Thursday, December 27, 2007

Farewell, Benazir

This morning, I was so stunned to read the headline on my news feed, "Bhutto's Assassination..." that I checked the Times website, thinking I could not have missed something like that. According to the reports, Bhutto was murdered a mere thirty-six minutes before I came upon the news, probably while I was padding around the kitchen, sipping my cappuccino. The snippet of an interview that she had given to Ann Curry, played this evening on NBC, was heart-rending: what if, Curry asked her, she died ? Would the return to Pakistan have been worth it ? Two women, sitting in comfortable chairs at the moment, but who had both in the past taken risks with their lives. A look passed between them, and Bhutto answered by recalling her father, to whom she spoke the day before he was executed. He regretted, he told her, that he would not see his children marry, that he would not see his grandchildren. She hoped, she told Curry, that god would protect her, that she would live to see those things. A well-spoken, articulate woman who clearly loved her country, she will see none of those things. I am deeply cynical about the US's sudden fearfulness about Pakistan's stability in the aftermath of her death. It seemed that they had given up on her, favoring the other opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif, who has now apparently pulled out of the elections. Bush ("grim faced" they said) was quick to denounce this terrorist activity, but I wonder if Bhutto's strong faith in actual democracy had become inconvenient. I remember when she was elected Prime Minister, a role model for many women of all faiths and political stripes across the globe. Goodbye, Benazir, may the God who knows all and any faiths rest your soul and bring your children and husband peace.

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