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Benazir’s assassination benefited Musharraf

December 28, 2007

When I first heard that Benazir Bhutto was assassinated I couldn’t believe it. But this reaction lasted for a split second. The next moment I not only believed it, I realised how inevitable it all was.

Benazir was never safe in Pakistan and she must have known it. But she still took a chance. She must have realised how great a gamble it was when the first attempt to murder her took place. But by then it was too late to go back. Going back would have meant letting down her supporters and running away from the battlefield. Benazir was too tough to even consider that.
And in her interviews before she went to Pakistan, her yearning to go back was evident. Like she said, Pakistan was her destiny…and now she has become a martyr.

It’s surprising that the western powers encouraged her to go back and try and bring democracy back to Pakistan…surely they knew that Pakistan was not ready? Democracy cannot be ‘imposed’ said one commentator on television and I couldn’t agree more. The circumstances have to conducive for democracy. How can an external power decide to bring back democracy?

Everyone in India at least felt that the election was going to be a sham, that Musharraff was going to rig the elections. In fact I wondered why Benazir had gone back at all…gone back to a country where the ISI was hobnobbing with the Taliban, where Musharraf himself was under attack? Pakistan was a hotbed of confusion..did she feel she could bring back some semblance of order to the country? Did the United States believe she was going to become the next PM? Did Benazir herself believe that she was going to be PM? Well, I don’t think anyone in India believed it. It was as if everyone was trying to fool everyone else…but no one in their hearts really believed that Benazir had a fair chance.

And now? There is no way that Nawaz Sharif will be able to pull it off on his own. Musharraf has won.

Related Reading: Corruption in the Pakistan Army
Attack on Geo TV office earlier this year in Pakistan
Is Musharaff all that bad?

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52 Comments leave one →
  1. December 28, 2007 12:16 am

    “Those who live by the sword perish by it”
    This pertains to India and Pakistan. The former for allowing religion into politics and governance, and the latter for assimilating it into its very soul.
    Very sad, this. But worse may happen. Think Nuclear.

  2. December 28, 2007 12:29 am

    On the face of it, it does seem that she was offered up as a sacrifice. There are forces loose that cannot be controlled by anyone.

  3. Sahil permalink
    December 28, 2007 12:35 am

    My last memories of Benazir Bhutto are of an article I read in the Times of India a few months back. She was in London then and was interviewed by an Indian journalist. When asked what was her favourite pastime, she said “watching movies”. She went on to say she had just seen “Cheeni Kum” of Amitabh Bachchan and Tabu and was positively delighted by that movie. That really touched me somewhere because it happens to be my favourite movie too, for this year. I actually started liking her after reading that article – my previous impressions of Benazir was that of a shrewd, calculating, conniving politician opposed to India – and it is true some of her policies during her Prime-Ministership in the 90’s was directly opposed to Indian interests. Though I never disliked her to the same extent that I would dislike Musharraf or the bearded fundamentalists of Pakistan. Truth is Benazir was a Western-educated person with very liberal views on religion and other facets of life. Her return to Pakistan this October was based on a positive intention to reform the country’s fractured polity, and to tighten a grip on fundamentalists who’ve made a mess out of that country. Perhaps, she ran short of time and cruel destiny played the tricks on her.

    My sincere condolences for the moderate people of Pakistan – we Indians are together with them in their grief for the loss of such a sensible leader. May God rest her soul in peace.

  4. December 28, 2007 1:02 am

    Nita, I see where you are coming from, but if you are a leader, you have to lead in times of trouble. There is no such thing as conducive circumstances. Somebody’s got to make it happen. We had to fight for our independence, didn’t we?

    I don’t think it is fair to say that democracy is being “imposed” on Pakistan. This is a Pakistani effort and cannot be likened to US intervention in Iraq in any way.
    Pakistan has had a taste of democracy before, but failed to build on it. Now, why they failed is meat for a separate discussion, but the idea is not foreign to them. Pakistan was conceived as a democracy.

    A lot of young and moderate Pakistanis want a democratic, progressive leadership. More so now, with the youth getting impatient with the political instability that keeps them from surging ahead like India.

    I don’t see how Benazir Bhutto could have done anything differently. She had to take this chance, for Pakistan’s sake at least.
    Now comes the real challenge. Will the Pakistanis keep up the fight? I sure hope they do.

    As Gandhi said, be the change you want to see in the world.
    SS

  5. December 28, 2007 1:28 am

    Don’t be too quick to either blame Musharraf or to assume this is something he wanted… a continued State of Emergency would have prevented this, it was the opposition and external influences who forced Musharraf to allow opposition parties to campaign in open public forums.

