Thursday, December 27, 2007

The late Benazir Bhutto

Benazir Bhutto is dead. A suicide bomber decided to blow himself up, and in the process, kill this young and dynamic political leader and weaken the democratic movement in Pakistan. It is a tragedy at many levels. On a more basic level, a wife, a mother, a daughter has lost her life but on a more broader scale, it has added a degree of uncertainty not just to the elections but, also, to the possibility of democracy returning to the country.

It is still not sure who the assassins were, and it could be anyone at all. Some have placed the blame on President Musharaff and his supporters in the military, but I find that hard to believe. I don't think anyone in an official position would be so brazen about his distaste for an opposition leader and come up with a 'final solution'. Of course, this is not always the case because Benazir's own father was 'hanged' by the legal courts of the late Zia ul Haq and though I was a youngster back then I do remember reading in the papers that no one quite believed in the verdict.

But all said and done, Benazir's death seems far more tragic than that of her father's. At least, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto lived longer, made mistakes, had time to reflect on them and even pass on his legacy to someone else. Benazir was not given this opportunity. Perhaps her years in exile gave her enough time to reflect on the corruption charges and other mistakes that she made, but now we wouldn't know. If she was elected, she could have been a much better and more effective prime minister and maybe, even toned down her stridency and softened her shrill rhetoric but that, again, is left to conjecture.

This is, exactly, why suicide bombers and assassins irritate me the most. They rob a person's potential to be what they could be, and instead punish them for deeds that may or may not have been repented of, and even, deliberately erased from the person's moral landscape. These assassinations operate on a premise that the assassin exists on a high moral ground and has the sole prerogative to decide that the targeted person is unworthy of second chances.

Benazir Bhutto was young. If she had lived longer, she could have been a better politician than before and, maybe, even a more successful prime minister. But we'll never know, and that's the real tragedy. And till then, it is Pakistan that will suffer the most and the assassination will provide greater incentive for the military to remain in power and delay any possibilities of real democracy being firmly established in the political landscape. Emergency might be re-imposed for the greater good, and who knows, even martial law might be introduced to preserve peace and harmony or some such thing.

It's just that it is so easy to expect the worst, and let's pray that it won't be so. After all, when such crisis occurs, it is not the ruling elite who suffer the most, but it is always the ordinary people who battle each day to make ends meet. These Pakistanis deserve better, and let's pray that they do.

1 comment:

ray said...

Hi,

I was reading ur blog posts and found some of them to be very good.. u write well.. Why don't you popularize it more.. ur posts on ur blog ‘’ took my particular attention as some of them are interesting topics of mine too;

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Cheers,
Ray