Bhutto Assassinated.

As you may know, today the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated. Somehow, a lone assassin on a motorcycle shot Butto in her heavily-guarded vehicle before blowing himself up, killing more than 20 others. This incident brings to mind her doubts about the ruling government’s dedication to protecting its citizens and the sancity of its democratic process. Read her paper here.

Bhutto was marked for death by islamic terrorists and fundamentalists ever since her return to Pakistan in October, so its really no suprise that the terrorists suceeded. I can only hope that their success backfires on them; that instead of instilling fear or sympathy, this incident incites disgust. That instead of derailing the elections, it spurs the moderates and the faithful as well as Bhutto’s sympathizers towards the polls, to take away political power from the terrorists within and without the government. That instead of attracting people to their cause, they lose them. Only time will tell what the ultimate effect of Bhutto’s assassination will be.

Today, though, no one in the Western World is happy about this. This link decribes the US President’s reaction to the news, as well as the reactions of other US and World figures.

Bhutto was not a perfect civil servant: she was under suspicion of corruption upon her exile in 1996. But she was popular with the people and made a career of representing the poor and disenfranchised. Here, from the New York Times, is the political biography of this woman, reputed to be stubborn, ambitious, and impulsive, as well as idealistic, well-educated, and poltically savvy.

So, I want to finish this post with a general declamation against fundamentalists of all types: because of them and their nasty, violent thinking, the world is a terrible place, and will never be a good place so long as they succeed in cowing people with blood and fear. We need more people like Bhutto, as imperfect as she may have been, to stand up against fundamentalism and tactics of terror and dominance. So long as one shall stand, there will be hope for us all.

Bhutto gave her life fighting for democracy and democratic reforms, and for that reason, I will mourn her death, and hope it will not be in vain.

Afterword: I strongly encourage you to read HeartsinSanFransisco’s tribute to Bhutto here. Hearts describes Bhutto’s history, policies, and ambitions in a way I had not been able to find elsewhere. Thank you, Hearts!

9 thoughts on “Bhutto Assassinated.

  1. I had had huge hopes that she would bring some stability to that country and be an effective counter to Musharrif’s tendancy towards autocracy.

  2. I spent the day listening to Radio 4 and at first, they reported the bomb and said up to fifteen people had been killed or injured. Later they said Bhutto had been injured. Then later still, they announced her assassination and the deaths of twenty others. I nearly fell off my chair in shock.

    Terrible news.

    As the first woman prime minister of an islamic country she was a pioneer among women and I mourn her.


  3. beautifully written eulogy (of sorts). i need to read more about her… she sounds utterly fascinating, and i have to echo what puss said.

    being a woman with power in a country like pakistan… that alone warrants respect and a deep sense of loss over her death.

  4. It’s also important to remember that we are not gods in this terrorism equation. We can do without a lot of the things we do that feeds their hatred for all things western.

  5. and my comment didn’t save. lovely.

    I was also greatly saddened by this news today. She was such a figure of hope. I had thought about blogging her story as well, but not only have you already done so; you’ve said everything that I would want to say. So I thank you for that.

    I am, however, less inclined to say she was killed by “terrorists” and lean more toward the idea of the task being delegated by the oppisition. Not too far reaching considering who and what he is.

  6. Rachel, we seem to have approached this story from different angles although we agree on the extreme sadness of Benazir Bhutto’s death.

    In all my research, I was unable to find anything that indicated she was corrupt, although her husband was accused and imprisoned for alleged corruption. I have always believed that she was honorable as well as courageous, and I admired her so much.

    Her light stood alone on the world stage, and until fundamentalists stop murdering those who oppose their views, there is little hope for any civilization to survive.

  7. bob: I think most of the west felt the same.

    puss: I wasnt too shocked. Suprised, yes, shocked, no. She had death warrants written onher for a long time and her insistance for a public life made it inevitable.

    martha: there is much to mourn about this entire thing.

    woozie; Unfortunately, that is true.

    hearts; my readings indicated that she was exiled twice on charges of the corruption linked to her husband, but as far as i know, She was never proven guilty of corruption herself. But Pakistani law is different from ours; it could be she was guilty jsut by association alone. I dont know.

  8. It’s a good thing I read blogs, otherwise I’d not have a clue about what is going on in the world. But this was a bit of news I have been so sad to read about.

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