I learned the news of Benazir Bhutto’s death as something of a Déjà Vue. I was shocked but not as surprised as I read through the various news sources on the assassination of one of Pakistan’s iconic figures whose family like the Kennedy’s in the US or the Gandhi’s in India will be for ever associated to some kind of eternal morbid malediction. The death of Benazir Bhutto is not an April Fool’s day Joke but truly looks in many ways like that of a bad and predictable movie script :
An extremely beautiful and cultured Woman educated at Oxford and Harvard whose features were fit for modeling or a movie career but who decided instead to enter politics at an early age and ultimately to revenge his father’s memory ( The late President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto hanged in April 1979) by taking on politics and succeeding to high office twice thus entering history as one of the rare if not only true female leaders in the Muslim World. Her controversial and arranged marriage to a rich husband belonging to a powerful clan was also to make headlines suggesting that she was hungry for power rather than love or personal happiness. Accusations of corruption, true or false were also associated to her rise to power, but her rising popularity over the years in her homeland could not be boiled down to incompetence and slandering. In retrospect her highly profiled and dignified personality added to her physical courage and stamina should make many Nobel Peace Prize contenders and or awardees blush today. Killed in the most cowardly manner ( shot in the neck) her death will overshadow that of the 20 other lives that were taken away in the name of the Holy Koran by a suicide bomber.
What we get and will get in the weeks to come will be a series of predictable titles in the lines of:
There you have it: Three Lines to sum up a Life Time …
As an outsider and impotent observer of Pakistan’s internal politics and the so-called yet very Real War on Terror, I cannot be indifferent to the news of her death. Yet the chilling news of her sudden and savage death leads me more to frustration and anger than any signs of grief. Maybe I would have reacted differently if she were a family member or if I was a Pakistani. What is certain is that I cannot set aside the idea that her death was so predictable and somehow makes me wonder if she did not ride towards her own death as a Bergmanian hero in The Seventh Seal.
According to news experts It was the second suicide attack against her in recent months and came amid a wave of bombings targeting security and government officials. “Third Time Lucky” so goes the saying but yesterday’s cowardly assassination proved that wrong for Mrs. Bhutto’s political career and bid for Pakistan’s highest office for a third time.
Left with the sad reality of her tragic end, I cannot but feel angry at Mrs. Bhutto herself. Certainly I am extremely unjust towards all those who cherish her memory and particularly her family and loved ones. However one can wonder if death even in the course of one’s political struggle achieves anything over time ? Who except a few dusty history books will record in time and collective consciousness the death of John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert or that of the late President’s son John-John killed in a stupid Plane Crash. What does the death of Martin Luther King represent to the young generation of American’s today who seem more preoccupied by the whereabouts of Paris Hilton or the rehabs of Amy Whinehouse than the massacre of their fellow classmates and teachers on a Virginia Campus ? What did the death of Lady Diana and Dodi El Fayed provoked by French Paparazzi’s achieve except nurturing further tasteless conspiracy theories over time ? What did the assassination of Shapour Bakhtiar and his secretary achieve other than prolonging the life of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its soccer Team’s victories at the World Cup ?
Do death’s such as that of Benazir Bhutto achieve any goal at all ? Do or should theyy serve as “Symbols” of what we could have achieved or rather what we have definitively lost for good ? I have no definitive answer to these questions except the bitter feeling that such tragic events will continue to the end of time as a reminder that humanity never, NEVER LEARNS.
Adieu Benazir Bhutto, May You rest in Peace with Your Father.
And If This Word Means Anything Today : Inch Allah ! …