  6. Sahil permalink
    December 28, 2007 1:43 am

    “Don’t be too quick to either blame Musharraf or to assume this is something he wanted”

    Gabriel can you show me one line in the previous script where I blamed Musharraf for this incident? All I wrote is I dislike him and that Benazir is a leader of much higher caliber than the General. Please read again without starting a flame. Thanks

  7. December 28, 2007 1:47 am

    I wasn’t responding to you Sahil. It’s Nita’s blog. Thanks.

  8. Sahil permalink
    December 28, 2007 2:00 am

    Sorry about it; I didn’t notice this pithy sentence

    “Musharaff has won”

    Wonder what Nita has to say about it! She’s probably gone to sleep by now.

  9. December 28, 2007 6:12 am

    This is utterly shocking for me because I have been doing all sorts of things all day and hadn’t checked the news at all. I simply can’t believe it. Who’s left now? There is no point have an election in Pakistan.

  10. December 28, 2007 6:12 am

    in having* an election in Pakistan.

  11. December 28, 2007 6:15 am

    Will this touch off a civil war?

  12. December 28, 2007 7:18 am

    I doubt if it will lead to a civil war primarily because PPP did not have a very large following

    what is surprising is that Benazir’s husband was also assassinated and she was hailed as a friend of the dictator….

    neways u need to have an election else the democracy will die

  13. December 28, 2007 7:33 am

    This issue is so complex that I agree with you all 🙂 if that is possible. Thanks to all for giving me those valued comments.

    Unfortunately Snigdha’s comment fell into moderation for some reason and I could only let it out today after I woke up. But Snigdha has an excellent point to make, although she has not convinced me entirely. I feel that the situation in Pakistan was really terrible and cannot be compared to the Indian Independence movement. In India, the British were already mellowed by various uprisings…the British were ‘ready’ to a small extent. The terrorists in Pakistan are a different bet altogether.

    And Gabriel, ofcourse you are right…Mush is not in control of the situation, but I think he stands to benefit.

  14. December 28, 2007 7:47 am

    Thanks, Ankur! That’s good to know.

  15. December 28, 2007 8:36 am

    Ankur, whats this about Benazir’s hubby being assassinated? Was it a typo?

    Paul, I think any serious trouble is likely to be averted because of the military regime. But then one can’t really say. I am also not sure how strong PPP is in Pakistan…sure strictly speaking PPP may not have a following, but I am sure a lot of Pakistanis are going to be upset because their chance at democracy has been snatched away.

  16. December 28, 2007 8:37 am

    I don’t know, Nita… none of this has ever been about Democracy, the upcoming “election” was all about getting Bhutto into the Prime Ministers office. It was basically a coronation without a crown. This is what I don’t understand about the “campaigning” she was doing (and why, why, would anyone let her stick her upper body out of a sunroof in an unmoderated crowd?)… Musharref needed Bhutto as his PM to give his government the legitimacy it needed to survive until real elections could take place in a couple of years. Sharif doesn’t have the stature necessary, his role — in my opinion — was to give the “election” some weight… his role was basically to lose to Bhutto.

    There won’t be a Civil War because the two sides are still the “Taliban” and “Pakistan” and the former doesn’t have the wherewithal to lead a sustained war against the government. Marital Law, or a State of Emergency will be declared until Things get sorted out. Besides, Bhutto’s supporters don’t have an army.

    Of course the news in this Hemisphere is about the nukes, but there’s no faction nearly strong enough to overthrow the government and take control of the nukes. Basically it’s a tragedy of alarming scope, but it’s an internal Pakistani matter…

    All of that said, I really think this makes Musharraf’s position worse, not better… however, it’ll be interesting if Musharraf can use this situation to justify fighting harder against the “Taliban”.

  17. December 28, 2007 8:46 am

    @ Gabriel.:

    that was the question haunting me too! in fact I dreamt about it last night…why in the world would she stick her upper body out in such a crowd? A target for a sniper! Couldn’t she have been protected by bullet proof glass, is such a vehicle available?
    About Mush, I think he has become a bit of a megalomaniac and doesn’t think he needs anybody…otherwise he would have provided Bhutto better security! It was like he fed her to the lions!
    But would she have played along if she had become PM? No way! She was a tigress. She would have crushed Musharaff, while pretending to play along. And those in the west probably knew this and that’s why they wanted her. In fact if it comes out that Mush knew of the plan to assassinate her and did nothing, I wouldn’t be surprised. I think Mush did feel threatened by her, but he dare not do anything to harm her…not directly at least. Now he can tell the Americans, who else is there except him?

