Thursday, December 27, 2007

On Benazir Bhutto's Assassination

Today, yet again, we witnessed an act of savagery that now passes as part of the regular political discourse in the Middle East and neighboring Muslim countries. The culprits in Bhutto's assassination are probably al Qaeda or one of its associates from the North West Frontier province bordering Afghanistan. Also high on the short list is the ISI, Pakistan's all powerful intelligence agency. These suspects are not mutually exclusive as the ISI seems to play both sides of the political divide in Pakistan. Bhutto's courageous and vocal opposition of Islamic extremists put her in the crosshairs of al Qaida and their backers, but it was also her very public endorsement by the U.S. that made her politically radioactive.

Despite Benazir's checkered political past, there is something about her that has intrigued me. I am not sure what it is exactly; her intelligence, her charisma, her good looks or the fact that she was a powerful Muslim woman who shatters the stereotypes. It is perhaps a combination of the above. Whatever it is, there was the hope, the promise that she might...might... bring a new approach to the politics of a critical Muslim country the fate of which is now intricately linked to that of the Middle East.

An objective review of her stints as prime minister would suggest that I am wrong in having been hopeful about her. However, her last time in office was over a decade ago. She deserved a second chance; she certainly did not deserve this end.

4 comments:

The Syrian Brit said...

Despite her faults and her history, and despite her being endorsed by the West, Bhutto was probably the only person who might (just might.. to borrow your expression!..) have been able to affect some change..
I must say, it probably was that 'very public endorsement' that you refer to what ultimately sealed her fate.. That made her an instant enemy of both Al Qaeda AND Musharaf&Co..

Alex said...

Pakistan ... it could provide the perfect boost to the alarm level in the US ... and we end up with 4 more years of the same paranoia ... Giuliani

Abu Kareem said...

Alex,

I doubt it, most Americans wouldn't be able to place Pakistan on a map, let alone care about what is going on there.

On the other hand, you are correct in pointing out that Giuliani has the scariest foreign policy agenda, scarier than GW's.

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