Archive for the ‘Middle East’ Category

Benazir Bhutto Killed

December 28, 2007

Benazir Bhutto Today, only months after returning to Pakistan from her 8-year exile, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. This was the second attempt in two months by her opposition to kill her. The first one, a suicide bomber attack in October of this year, killed 139 people but failed to kill Bhutto.

Bhutto was the leading opposition force in Pakistan, and chairwoman of the People’s Party of Pakistan. The party was founded by Bhutto’s father, former Prime Minister of Pakistan. She followed in the footsteps of her father to become the first woman leader of a Muslim country by serving two separate terms. Both times she was removed from power on accusations of corruption. These were later dismissed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan which cleared her of all charges. Bhutto was finally able to return from London/Dubai were she was living in exile and come back to Pakistan in October of 2007. Two months after her return and only a month before the January elections, she was assassinated.

History lesson aside, the death of Benazir Bhutto has widespread impacts on the West. For one, she was our best hope of true democracy in Pakistan. Bhutto was also probably the most likely Pakistani presidential candidate to give the United States unlimited access into the “no man’s land” tribal areas of the country where bin Laden is rumored to be hiding. Of course, Musharraf (the current leader) would have most likely rigged the election and done everything else he could to prevent Bhutto from seizing power. Nevertheless, Bhutto was one of the few remaining forces in the region fighting for democracy and her death helps no one.

It is even bad for Musharraf who is now more likely than ever to get assassinated himself judging from the massive and violent riots by Bhutto’s supporters. Some even allege that he is the one responsible for killing her. Others wouldn’t go as far as to say that, but they point out that Musharraf should have been able to keep her safe and the fact that he didn’t speaks to the fact that he is not in control. I agree. Clearly, his government is going to come crumbling down in the near future, perhaps even before the January 8th elections. In the meantime, let’s just hope that Bhutto’s opposition does not gain power and that all those nuclear weapons Pakistan is packing are kept safe and away from the insurgents.