  18. December 28, 2007 9:10 am

    From the videos I’ve seen of her leaving the park she seemed to be moving ahead of her security detail. Those crowds are always insane, there was no way she should have been there… from what I’ve heard from Canadian, American and British TV people interviewing various Pakistani people the decision to make Bhutto so visible to the public was her idea. Something about needing to appear strong in public. But after that bombing which killed 130 people I would think she’d consider the safety of the people around her… at least twenty other people were slaughtered around her this time. Again, what I don’t get is why she thought she needed to campaign so openly for what was going to be a coronation.

    The TV People are saying she had basically the same security detail as Musharraf.

    With regards to the vehicle, the Pope has his bubble car but there’s no “Western” leader who would ever sit out in the open like that since John F. Kennedy was assassinated while travelling in an open limousine. Although I think the French have an annual parade where their President rides in an open car… and lets not forget, this is something she has done since getting back to Pakistan. When the first bomb went off a few months ago she had just reentered the vehicle after being out in the open for several minutes.

  19. December 28, 2007 9:35 am

    @ Gabriel…:

    It’s interesting what you say…and it’s makes me realise that one of the reasons we view the issue differently is because of the influence of the media. Which also makes me think that one way or another, the media manipulates us…so much that no one knows the truth!

    p.s today’s headlines here say that the ISI was going to rig the polls and Bhutto had found out.

  20. December 28, 2007 9:53 am

    what a tragedy! TERRORISM SUCKS. I hope pakistan becomes more active in “war against terrorism” and soon kill all those terrorist groups. Donot let terrorist to divide country.

  21. December 28, 2007 10:27 am

    i think rambodoc is right
    Nita i have linked u to my latest post do read it

  22. December 28, 2007 10:48 am

    this event leaves a secular leadership vaccum in pakistan
    she was seen as a semisocialist secular leader and plan b for the us – mush and shariff cant see eye to eye
    things could be volatile in the near future
    i just hope that there is no iran style revolution from the islamists over there if the people in power make a few wrong moves

    things will be very very interesting

  23. December 28, 2007 1:33 pm

    @nita….
    //whats this about Benazir’s hubby being assassinated? Was it a typo?//
    i meant his father.

    one of the reason why political situation in Pak is so unstable is largely to do with the army. afterall for more than half of its existence these folks were under 1 dictator or other

  24. December 28, 2007 2:20 pm

    @ Gabriel…:

    It’s interesting what you say…and it’s makes me realise that one of the reasons we view the issue differently is because of the influence of the media. Which also makes me think that one way or another, the media manipulates us…so much that no one knows the truth!

  25. December 28, 2007 2:34 pm

    My sympathies go out for the other innocent people called “supporters” who died in the incident – most often, these are people who participate in the rallies for money only; they have nothing to do with the ideaology, politics or philosophy.

    Benezir was not milk – however, assassination was not the answer.

  26. December 28, 2007 3:04 pm

    @ Raman:

    I too feel very sorry for those innocent people who died with her. Last time 140 people died, and this time around 20 I think.

  27. December 28, 2007 3:15 pm

    In total agreement with:

    And now? There is no way that Nawaz Sharif will be able to pull it off on his own. Musharaff has won.

    But I was wondering, if somehow – Musharaff also suffered Collateral Damage? India ka kya hoga?

    Being a Indian – I am totally concerned with the mess that Pakistan is!!

  28. December 28, 2007 9:33 pm

    The more I watch and read about this the more I’m convinced it had more to do with the failure of the security directly around Bhutto than anything else… there have been reports from the hospital and the doctor who treated her that she was actually killed by shrapnel, not gunshots. So if she’s in her semi-armoured vehicle, and not exposed, maybe she’s not dead today. Maybe someone from the government security detail should have forced her to be In the vehicle or maybe they should have forced her to campaign surrounded by government troops (like under cover of a state of emergency), but other than that I’m not seeing how the government could have protected her otherwise… especially when she was so determined to be seen in public.

    The coverage here has been jumping back and forth between “what was she thinking” and “it’s the plotting of people hidden deep in Musharraf’s government or in the army”. At some point over the next few months — considering the majority of Americans still believe a shadowy group killed John F. Kennedy — it’s probable some combination of the Taliban / Americans / Musharraf / India / Shadowy Corporations / maybe even Canada will be discussed as being responsible for Bhutto… actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone tries to make the case this has something to do with Bob Woolmer’s murder before the hysteria dies down.

