Benazir’s assassination benefited Musharraf
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.