By Geoffrey Cook, MMNS
December 31st, 2007–Santa Rosa (Calif.)–I did not think I would be writing on Pakistan for quite some time, but on the morning of December 27th we all woke to the devastating news of the assignation of the Former Prime Minister and leader of the Pakistan People Party (PPP), Benazir Bhutto, whose Party was expected to win the legislative elections. At the moment order is breaking down to mayhem, murder and arson. Riots are breaking out all over, and the country could fracture into civil war.
I have a video of the press statement she made for Al Jazeera television the morning after (i.e., the October twenty-ninth 2007 — [the first] attempt on her life) to better understand her political courage and ideology.
The press conference was more of a speech than a press session. She began with a note of sarcasm: â€œNo one can attack womenâ€¦[and innocent people]. Both the police and her bodyguardsâ€¦[saved her],â€ but she did not blame the Government although Benazir was critical of the civic security. This is an important statement on her feelings on who might have been guilty of her death two months later. â€œMy faith was [my] trust in God!â€ That attack was a suicide attempt, too.
â€œThe bombs were so strong that they could have destroyed the truck I was onâ€¦It was a dastardly attack!..The [martyred] security guards were the flower of our nation!..We shall always remember them!â€
Our enemies â€œâ€¦are militants!â€ (This is a telling declaration on who might have been responsible. Therefore, â€œI support our heroes!â€
The majority of â€œthis great land of ours arenâ€™t militantsâ€¦[they] wish to buildâ€ a moderate nation. â€œWe want to build a democracy,â€ and â€œwant to avoid bloodshed.â€ Further she exclaimed, â€œI want to save Pakistan!â€ (This expression of duteous destiny is, also, quite telling of her vision of her part in the nationâ€™s potential.)
With full wisdom, â€œâ€¦it was an attempt by the enemies of Islam.â€ (Bhutto had always opposed the Islamists, and they probably had a role in some way in her murder. Both Pakistani and American intelligence warned her of threats from Al Qaedaand the Taliban.)
Now, after her assassination, many people blame the Government, and there is talk of exhuming her body to determine the truths of the various claims although the police and her family have opposed this.
She concluded her remarks to the press of last October with, â€œDespite the night â€¦[there is] the triumph of the morning!â€
I have gone back to this press conference after her first assassination attempt in an effort to understand her bravery and ideology that left to her death.
The latest report is that the PPP (Pakistan Peopleâ€™s Party) has met to determine the future course of the Party without her.
Benazir was acutely aware of her likely assassination. Her political will was read to the Party faithful yesterday (Dec. 30th), and her 19-year-old son with her husband has been named Chairmen of the Party.
Nawaz Sharif visited her resting place today leading to the possibility of the two major Parties contesting the elections together, and the contests will probably be postponed up to a month.
In the meantime Pakistan is burning to the joy of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, and without Pakistan, Americaâ€™s War Against Terror is lost. Islamabadâ€™s crisis is far from over!