Friday, December 28, 2007

"The daughter of Pakistan"

I'm sure you've read about the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan, the suicide bombing that killed some 20 others at one of her rallies and the subsequent riots in Pakistan.

But I thought this was an excellent obituary from The New York Times:
Despite numerous accusations of corruption and an evident predilection for luxury, Ms. Bhutto, the pale-skinned scion of a wealthy landowning family, successfully cast herself as a savior of Pakistan’s millions of poor and disenfranchised. She inspired devotion among her followers, even in exile, and the image of her floating through a frenzied crowd in her gauzy white head scarf became iconic.

In October, she staged a high-profile return to her home city of Karachi, drawing hundreds of thousands of supporters to an 11-hour rally and leading a series of political demonstrations in opposition to the country’s military leader, President Pervez Musharraf.

But in a foreshadowing of the attack that killed her, the triumphal return parade was bombed, killing at least 134 of her supporters and wounding more than 400. Ms. Bhutto herself narrowly escaped harm and shouted at later rallies, “Bhutto is alive!”

Despite her courageous, or rash, defiance of danger, her political plans were sidetracked from the moment she set foot in Pakistan: She had been negotiating for months with Mr. Musharraf over a power-sharing arrangement, only to see the general declare emergency rule instead.

The political dance she has deftly performed since her return — one moment standing up to President Musharraf, the next seeming to accommodate him — stirred hope and distrust among Pakistanis. A graduate of Harvard and Oxford, she brought the backing of the governments in Washington and London, where she impressed with her political lineage and considerable charm and was viewed as a palatable alternative to the increasingly unpopular Mr. Musharraf.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

She also helped the Taliban come to power in Afghanistan, Travis...