  29. December 28, 2007 10:12 pm

    Gabriel, I don’t believe that story about her not being killed by gunshots. Bullets lead to guns and guns lead to their maker and the supplier…if that sniper is traced to the wrong person then it’s the end isn’t it…
    today on Indian tv, Imran Khan was all over the place (he is in Mumbai at present) and he was telling all the tv channels that democracy is impossible in Pakistan as it’s not possible to openly campaign and hold rallies – for anyone! Ofcourse, and least of all for Benazir who was seen as an American stooge. He was saying that Musharraf never goes around openly. It’s far too dangerous. And this even though he has the best security.

  30. December 29, 2007 12:24 am

    There was a press conference in Pakistan just a few hours ago where a government spokesperson said three things:
    1. the “jamming devices” supplied to protect officials were not designed to prevent suicide bombers, only against remotely controlled bombs;
    2. Her personal security team had been warned there was a plot to attack her via a suicide bomber on or around December 31st, and;
    3. Bhutto was killed by a single fragment, most likely from the bomb but possibly from a gunshot, which crushed her skull.

    Under none of the scenario’s being discussed was she was killed by the blast, which means if she stayed in the vehicle she’d most likely still be alive. The “gunshots” were supposed to be from a pistol at close range, BBC TV showed a pistol that was initially thought to be the cause of death. And it’s looking more and more probable the Pakistani Government did everything it thought possible to prevent Bhutto from being harmed…

    I like Imran Khan as Bhutto’s replacement… I forgot about him.

    Here’s the thing about democracy… either you’ve got all the parts together or it doesn’t work. You can’t have a democratic election before the democratic process has been put into place… this means a constitution, a charter of rights and freedoms, an impartial judiciary, it means education and economic freedoms. This was not going to be an election because there is no democracy in Pakistan. This was going to be a coronation which would (hopefully) make it possible for the beginning of democratic reforms.

    It is impossible to have a functioning democracy while a significant number of the citizens are blowing stuff up. Canada, in the fall of 1970, declared a State of Emergency in our largest province to deal with a terrorist organization. During that time “democracy” was suspended in that province. Pakistan cannot move forward until it has dealt with the people making the bombs.

  31. December 29, 2007 12:42 am

    Sorry… I was quoting #3 from someone else, this is what happened, according to AFP: “[Bhutto was] killed after smashing her head on her car’s sunroof while trying to duck, and that no bullet or shrapnel was found inside her.”

    And this is what the spokesperson said: “If she had not come out of the vehicle, she would have been unhurt, as all the other occupants of the vehicle did not receive any injuries.”

  32. December 29, 2007 12:50 am

    Nita, thanks for stopping by and commenting (on the same topic) on my blog post. It was lovely to see you at BlogHer and I have left a comment for you there and furthered the discussion. As you may have noticed, most of my audience are Americans, so your perspective was very welcome, indeed🙂

    @”In India, the British were already mellowed by various uprisings…the British were ‘ready’ to a small extent. The terrorists in Pakistan are a different bet altogether.”

    You are absolutely right when you say that Brits were more ready to leave than the terrorists/military regime in Pak are today. That’s exactly my point! The Brits became more ready because of the relentless uprisings that kept happening over the years. So many lives were sacrificed for the cause.

    That’s my argument. Someone’s got to do the dirty job. I don’t think Nawaz Sharif has the kind of courage Bhutto had. She was ready to sacrifice everything for the cause. Her entire family has. Someone has to set the ball in motion and make sure it keeps rolling.

    I think, for Pakistan’s sake, she made the right decision. Yes, she is dead, but her cause, hopefully, is not. To quote her: “You can imprison a man, but not an idea. You can exile a man, but not an idea. You can kill a man, but not an idea.”

    Good luck to them, and keep writing, Nita🙂

    Snigdha

  33. December 29, 2007 8:30 am

    Gabriel, hope you didn’t believe that about her not being killed by a bullet or a bomb.
    When you say:
    //t is impossible to have a functioning democracy while a significant number of the citizens are blowing stuff up. …Pakistan cannot move forward until it has dealt with the people making the bombs.//

    I couldn’t agree more. If there are no election rallies, and individuals cannot campaign for themselves, democracy won’t work.

    Prax, Vinu, Bharath,Snigdha, thanks.

