Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bhutto Returns to Pakistan - And Is Nearly Assassinated

Pakistan's ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who fled the country to avoid corruption charges returned to Pakistan today..and was nearly killed as a result.

As regular members of Joshua's Army know, Bhutto's return was part of a deal to share power with Pakistan's General Musharraf in an effort to strengthen his regime, and the corruption charges were quashed as part of the bargain. She's expected to assume the premiership.

In her procession from the airport, two bombs exploded near a truck carrying her, killing between 50 and sixty people and wounding over 150. The blast shattered windows in her vehicle and set a police escort vehicle on fire.

Bhutto was reported as safe and unhurt.

She had been traveling in a large convoy on a truck equipped with a bulletproof glass cubicle to the tomb of Pakistan's founding father, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, to give a speech. The Musharraf government had asked to use a helicopter to reduce the risk of attack,but Bhutto had refused.

Although Bhutto has a lot of enemies in Pakistan because of certain things that occurred during her regime,her chief opposition comes from Radical Islamists, the Taliban and al-Qaeda because she's relatively pro-Western. Not only that, but by taking her out of the picture the Islamists probably hoped to deny Musharraf an ally.

The Pakistani Supreme court is scheduled to rule on both Musharraf's new term as president and Bhutto's amnesty within the next two weeks.

UPDATE: The death toll has now climbed to 150, witho ver 300 reported injured.

"The elections will go ahead as planned and we will ensure the road to democracy isn't disrupted,'' Tariq Azeem, deputy information minister, said in a telephone interview from the capital, Islamabad. ``If terrorists think they can derail the election process, they are wrong."

Refreshing to hear a Pakistani official refer to these people as terrorists for a change...


Anonymous said...

I was feeling a bit depressed the other day, so I called the LifeLine.
I was put through to a call center in Pakistan.
I explained that I was feeling suicidal.
They were very excited at this news, and wanted to know if I could drive a truck or fly an airplane....

ff essay could be summarized by a comment made at GoV regarding iraq. pakistan is not a country in the sense we in the west think/view countries. pakystan is made up of a bunch of people who don't like each other, and are held together, in a western convention, by the phony border created by the british foreign secretary many years past.
pakystan is a phony country.
if nazer were posting, he would remove the word phony and replace it with shithole.
the common bond of these people is to kill. it doesn't matter who. just kill.

Freedom Fighter said...

Didn't know you were job hunting

Actually Louie, Pakistan was created by negotiations between the Hindu Congress Party, and Mohammed Ali Jinnah's Muslim party, with the British ( Lord Mountbatten) moderating the agreement. A good book on this topic is `Freedom At Midnight' by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins.

In other words, unlike most of the Arab countries, it wasn't just lines in the sand created by the West. Jinnah insisted on these borders.

Originally, as you might remember, Pakistan also included Bengalis in their ethnic mix as well in what is now called Bangladesh.

The problem in Pakistan is the same one in most of the Muslim world...trying to maintain a normal nation-state while not restricting Islam or Islamism in any way.

In my opinion,it is virtually impossible to have what we in this west would call a democracy if Islam is the dominant faith.

They don't mix, and either Islam or freedom has to be suppressed. In Turkey, for example, we see a situation where Islam was suppressed for decades and the reverse is now occurring.


Tapestry said...

I met Benazir at Oxford. She was a very strong character, and would fill a room all on her own. Later her father was executed despite all attempts to save him.

She's had a rough ride in life, but lacks nil as regards courage. She could make a big difference to Pakistan.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hello Tapestry,
Benazir Bhutto's problem is not courage, as far a s Pakistan goes. It is that she's a member of the oligarchy in Pakistan, and when she was lat in power she inherited both the support and the obligations that implies.

She may very well bring some influential players into the game on the pro-Western Musharraf side, but I have doubts on what effect that will have on Pakistan's deep seated problems.

There are good reasons why much of the logistical support for Islamic terrorism comes from that country.... as I'm sure you're well aware of on your side of the pond.

Thanks for dropping by.

Anonymous said...

Originally, as you might remember,

uh, no...........why do you think i hit J/P about twenty times a day???
what i remember is that pakystan was broken off of a sub-asian country being india. who ever was on the paky side wanted kashmir but the india side said no we want it......and the rest, as they say, is what passes for current events....

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Louie,
The deal with Kashmir is this...while a great deal of population exchange took place in 1949, Pakistan still ended up with some Hindus, and India with considerably more Muslims
(about 100 million, or roughly 10% of the population).

The deal with Kashmir and Jammu in very simple terms is this: They were predominantly Muslim areas ruled by Hindu rajahs and were thus incorporated into India as part of the orignal partition agreement.

Some of the Muslims both in Pakistan and in the region in question decided that, agreement or no, Kashmir and Jammu should have been awarded to Pakistan because it was conquered by Muslims
and thus `Muslim land'...but then, these people feel the same way about India, Israel, the Balkans, Spain, Portugal, etc. etc.

Just another example of the sad fact that when many Muslims talk about `peace', they really mean dar Islam ( rule of Islam) with all that implies.

I'm sure the hate mail is en route...