Benazir Bhutto: What Would She Think of Pakistan Today?

Posted on December 27, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice, People, Politics
37 Comments
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Adil Najam

Benazir Bhutto was assassinated three years ago today, December 27.

Two years ago on the first anniversary of her death we had carried a post asking “What If She Had Not Been Killed?” Of course, this is not the type of question that has a real answer. But as the discussion on the question showed there is value in thinking about such speculative notions nonetheless. This year, to mark her third anniversary, we wish to ask a slightly different question: “What would Benazir think of today’s Pakistan?” Of course, we realize that none of us can know or guess what she might actually think. But in thinking about it maybe we will come to grips with what we ourselves think and bring some clarity to those thoughts.

So, dear readers, do please let us know what you would think Benazir Bhutto might think about today’s Pakistan.

Two days ago as I was driving in Karachi on my way to the airport I was stuck by all the huge bill boards and posters that were everywhere in commemoration of this day. All had huge pictures of Benazir Bhutto, most also had pictures (sometimes not as large) of Zulfiqar Ali Bhuto, and many also had pictures of Asif Ali Zardari and Bilalwal Bhutto (plus of whoever had paid for the poster in the first place). I realized that Benazir Bhutto is now the principal and most beloved icon and symbol of her party. Maybe even more so than her father!

What, I wondered, would she make of that?

The world was in  utter shock at Benazir’s death. And many still are. The memories of the assassination are still fresh for many of us. And, yet, so much – so very much – has changed. This was even true two years ago, when I had written: “An elected government holds power. Benazir Bhutto’s arch-nemesis Gen. Pervez Musharraf is no longer President of Pakistan. Her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, is. We still do not know who was behind her death, but speculation remains rife. The economy remains in nosedive. An energy crisis is upon us. Drones pound us on the West. And Pakistan continues to lose both territory and citizens to the extremists who continue to wage a war within Pakistan and on Pakistan. Most of all, anger and angst still define the social disposition.”

Time line for the Bhutto family

What might have Benazir made of all of this had she been alive? What might she be thinking on this day? What are you thinking? How have things turned out that are different – or the same – if Benazir had actually survived the attack?

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37 responses to “Benazir Bhutto: What Would She Think of Pakistan Today?”

  1. Marco Polo says:

    She still must be thinking of devising ways and means of robbing Pakistan

  2. fuzair says:

    I never understood why one is not supposed to speak ill of the dead: asinine superstition. ZAB, Zia, and Benazir got what they sowed. Good riddance to all of them. Why shed tears for them and not for the poor people of Pakistan who they all screwed over in their own ways?

  3. BiBi says:

    Jo kattay na Aaari say wo Kattaay Zardari say …
    Jiaaay Bhutto Khul k Lutto
    :)

  4. Adnan says:


    The only thing BB did for Pakistan is give us Zardari Bhutto.

    For a moment I read “gave us” as “gave birth” Zardari Bhutto. :-)

    The answer by KooKoo is quite funny as well as Ironic.

  5. Dilawar says:

    Prof. Najam, I admire the teacher in you. You have been blessed in your readers with a class of duds. And yet you keep trying valiantly to get them to think. To get beyond their jugat baazi and scandal mongering to think about something. You ask questions, you throw scenarios, you give them case studies to react to, hoping they will bite and some thinking juices will flow. But, alas, to no awail. A class of duds remains a class a duds, even if the professor is brilliant!

    These guys are fed on Hamid Mir and Shahid Masood, what else would you expect from the more than just slogans!

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