial law administrator of Balochistan. This forced the Zia regime to accept the demands of the hijackers of releasing dozens of Pakistan Peoples Party and other leftist political prisoners languishing in Pakistani jails.

The hijacking was condemned by Bhutto's daughter, Benazir Bhutto, who was under...
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