Sunday, December 30, 2007
How a ‘Wisp of a Girl’ Conquered Pakistan
WITH half her adult life spent either in exile or in prison, Benazir Bhutto might have lived like a medieval princess, but she died like an ordinary, modern Pakistani. When the assassin struck, Ms. Bhutto, the former prime minister, was doing what so many Pakistanis most love to do: electioneering. Two months earlier, when she had arrived in Karachi after eight years in exile, there were legitimate questions about her democratic credentials. Even her die-hard supporters were embarrassed by her blatant deal with Pakistan’s military ruler, President Pervez Musharraf, the very man who had publicly vowed that she would never return to the country.
Yet when she arrived at the Karachi airport, her reception was spectacular — the biggest street party the city had seen in decades. My friend Moeen Qureshi, a lapsed Bhutto supporter, took his children to the rally “just out of curiosity, to relive my youth.” Fortunately, he left before two suicide bombers struck her convoy, killing more than 130. “This woman,” Mr. Qureshi told his children as they later watched Ms. Bhutto on TV being sped away from the devastation, “is bulletproof Bhutto.”
Posted by Azra Raza at 10:31 AM | Permalink