Farewell to Benazir Bhutto

Bhutto at her final rally in Rawalpindi

My wife and I were just walking out of a restaurant after celebrating our 4th anniversary when I watched the CNN report that Pakistani opposition leader and former PM Benazir Bhutto was in critical condition after a suicide bomb attack in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Moments later, reports started filtering in that she had died.

What a sad ending to a great hero in the eyes of so many. Here’s a quote by one of her supporters, posted on BBC:

My god am crying while writing this the news came two hours ago i have never felt so hopeless before, Benazir was the only hope for our wretched land. Its just so sad the loss cant be described in words.

Nabeel, Rawalpindi

I am no expert in Pakistani politics, but from what little I know, Bhutto was probably the “least bad” of all the candidates in the upcoming elections. Just a few days ago, she had boldly condemned Islamist extremists for their violent ways. Yesterday, security officials thwarted a would-be suicide attack by a 15-year old at her rally. Now she’s gotten assassinated, probably by one of those devils.

What a troubled land Pakistan is! I pray some glimmer of hope will appear for Pakistan’s suffering people soon.

Author: Gerald Giam

Gerald Giam is the Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC. He is a member of the Workers' Party of Singapore. The opinions expressed on this page are his alone.

4 thoughts on “Farewell to Benazir Bhutto”

  1. Dear Gerald,

    My personal thoughts. Yes you are right, Bhutto was probably the least “bad” of all candidates but I fail to see how she could be the savior of Pakistan as long as the military still play a key role in the country.

    Its a sad reflection of a country when despite their population, the forefront candidates at the moment are only Musharraf and Shariff.

    Praying for a miracle for Pakistan.

    Regards
    Newcastle

  2. Newcastle has a point. Perhaps true democracy doesn’t really work in Asia countries after all. I’m not even sure if it works at all, considering all the political intrigues that’s happening without our knowledge, and the kind of mess we see even in so-called democratic western countries. And how many politicians are truly selfless to sacrifice for the greater good of their country and people?

  3. KT – I think Indian writer Amartya Sen will have a lot to disagree with your point that democracy doesn’t work in Asia.

    The problem is not democracy, but the way that it is practiced. Democracy is not going to produce selfless leaders. But neither is autocracy.

    Newcastle – Well since my blog post and your comment, the PPP has appointed Bhutto’s 19-year old son as the head of the party. I agree it’s quite sad that out of 140 million people, there’s not even one good leader that has emerged so far. I guess there’s no where Pakistan can go but up from here.

  4. kt – one issue is trying to find a definition of ‘true democracy’. Wikipedia lists over 30 forms of democracy. Another issue is labelling all of Asia as one when its people are as disparate as in Africa or Europe. So an Islamic Repulic such as Iran could be considered a Religious Democracy and China possibly a Soviet Democracy. The term Democracy is so loose that to talk of a ‘true democracy’ is impossible.

    Newcastle – Mia Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is ineligible to stand in the upcoming elections due to a court ruling on Dec 3rd, 2007. His party however is still eligible.

    gerald – no man-devised form of government is capable of producing selfless leaders.

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