Benazir Bhutto, 1953-2007

Benazir Bhutto was killed at a PPP rally in Rawalpindi. At least 15 other are being reported dead in the attack. The election rally, with “foolproof security”, was held at Liaqut Bagh – a site which had already seen the assassination of another Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaqut Ali Khan.

There were earlier reports of security threats on her rally – similar reports were issued before the suicide attack on her in October.

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.

aftermath: Riots are being reported in various cities. Rawalpindi is in chaos. Cable and cell phone services has been suspended in most of the country. Rumors are flying of curfews. No word from Musharraf, yet. Getty Images’ collection of photos taken at the rally by Aamir Qureshi.

– A rather disturbingly condescending obituary from the NYT. She had “grand ambition”, “considerable charm”, and engaged in a “dance of veils”. How Salomé of her. I also like how she is humanized for the American readers by a scant connection to an American diplomat.

Update from lapata: A really excellent photo album of Benazir here.

Strange: NYT has changed their Obit – Benazir Bhutto, 54, Weathered Political Storm, by John Burns. But get this, the earlier obit that I linked to above, has been amended to remove references to “veils” and “world’s first prime leader” to “first female leader”. How odd. You can still read the older, reflexively paternalistic and orientalist reading, written by Jane Perlez and Victoria Burnett, here.

Published by

sepoy

what is the vertiginous chapati saying to me?

25 thoughts on “Benazir Bhutto, 1953-2007”

  1. Pingback: MediaChannel.org
  2. I read the news late this morning. A human, political, and national tragedy. For anyone who believes in making collective decisions through a peaceful political process, this has to hurt…my sincere condolences.

  3. Most of that NYT obit is recycled from a profile they published in October this year. I wonder if they’ll get it together to write something with new content and a more appropriate tone.

  4. She gave her life to prove her critics wrong. She was braved her death courageously. Alas, people mocked her but she proved herself.

    This is one of the biggest loss in the history of Pakistan

  5. They even called “her a pale skinned scion” as opposed to what? The brown hoardes? I am shocked, just shocked at this news.

  6. A wider look at historical trends reveal that mature Indus valley cultures end up being conquered and ruled by the rag-tag bands out of the mountains??????????????????
    what the fuck…

  7. Pingback: Anil Kalhan
  8. it’s not just the times. almost all the coverage i’ve seen in the western meda has focused on glorifying her as a daughter of the west,as they say, on the war on terror, on al qaeda, on nuclear weapons, and on any number of other things that you could have thought would wait a day (or at least until there was some evidence ;).

  9. Maybe this is the natural fate of political dynasties in South Asia. Whether suicide bombers or one’s own guards (as with Indira Gandhi) the blowback from internal warfare hits back hard on the highest in the land. Many people have compared Benazir to Rajeev Gandhi, but to me she embodied all the scheming megalomania and charming corruption of Mrs Gandhi.

  10. it’s not just the times. almost all the coverage i’ve seen in the western meda has focused on glorifying her as a daughter of the west,as they say, on the war on terror, on al qaeda, on nuclear weapons, and on any number of other things that you could have thought would wait a day (or at least until there was some evidence ;).

    Sorry, I can’t accept that. What good would it do?

    When someone’s a public figure whose decisions affect the lives of millions of people, then they should always face scrutiny and criticism, even in death. IMO, an assassination doesn’t mean we self-censor ourselves, even for a moment. When Cheney dies, most people all over the world aren’t going to take a respectful moment to put aside the atrocities he’s committed.

    I’m sure a “non-judgemental moment of resepect” would mean nothing to her dead brother (whom Bhutto may have had a hand in assassinating), or the people suffering in Pakistan thanks to her contempt for the working class and her plundering the treasure, or the people suffering in Afghanistan thanks to her well-documented support of the Taliban.

    What happened is a horrible and inexcusible. But that doesn’t mean we have to be silent and fake about who she was.

  11. asalam o alaikum GHOTKIS.i m working in media..i am requesting to tehsil ghotki and khanpur that please vote to ppp candidate to sardar fiaz ahmed lund for MNA and sardar baber khan lund for MPA on khanpur….thease lund server our district ghotki..i hope that that make ghotki as a pairis…and these are candidates of shaheed benazeer bhutto…from warar wango……..jea lund

Leave a Reply