Benazir Bhutto : Comments : A balanced view

Was she a credible hope for Pakistan?

     BENAZIR Bhutto’s killing will send shockwaves in political circles in India. She was a frequent visitor here in recent years and had a clutch of friends and admirers in our country. As a woman, well-educated and articulate at that, she elicited and enjoyed extra consideration. However, many did not forget her overcharged rhetoric over Kashmir in the Nineties and her dubious role in promoting the Taliban in Afghanistan. So, there was mistrust of her. They were not persuaded that passing years had increased her quotient of reliability. Did we believe she was a credible hope for restoration of democracy in Pakistan? Hardly likely.Her latest foray into Pakistan politics damaged further her political credibility and democratic credentials as she appeared very opportunistic. Perhaps it is with opportunism and with conviction and principles that politics in Pakistan is possible.

When Benazir’s triumphant return to Pakistan a few weeks ago was scarred by a terrible terrorist attack and she survived, one could have well speculated: for how long? Could any security arrangement for her have been foolproof, especially as she suspected some former military figures and ISI operatives of having been in league with her would-be assassins? How could she have believed that she could do democratic electioneering, mobilise the public and address rallies, without exposing herself to suicide attacks?

      If she were the head of state or government and was protected by the vast security apparatus of the State, she could have hoped to conduct her election campaign without mortal danger, but could she have as the controversial leader of opposition? Tragic though her killing is, it was a tragedy in-waiting.

Benazir misjudged the situation in Pakistan. She felt she could return to her country, fight an election under theBENAZIR Bhutto’s killing will send shockwaves in political circles in India. She was a frequent visitor here in recent years and had a clutch of friends and admirers in our country. As a woman, well-educated and articulate at that, she elicited and enjoyed extra consideration.

However, many did not forget her overcharged rhetoric over Kashmir in the Nineties and her dubious role in promoting the Taliban in Afghanistan. So, there was mistrust of her. They were not persuaded that passing years had increased her quotient of reliability. Did we believe she was a credible hope for restoration of democracy in Pakistan? Hardly likely.

Her latest foray into Pakistan politics damaged further her political credibility and democratic credentials as she appeared very opportunistic. Perhaps it is with opportunism and with conviction and principles that politics in Pakistan is possible.

When Benazir’s triumphant return to Pakistan a few weeks ago was scarred by a terrible terrorist attack and she survived, one could have well speculated: for how long? Could any security arrangement for her have been foolproof, especially as she suspected some former military figures and ISI operatives of having been in league with her would-be assassins? How could she have believed that she could do democratic electioneering, mobilise the public and address rallies, without exposing herself to suicide attacks? If she were the head of state or government and was protected by the vast security apparatus of the State, she could have hoped to conduct her election campaign without mortal danger, but could she have as the controversial leader of opposition? Tragic though her killing is, it was a tragedy in-waiting.

Benazir misjudged the situation in Pakistan. She felt she could return to her country, fight an election under the tutelage of a military regime, win and become prime minister, with General Pervez Musharraf as president. This despite the fact that she had railed against the military in Pakistan andBENAZIR Bhutto’s killing will send shockwaves in political circles in India. She was a frequent visitor here in recent years and had a clutch of friends and admirers in our country. As a woman, well-educated and articulate at that, she elicited and enjoyed extra consideration.

However, many did not forget her overcharged rhetoric over Kashmir in the Nineties and her dubious role in promoting the Taliban in Afghanistan. So, there was mistrust of her. They were not persuaded that passing years had increased her quotient of reliability. Did we believe she was a credible hope for restoration of democracy in Pakistan? Hardly likely.

Her latest foray into Pakistan politics damaged further her political credibility and democratic credentials as she appeared very opportunistic. Perhaps it is with opportunism and with conviction and principles that politics in Pakistan is possible.

When Benazir’s triumphant return to Pakistan a few weeks ago was scarred by a terrible terrorist attack and she survived, one could have well speculated: for how long? Could any security arrangement for her have been foolproof, especially as she suspected some former military figures and ISI operatives of having been in league with her would-be assassins? How could she have believed that she could do democratic electioneering, mobilise the public and address rallies, without exposing herself to suicide attacks? If sBENAZIR Bhutto’s killing will send shockwaves in political circles in India. She was a frequent visitor here in recent years and had a clutch of friends and admirers in our country. As a woman, well-educated and articulate at that, she elicited and enjoyed extra consideration.

However, many did not forget her overcharged rhetoric over Kashmir in the Nineties and her dubious role in promoting the Taliban in Afghanistan. So, there was mistrust of her. They were not persuaded that passing years had increased her quotient of reliability. Did we believe she was a credible hope for restoration of democracy in Pakistan? Hardly likely.

Her latest foray into Pakistan politics damaged further her political credibility and democratic credentials as she appeared very opportunistic. Perhaps it is with opportunism and with conviction and principles that politics in Pakistan is possible.

When Benazir’s triumphant return to Pakistan a few weeks ago was scarred by a terrible terrorist attack and she survived, one could have well speculated: for how long? Could any security arrangement for her have been foolproof, especially as she suspected some former military figures and ISI operatives of having been in league with her would-be assassins? How could she have believed that she could do democratic electioneering, mobilise the public and address rallies, without exposing herself to suicide attacks?

 If she were the head of state or government and was protected by the vast security apparatus of the State, she could have hoped to conduct her election campaign without mortal danger, but could she have as the controversial leader of opposition? Tragic though her killing is, it was a tragedy in-waiting.

Benazir misjudged the situation in Pak

by

Kanwal Sibal

Mail Today 28 Dec 07

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