The assassination of Benazir Bhutto
I had not intended to write anything here this week, but today's attack in Pakistan leaves me no option. Regular readers will know that I have long feared continued violence, and the murder of Benazir Bhutto was always a real possibility, as she herself was well aware. My guess now is that the parliamentary elections scheduled for early next month will now be postponed; it's also possible that President Musharraf will reimpose the state of emergency he lifted just a week ago.
Here are some comments from bloggers in Pakistan, courtesy of the excellent website Global Voices:
This is a sad day for Pakistan. Bhutto was not perfect, but at least she was for a democratic process. Democracy once again dies with her.
In the nation whose history is dotted by military coups, assassinations and hangings of public figures, this is surely the bloodiest stain. She titled her autobiography, the Daughter of Destiny - but surely she deserved a fate other than the destiny of her father and Liaqut Ali Khan. It is truly a tragedy and a revelation of the chaos gripping the nation.
At a human level this is a tragedy like no other. Only a few days ago I was mentioning to someone that the single most tragic person in all of Pakistan - maybe all the world - is Nusrat Bhutto. Benazir’s mother. Think about it. Her husband, killed. One son poisoned. Another son assassinated. One daughter dead possibly of drug overdose. Another daughter rises to be Prime Minister twice, but jailed, exiled, and finally gunned down. Today, in shock, I can think only of Benazir Bhutto the human being. Tomorrow, maybe, I will think of politics.