27th December 2007 The Assassination of Benazir Bhutto

Benazir Bhutto

On 27th December 2007, Benazir Bhutto – twice Prime Minister of Pakistan and the first democratically-elected female leader of any Muslim country – was assassinated as she left an election rally in Rawalpindi. Mysteriously done to death by either the assassin’s bullet, a suicide bomber’s blast, or a combination of the two, Benazir Bhutto died as controversially as she had lived. It is not the role of this On This Deity entry to wade into the quagmire that is Pakistani politics. Neither can we apply any Western judgements to Benazir Bhutto’s long and always controversial career. For were we to do this, her actions could only be found horrendously wanting. Corruption, immoral nuclear activities, barely improving the lot of Pakistan’s women and even brown-nosing the Taliban. Instead, we must judge this super-rich, overly-privileged, Western-educated, exquisitely beautiful, audacious and courageous World Figure entirely on her own terms. For, in a highly patriarchal Muslim country such as Pakistan, merely taking her place at the head of the government was – for a beautiful, red-lipsticked, eloquent, highly educated and highly polished woman – nothing less than a revolutionary act. Her privilege, her lucky accident of birth, her inherited fast-track to the top: all of these things must – in Benazir Bhutto’s case – be exempted, if we are to accept the extraordinary victory achieved by her admittedly nepotistic rise to become Prime Minister of fiercely Muslim Pakistan.

[Written by Saoirse Ó Gradaigh]

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One Response to 27th December 2007 – The Assassination of Benazir Bhutto

  1. – Anyone who pays attention to the News will know her son chose the anniversary to launch his political carrer :

    Son of slain Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto launches political …
    1 day ago … ISLAMABAD — The 24-year-old son of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto launched his political career Thursday with a fiery …
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…/son…bhutto…/52964e14-5026-11e2-835b- 02f92c0daa43_story.html

    – & here’s a great interview w/ him earlier this year on the excellent ‘Charlie Rose’ show on PBS :

    Charlie Rose – Bilawal Bhutto Zardari
    May 25, 2012 … Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is the Chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party. He is the only son of President Asif Ali Zardari and former Prime Minister …

    …& – of course – tonight in the News we are following the story of, finally, the death of the woman gang-raped in India
    – next-door to Pakistan
    – & reportedly reflecting the state of things in how South Asia deals w/ these these matters
    (as reported tonight by PBS Newshour – the best program on US TV: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/video/archive/2012/12/27/index.html )

    – which, in timely manner, reflects on Saoirse Ó Gradaigh’s piece above, I think, in terms of putting Benazir Bhutto’s actions & acheivements in cultural context, I think…

    …but really – if we face the statistics
    – it reflecting the state of things in the USA & too too much of the World.

    – Can we consider the way the fairer sex is treated like this
    – when vulnerable & when there’s nothing more to keep them safe than society’s Good Will (…three days after Christmas today
    …it’s said that ‘character’ is what we do when no one’s looking…)

    – anything less than a failure of Society & Civilization @ the most fundamental level – ?!?

    – As a Tribe – are we not Failing @ the Basics – ?!?…

    – Julian Cope has commented on how women are veiled in Muslim cultures – which is absurd by our values
    – but given the rape statistics – do we not provide them the justification – ?!?

    – It must end.

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