Sunday, October 21, 2007

views of benazir bhutto

imran khan writes in today's telegraph:

"I have known Benazir since we were at Oxford together, but we have drifted apart politically since then. Perhaps I could have warned her that her life would be in danger if she returned to Pakistan and had a parade, but I doubt she would have listened. After all, there has been no shortage of warnings from other quarters. But I can tell her this: it is not going to get any easier for her. Whenever she goes out campaigning in public, her life is going to be threatened. It is different for me campaigning in public, even in the frontier region, because I am not perceived as an America stooge, or a supporter of the war on terror." more here.

imran is standing for a different party. how do we know what to believe?

first i think how amazing it is that a woman has been prime minister in a country like pakistan, and instinctively want to support the return of bhutto to her home country. i read an account by a correspondent for the times, who was on the bus when the bombers struck. she recalls the beginning of the journey:

"She looked stunning, dressed in an emerald-green-and-white shalwar kameez, the colours of the Pakistani flag, to symbolise national unity. Her jacket was finished with tiny white pearl buttons, and over her head was a trademark floaty white dupatta, which as usual rarely stayed on. As she said goodbye to her two daughters and her husband, Asif, in the VIP lounge, she announced: “This is the beginning of a long journey for Pakistan back to democracy, and I hope my going back is a catalyst for change. We must believe that miracles do happen.”"

as they ride on the bus through the streets, bhutto says:

"“This is the real Pakistan, not the militants or the military. We are giving a voice to the moderates that don’t want to see their country taken over by terrorists.” For a moment she grew sombre. “I just hope I can meet all these expectations . . . but also that I am allowed to.”"

lots more here.

these are the kind of words that move me, the kind in which i wish to believe. this is a brave woman. her father was hanged by the military, and her brother was poisoned, and another brother was shot. yet she wants to return. but this is also someone who made a deal with the current dictator to drop corruption charges that were hanging over her head so she could return without being arrested. were the charges real, or trumped up? is she an american stooge? is she a western stooge? can she be a voice for democracy in her country?

aaaaaaaaargh! said ravaj impotently. i want to believe that miracles do happen, that she won't end up like indira gandhi, and that she will make a positive difference.

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