Friday, December 28, 2007

Benazir Bhutto

Looking back on her life, though she may have been corrupt and power-hungry, one thing you have to say for Benazir Bhutto is that she had incredible courage. I have been reading up on her life. Pakistan, imagine it, is a dangerous place. During her time as am member of Parliament in the Nineties, her fellow parliamentarians, party members, and even her own staff were constantly being jailed, tortured, kidnapped, beaten and disappeared. But she kept on keeping on.

Consider her life. Her father was hanged by General Zia, the military dictator who deposed him as Prime Minister. Both her brothers died under "suspicious circumstances." She herself spent time in prison, as did her husband. Given all that, she could have spent her life in comfy exile in Europe or New York, writing books, raking in money on the lecture circuit. But she chose to go back, to risk death on a daily basis to try and reform her country.

She may have been self-aggrandizing, she may have had feet of clay. But even so, she put her life on the line for her beliefs. And sacrificed it. Her sheer physical courage was so great she may not have been careful enough of her life in that dangerous place, these dangerous times. Even with inadequate security she insisted on meeting the public face to face at these giant rallies, magnets for suicide bombers. She would not back down.

I'm not cognizant enough of the situation to know the full implications of her death for Pakistan, but I know they will be bad. Real bad. Her death edges that nuclear country one step closer to chaos.

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