October 19, 2007

Benazir Bhutto Returns...

..and so does mayhem. More than 100 human beings with families, jobs and lives, killed in Karachi. The spread of extremism is just increasing day by day, the longer the war on terror goes on and the longer one ignores the socio-economic reasons for the spread of extremism, the bloodier Pakistan will get.

I avoid writing about politics in general because I am no politician, no conoisseur of the political life and thought. I have a general naivity or dismay for politicians...not the desired ingredients of a commentator on politics.

Having said that, I don't have to be a plumber to know a clogged drain.

I always liked Bhutto. The few years I spent in Pakistan as a young girl while she ruled as PM, I saw her as a positive figure, a Muslim woman (the first Muslim female leader in the Muslim world) amongst men, charismatic and elegant.

But the truth of the matter was, Pakistan under her and subsequently Nawaz Sharif was a big disaster with corruption allegations left right and centre. In NWFP where I lived time stopped. And the rich got richer, and corruption flourished. Looking back on it now I am reminded that she, as a woman, never did a single thing to change the faulty Hudood ordinance for rape victims (the one where supposedly a woman has to produce four witnesses to prove a rape case). She had two terms as PM to do something about it and never did.

In an interview she says:

“I am a female political leader fighting to bring modernity, communication, education and technology to Pakistan.”

Musharraf however, being the dictator he is, did something about it and the law was modified earlier this year (with the help of Dr. Hassan Hanafi of Cairo University whom I met with earlier this year). Whether he did it to score browny points or not, I will never know.

Democracy, yes. It is important, it is vital and it should be the goal. I hope to see it in place in Pakistan again. But Pakistan has had it for decades and each leader that came hid behind it and sucked Pakistan even more dry than before, and as Bhutto steps out of her plane with a decade old corruption charges against her, waving her heavily bejeweled hands, sparkling with gold (after her 8 years in Dubai), a feeling of worry hits me.

Have the cleaners come back to Pakistan?

12 comments:

EXSENO said...

I never hear anything anymore on the news about Pakistan, Only Iraq and Iran. I have a couple of blogger friends who live in Pakistan. I worry about how safe they really are.

Wil Robinson said...

I've seen "some" coverage about Pakistan in the Western media...I put that in quotes because it's been extremely limited.

But I have noticed that everyone in the West refers to Bhutto as some kind of hero...rarely if ever referring to her outstanding corruption charges, and certainly never delving into exactly what those entail.

Unfortunately, the West is so anxious to support any dictator/authoritarian regime as long as they aren't Islamist that it will take anyone that comes along...the more deeply ingrained capitalism is in them the better.

Diligent Candy said...

We were at an ultra swanky club in Dubai for dinner to celebrate a big event. And, there sat Mrs. B two seats away...very aware, very affected...and very fake...

ali said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Destitute Rebel said...

Pakistan is stuck between the devil and the deep black sea, General Musharraf although has been better than any democratic leaders Pakistan has ever had and will probably ever have has no legitimacy because of his uniform, during his rule society has improved a great deal, freedom of press has been given for the first time, women have had rights and representation among a lot of thing, but it seems he has somehow displeased the "big daddy" sitting in the US or maybe Benazir has agreed to sell more to the US if they help her to power, I can only pray for my poor country.

Sleepless In Muscat said...

SS:

First of all, let me congratulate you on the new look of your blog. It looks fantastic even though it is simple, elegant because it has a soothing nature behind the colors chosen - well done, indeed.

Back to topic, though, when I first heard about Benazir Bhutto returning to Pakistan on the news I said to myself that its about time someone else took the political stage there because of the dictatorship run by the current Army General. Frankly, I'm not too keen on him being in that position - don't ask me why. But after hearing the massive killing that happened when she arrived I couldn't help but being annoyed. Why of all people did they have to choose her? Why wasn't it that other person they immediately deported? (sorry, the name just didn't come up in my mind, I apologize).

Terrorism is a coward behind a bomb, that's all I can say. And one day, mark my words - one day, we will rid ourselves clean on a global scale of it.

Rami said...

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Kashif said...

Benazir Bhutto has not returned for the people or for restoration of Democracy. She has returned when she got assurance that all cases of corruption made on her and husband, Asif Ali Zardari, will be removed.

For first time in history of Pakistan, corrupt leaders and political workers got asylum from their crimes through the unique National Reconciliation Ordinance implemented as an ordinance (that is, not passed by the Parliament yet) by Musharraf regime.

Benazir should be held accountable for the deaths of 200 people in Karachi. ( Read more about it)

A world of Symphony said...

Hey Shasha, great page layout. Love the new design. Now I realize, I've been out of touch for more than a while :(

Need time to catch up.

I'll be back (Arnie style from Terminator).

How you been?

nzm said...

There's one constant here - they're all out for their personal gain, and not one moment of thought is being given to the welfare of Pakistan and her people.

Name me one political leader who hasn't sold his or her soul, and I'll show you a liar.

They all do it.

kaya said...

I never like Bhutto and cant say have changed my views on her. Politicians in Pakistan seem to think that it is a hierarchy and the mantle should rightly be passed down, as if it is a crown. Benazir's agenda much like Shk Hasina has been mostlt to avenge the wrongful (their opinion) deaths of their fathers.
Benazir's husband has spent more time in the Govt. guest house than at home. Benazir has displayed time and time again, a complete lack of judgement, and as for her reforms, as happens evertime a PM comes of a particular area, only that segment gets some attention. Benazir in karachi, and Nawaz in Lahore).
Frankly speaking even though Musharraf has spent a lot of time kissing America's ass, but I think by seeing the bigger picture, he has managed to stop Pak from becoming another Iraq.
Our people are ignorant and illiterate. The can barely co exist within their communities. There is no personal respect or love for the country, and will make every effort to promote filth and corruption, and justify it with EVERYONE IN PAKISTAN DOES IT!
Its such a tragedy that 50 years onwards we havent acheived anything. Mr.Jinnah and his dream are farce, and we really would have been much better off without the partition.

Ali Sanaei said...

I wonder where is US to question Pakistan's democracy, peace and freedom?