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29 December 2007


Anne Baird

The death of any human being is a tragedy, but it is all the more tragic if western propaganda twists it into yet another justification for its war on terror. This is another wee episode in a long saga where every time a bus exhaust backfires, everyone shouts "Al-Qaeda!" and civil rights are savaged as a knee-jerk response. As a boringly pure-bred Scot I'm sometimes ashamed at the idiocy of the "west". How, in a simple, easily understood way, can we engage with the ordinary, decent people of all nations, races and religions and create solidarity against the master puppeteers who engineer this long-running, dangerous farce? I have much more in common with them than I do with the leaders of the western nations.

Umar M

The west's "daughter of the east" was hardly looking out for Pakistan's interests. Bhutto and Zardari had plundered the country's wealth - with the national debt sky-rocketing. The popularity of her PPP is restricted to rural Sindh where the Bhuttos remain the feudal lords. She was charismatic, but was unable to continue her father's popular idealogy of Islamic socialism. The current situation in Pakistan is bad, and with the likelihood of free & fair elections being slim, the immediate future doesn't look so bright. In some quarters there is already talk of civil war (over-exaggerated)and the west's biggest concern: Pakistan's nuclear assets falling into the wrong hands. Bronwen Maddox wrote a good article in the todays Times.



Andrew Carmichael

You shouldn't really use someone's death as an excuse to rant about how rubbish etc the west is.

No-one was really suggesting she was going to miraculously solve all Pakistan's problems. She wasn't perfect, just a far better option than Musharraf, Nawaz Sharif or the Taleban. It's easy to attack political leaders. What would you do instead? "Support Pakistan's fledgling democratic movement" - what, in practice, does that even mean?

"Useless installation of corrupt puppets" is a good soundbite, but she was risking her life to fight a democratic election. That's not an installation. And a person isn't necessarily a corrupt puppet just because people in the west happen to like them.

Ted Harvey

Osama I'm a bit disappointed about your response to this barbaric and tragic event.

It is the sheer barbarism and fundamentally reactionary nature of the act that so appalls and needs to be at the forefront of our thoughts.

We shall always struggle to achieve progress where we have brutal and corrupt people who readily resort to murder and even indiscriminate mayhem to protect or further their own selfish ends.

Whatever reservations any of us might share about the murdered individual or her associates, I’d like to think that with hindsight you might have preferred to use some more circumspect timing and language on this one.


Personally, though I understand the sentiment behind Ted's comment, I think that it's precisely at those times when the media machines will work their hardest to tell masses what to feel and how to think, that alternative (or read: commonsense) views need to be expressed with some vigour.

If you call someone a villain every day of his life, there is little sense calling him anything else the day of his death, especially if you see a clear agenda to befog people's minds about the realities.

Abu Sinan

Whilst it is sad when anyone dies, her and her family shows what is wrong with Pakistan, and through it, the wider Islamic world.

What educated and experienced person did they put in her place? Out of all of Pakistan they could only find one person with the experience and education to fill her spot. It happens to be her 19 year old son who hasnt even finished his education.

That shows EXACTLY what is wrong and why the PPP or anyone of the Bhutto line will not be able to fix it.

As to her being a criminal, she was convicted of money laundering in Switzerland. She was indeed a criminal, convicted and sentenced to six months in prision and ordered to pay restituation for the money her and her husband stole.

Azad Ali

Andrew Carmichael says "She wasn't perfect, just a far better option than Musharraf, Nawaz Sharif or the Taleban"

Really? Is that all the options? How about backing someone from Pakistan, who is educated there and is known for their honest track record?

Had she only followed the most important thing her father ever taught her....“There are two hegemonies that dominate our country. One is an internal hegemony, and the other is an external hegemony. And unless we challenge the external hegemony, we will never be able to deal with the internal one”

Bhutto was nothing but a failure and her husband was nothing but a corrupt person known as Mr 10%.

The feudal system in Pakistan is the problem.

PS - see the new air to the throne speak? What language did he use...Urdu, Sindh....why English of course! That should tell you all you need to know.


Whilst it is true that the death of Benazir Bhutto, is a tragic and sad event; that children are now without the guidance of a mother and a husband without his soul mate; for once I have to agree with Osama. (thanks for the links, they make very interesting reading)

If we merely look upon Benazir's political life and not her private one; is this all that the political elites of the country had to offer the people of Pakistan, was this election ever about raising their life chances and conditions, or merely an opportunity for one of the ruling elites to become prime-minister for a while, or life even.

That's where I stop in my tracks and question this idea of democracy, when I realise that Ms Bhuto was leader of the PPP for life, and that she willed that position to her son, for life.

This is not a loss to the world on the same level as JFK, Martin Luther King, or Malcolm X. For the last two here they lived the ideal that they spoke of, unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Ms Bhutto. It is the people of Pakistan who suffer now, because of the political game playing of their elite classes.


FYI, an interesting table. Not that I expect such data will temper salaciousness of the Orientalist representation of Muslim women.

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