The Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) is a federal unconditional cash transfer poverty reduction program, launched by Pakistan People’s Party’s government in July 2008, on the name of first female Prime Minister of the Muslim world, Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. It is the largest single social safety net program in Pakistan. Along with the economic development aims of the program, BISP also seeks to empower women by presenting cash transfers directly to female to empower them.
The BISP was approved by the parliament to pay tribute to services, sacrifices and struggle of the former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto for the cause of constitution and democracy and the logo (Picture of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto) was also unanimously accepted.
Soon after coming to power after the 2013 general elections, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had desired to end the programme but it could not done due to the protest by international donor agencies, then at the time of the first budget in their tenure, the PML-N government tried to change the name of the BISP with National/Pakistan Income Support Programme, but they were prevented from doing by the PPP members in the parliament.
In January 2018, PMLN government once again, tried to replace Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto’s picture with disqualified prime minister Nawaz Sharif but failed.
Later, PMLN Government blocked cards of thousands of women from Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and then changed the LOGO of BISP.
Following the foot steps of PMLN, Soon after assuming power, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government removed picture of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto from the official website of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) in November 2018.
In 2010, PPP government launched Health Insurance Scheme called “Waseela-e-Sehet”, PMLN government re-launched same scheme of PPP with new title “National Health Programme” in 2015 and in 2019, PTI re-launched the same scheme under a new title “Sehat Insaf Card”.
After renaming same program PPP had launched in 2010 & continued by PMLN in 2015, PTI Government is not only renaming it, but also doctoring BISP “Benazir Card” and publishing it as “Sehat Insaf Card” in its advertisements.
Now prime minister Imran Khan wants to change BISP’s name but it is illegal as the bill to start BISP, was passed by the parliament of Pakistan.
“Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was the brave leader who sacrificed her father, her brothers, her everything even her life for the democracy, peace and prosperity in the country, she wrote history by becoming the first elected Prime Minister of the Muslim world. She is the role model for the millions of the people and whole world recognise her as one of the great leaders of the history. I always fail to understand why Puppets of the dictators still fear of her name . These cheap tactics like removing her picture from BISP or changing logo, can not remove the Love/respect people have for her. She still rules on the hearts and minds of millions of the people and will rule always, those who want to erase her name will be erased themselves from the pages of the history”.