  34. December 29, 2007 3:35 pm

    Honestly, there should be an independent forensics analysis performed by an outside group… maybe the UN, or maybe a combination of “Middle Power” countries like Sweden, Finland, Spain — I’d suggest Canada but we’ve got a few thousand troops in Afghanistan.

  35. December 29, 2007 7:09 pm

    I just saw a video of her assassination. Two gunmen shot at her from barely two feet away and it’s on Indian and Pakistani TV. Her friend in the car with her has said clearly that she herself saw the bullet wounds.

  36. December 29, 2007 8:26 pm

    It is sad that Benazir has been assassinated, but it has made a martyr out of her and this would have repurcussions that we have not even thought of. There will be different ways in which people across the world will react to it. By dying she might have done something that she could not have done alive.

  37. December 29, 2007 8:39 pm

    It does seem like her death was preordained. All events fell into place, like clockwork, but like you, when I first heard the news my initial reaction was shock and grief. She appeared to have a star over her head, some kind of aura about her, and I thought maybe she would survive longer.

    I think you bring out another point the US doesn’t seem to understand: democracy can’t be forced – it evolves over time.

  38. December 29, 2007 9:58 pm

    I remember the movie Syriana – everything went on with clockwork precision there too. Somehow, though I feel for the loss of life, I can’t bring myself to condole Benezir – and I am hating myself for it.

  39. Shantanu Chatterjee permalink
    December 29, 2007 10:50 pm

    This is a masterstoke by musharaff.

    This gives theUS 2 options:
    1.Force him to hold elections with shariff debarred and benazir dead i.e even with ‘free and fair’ elections he gets a new puppet with a ‘democratically elected’ stamp.

    2.Ask him to crack down on terror i.e screw democracy just get the job done.This gives him the cover to finish the internal opposition from within the army.

    He wins every time!

    3.

  40. December 29, 2007 11:19 pm

    Hemraj, thanks.

    Christine, what you said about aura is so true…funnily I thought that too! Until you articulated it, I didn’t realise it.

    Raman thanks for sharing that.

    Shantanu, Mush wins! You said it!

  41. December 30, 2007 12:19 am

    yes shantanu got it bangon

    the question is is it a murder by the quaeda or one done thru quaeda by proxy?

  42. Shantanu Chatterjee permalink
    December 30, 2007 2:55 pm

    I can’t help but think that we are trying to see two things where there is only one.

    I mean Pakistan has constantly been portraying itself to the west to be a victim of terror and getrting silly sums of $$$ from the US however it is the ISI/Army which has every interest in seeing the terrosist/mullah infrastructure stays.

    1.They can keep milking the US with the war on terror rhetoric and it remembers too well what happened after the USSR left afganistan the US left them and imposed sanctions on them they’d rather just keep it on a slow burner.

    2.They can use the jehadis as an informal killing/intimidation squad against the internal opposition from Pak civil society i.e if they arrest or threaten someone they get brickbats for clamping on democracy but if their ‘freedom fighters’ do the needful they get their job done and get yet more money and sympaty from the US in the ‘war on terror’.

    3.This is the only real pressure tactic they can apply on India a much more powerful country across the border given their immaculate perfect record in getting thrashed in all major wars.They wind up the terror camps and all they can do is crow about Kashmir.Mark my words the terrorism in Kashmir in on a slow burner now as their army is deployed in NWFP and Baluchistan in 10 years time they will step it up again and we will then have a lot more to loose.

  43. December 31, 2007 4:17 pm

    I have a new doubt slowly creeping up in my mind – the so called “hand-written will” and its aftermath only add fuel to the fire. Was there anyone else who wanted Benezir dead? Someone close to her or from within her periphery?

  44. Pakistani permalink
    January 1, 2008 6:24 am

    Same old stupid Indian obsession with ISI. Get out of your fantacies. Life is not a Bollywood movie. It seems that the entire Indian population is living under the influence on Bollwood. Sensationalizing everything as if its ripped off Bollywood movie of a Hollywood original.

    She was nothing but a currupt politician who looted billions of dollars during her premiership. She was also involved in brutal killing of thousands of activists of Political rival MQM during her tenure. She was no less than a brutal dictator herself who never allowed democratic values even in her own party PPP. She was self declared life time chairperson. When cant practice democracy in her own party, how can she become champion of democracy?

    Its pretty evident why Indian hate Musharraf and like currupt politicians like Benezir. Becasue they still live in the fantacy world where someday, according to them, Pakistan would be disintegrated due to the actions of these currupt leaders and India would get a chance to invade and take over Pakistan.

