Thursday, December 27, 2007

'Pakistan: Bhutto's Death and Impending Elections'

'Pakistan: Bhutto's Death and Impending Elections'
by Neha Viswanathan

Still reeling with the shock, The Emergency Times, which has kept a very close eye on the unfolding political situation in Pakistan, writes

At this tragic moment in the history of Pakistan, we at the Emergency Times are shocked beyond words at this intolerable and brutal act of the murder, along with others, of possibly the most popular leader of our country. No words can adequately condemn this barbaric act, which can only lead to more death and destruction for this tortured land. Her death will leave a gaping chasm in our country's leadership. One can only hope, beyond hope, that the perpetrators are brought to justice.
May God help us all.

Pickled Politics links to the news and a commenter writes "Assassination of leading political figures is a very bad sign for a society, for it shows a clear and direct lack of trust and respect for the institutions of the state and society. One can only hope that the perpetrators are brought to justice."

Some other perspectives have also emerged, looking at Bhutto both as a possible leader and a mover in international politics. Counter Terrorism Blog says

She was someone who the U.S. could actually work with to seek a way forward for Pakistan in light of the profound challenges posed by religious intolerance and political extremism, the drug trade, governmental institutions that do not provide essential services in many areas of the country, and Pakistan's troubled relationships with of its immediate neighbors -- Afghanistan, India, and Iran.

Her faults were also profound, as the well-documented grand corruption cases brought against her and her husband attest. She did indeed treat her country like it was a family-owned business, with corrosive results. These includied her removal from power in 1990 and again in 1996 as the corruption both weakened her politically and played a significant role in her inability to deliver the reforms needed to make Pakistan's government responsive to the needs of its people

The Moderate Voice has a bio on Benazir Bhutto, including information on her father who was also the Prime Minister of Pakistan, and was sentenced to death in the 70s for charges similar to the ones Benazir faced much later.

From across the border, Indian Muslims comment on the assassination, and debate various conspiracy theories.

The hands of Nawaz Sharif cannot be completely ignored as he too had his reason for her removal: He now is the only national level leader who has experience as a Prime Minister. He is now sure to take over as PM of Pakistan. The chances of this conspiracy are rare but you never know with these opportunistic and individualistic politicians.

Meanwhile, Sepia Mutiny's post on Bhutto's death already has over a hundred comments. One commenter says

One wonders if she truly felt she would be safe in Pakistan. Love of country and desire to contribute aside, is there some shred of a risk-taking thrill inherent in this endeavor she had embarked upon? Some level of martyrlike delusion, however deeply buried? Can any of us imagine being devoted enough to any political cause to risk our life so boldly? Was it worth it, Benazir?

Truly sad. Whither Pakistan?

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