Making A Difference

Why Kill Benazir Bhutto?

Because she was pro-America? So is every major politician of Pakistan, tied to one or another faction of the US establishment. Musharraf himself is closest to the US. Nawaz Sharif has indirect links with the Bush administration....

Why Kill Benazir Bhutto?
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Why kill Benazir Bhutto? Because she was pro-America? So is every majorpolitician of Pakistan, tied to one or another faction of the US establishment.Musharraf himself is closest to the US. Nawaz Sharif through the Saudi Royalshas indirect links with the Bush administration. The reason for singling her outmust lie elsewhere.

However much Benazir’s severest critics might have carped against her nonecould deny her courage. She took the battle to her enemies. She campaigned inareas dominated by militants. More important, she recognized most clearly theideological aims of her enemies. She articulated most explicitly the ideologicalresponse to frustrate them. She was a threat they could not tolerate. Likeabject cowards they killed her. Like a true warrior she died in battle.

Before returning to Pakistan Benazir outlined her political aims. She said:"Learning from Europe following World War II, we will build democracies andcommon markets, we will open up markets, we will open up roads and we will openup endless opportunities for the people of South Asia." This would haveblocked Al Qaida plans to carve out an Islamic state from areas of Pakistan andAfghanistan that could serve as a launching pad for global jihaad.

Benazir understood that a divided response by nations of South Asia could neverdefeat the terrorists. They have global ambitions and a unified commandstructure to coordinate terrorist attacks across entire South Asia. No SouthAsian leader apart from Benazir had expressed these views as explicitly. Shemust have been perceived as an unacceptable threat. She had to go.

Will the election in Pakistan be held now? Should it at all have been announcedbefore the war against terrorism was won? Readers would recall this scribewarned against premature polls. It had been suggested instead that a nationalconsensus government comprising all political parties of Pakistan be formed tooversee the army’s war against terror. President Musharraf’s decision toimpose a fraudulent emergency targeting members of the civil society was likenedto the role of a suicide bomber. It remains to be seen what happens in Pakistannext. The prospects could not be more grim. The need for India to be unitedcould not be more urgent.

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