    They hate Musharraf becasue he has strengthened Pakkstan’s economy and its strategic assets. They hate Musharraf becasue he has pulled Pakistan away from becomming a defaulter on foreign debt. He has revived Pakistan’s economy.

    Indians can never be good friends of Pakistan no matter what, becasue they have not succeded to accept Pakistan as a sovereign, independent country. They still cant accept the idea of a divided India. They are struggling to forget and forgive.
    While we Pakistanis have moved on. We have no RAW obsession. We feel proud of Indian advancements in the field of science and technology. We appreciate Indian culture. We respect the fact that Indians are patriotic to their country. We admire strong and dynamic Indian leadership. We support their sporting teams. We are great fans of Indian crisket and movie stars. We are sincere in resolving all the conflicts with India including Kashmir. We have and are ready to compromise and sacrifce. But India is adament. Indians are absolutely hell bent and desperate to belittle Pakistan. They dont waste a single opportunity to humiliate Pakistan and Pakistanis.

    All this while we are sincere and almost bending backwards in order to resolve the issues and have a fresh start.

    It seems Indians get some sort of ego boost and self esteem when they humiliate and make fun of Pakistan and Pakistanis. I hope they change.

  45. Raj permalink
    January 2, 2008 5:23 pm

    “She was nothing but a currupt politician who looted billions of dollars during her premiership…………… how can she become champion of democracy?”

    Does she deserve to be assassinated for this. Why can’t they try her in the courts. If I am not mistaken it was your hero Musharaff who quashed all cases against her. What have you got to say about your hero now?

    “Its pretty evident why Indian hate Musharraf ……….. invade and take over Pakistan.”

    The Indian PM who went to Lahore in 98. What happened after that? Your hero Mush started a low intensity war, along with those so called “freedom-fighters”. The rest of your nonsense about Pakistani bending backwards, evaporates into thin air.

    “While we Pakistanis have moved on.”

    Moved backwards you mean. Back to the medieval ages.

    “We are sincere in resolving all the conflicts with India including Kashmir.”

    Terrorism = Sincerity

  46. Raj permalink
    January 2, 2008 5:26 pm

    “It seems Indians get some sort of ego boost and self esteem when they humiliate and make fun of Pakistan and Pakistanis.”

    You are the one watching too many Bollywood movies. What they show in those crap movies is not the way we feel about Pakistan and Pakistani’s.

  47. Raj permalink
    January 2, 2008 5:29 pm

    “They hate Musharraf becasue ……………….He has revived Pakistan’s economy.”

    Your own people hate that American puppet more than we do, eventhough he was responsible for the Kargil war.

  48. January 2, 2008 9:45 pm

    Pakistani, you have a good sense of humor. Your post was very amusing to read, and thanks for the laughs. Please continue to entertain us with your (ludicrous) comments.

  49. January 2, 2008 10:01 pm

    @ Nita: Amongst all this, what about the role of the long-emasculated husband? Did he orchestrate the killing (he refused the post mortem after all and the speed with which she was buried was astounding in a country where it takes them ages to do anything else)? After all he had access to her travel plans, her security arrangements and her behavioural preferences (such as sticking out of the vehicle to wave at people).

    Now of course he can ride the wave of sympathy and be a king-maker if not the King himself, and keep the seat warm for his son when he finishes his education. Long live dynastic rule in the name of democracy!

    @ Amit: I have to agree with Pakistani. In part. She was hardly an embodiment of virtue and democratic principles.
    Although I do find it funny that he says Pakistanis are proud of Indian achievements! How can one be proud of anything one did not achieve by one’s own efforts?

    As for Raj’s objection if this means her assassination was deserved, we only know what is reported. It is the people of Pakistan who make the call. It is their country after all – let it burn if they so wish or go to hell in a handcart. Why do we feel the need to impose ourselves on them?

  50. January 2, 2008 10:31 pm

    @ Shefaly:

    I really doubt that Zardari wanted her dead. He was more powerful with her alive. If she had become P.M., he would have reaped some benefits. It will take a long time for his son to really assume the mantle. And if PPP wins, will Zardari jump into politics? He may, but he would have had a better footing with Benazir around. At least my reading is that he is not liked much in Pakistan. It was he who siphoned away a large part of the funds.

  51. January 2, 2008 11:26 pm

    Shefaly, I was not referring to Pakistani’s statement about Benazir Bhutto (I do not place her on a pedestal, and agree with this op-ed), but the general tone of his/her comments regarding Indians and their attitude towards Pakistan.

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