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Thursday, 5 April 1979

Mr HODGMAN (Denison) -History will probably recall that the death in Rawalpindi yesterday of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was most notable for its tragic futility. The predetermined ending of any human life is always a matter of profound regret. Mr Bhutto's death ended the distinguished though controversial career of a brilliant scholar, lawyer, politician and statesman. It is not my right to pass a detailed judgment on his achievements or his faults. The distinguished Oxford academic, Professor H. R. Trevor-Roper unhesitatingly described Mr Bhutto as one of the most brilliant students he had ever known, and it is not without significance that the first official guest invited to Pakistan by Mr Bhutto after he was elected Prime Minister was his old mentor Professor Trevor-Roper.

The controversy over Mr Bhutto's guilt or innocence, the impartiality or otherwise of the proceedings at his trial and subsequent appeal hearings, and the treatment of the man during his 20-month incarceration which ended so abruptly yesterday are matters which only history will resolve. The sadness of the whole affair is that the voices of countless nations and world leaders were not, in the ultimate, heard, nor was their counsel heeded. I am proud of the fact that Australia, through its distinguished Minister for

Foreign Affairs, did speak out loudly and clearly on this issue and that today, in sadness, this Parliament formally records its deep regret at the passing of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

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