Death of a Daughter

December 28, 2007 at 9:42 am | Posted in World + People + Events | Leave a comment
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Benazir Bhutto’s death came as a shock to me. It wasn’t as thought it was totally unexpected but, it was still a shock. She knew she was putting herself in danger the moment she decided to return to Pakistan. But she also knew that she wanted to secure her country’s future.

I can’t help but marvel at what a brave woman Benazir was. On the day of her arrival in Pakistan itself, there had been a suicide bombing which killed and injured several people. But she remained steadfast. Death had been familiar enough to her – I had read about how they hanged her father, and killed two of her brothers. And now herself.

Did she know that the same fate awaited her? In one of her interviews on BBC, she said that whatever happens, happens. It’s not in her hands. When her time comes, it will come and she will have to go. And she did. But she didn’t deserve to go like this. She was their only hope for a stable and secure future, a true democratic government.

What terrorism has demonstrated time and again is that humans will stop at nothing to secure their interests. How many lives are slaughtered in the effort, how many families ripped apart, it doesn’t matter to them. No, what matters is their goal. Their goal is as terrible as the means they employ to attain it. What do they attain? Violence breeds violence. Hatred breeds more hatred. Nothing can be achieved this way.

But what is Benazir’s legacy? I’d say that it is her willingness of self sacrifice. One of her friends recalls how she could switch from being the bubbly, pretty Asian girl of her Oxford years to the Prime Minister of a nation laden down with the gravitas of her office. The Benazir who refused to cry in front of the guards when led away from her father’s cell. She was a remarkable woman in many ways, being the first woman leader of an Islamic nation not the least of them.

In its obituary The Times said: ‘Pakistan’s most charismatic leader, the daughter of Pakistan, daughter of the Muslim world, championing modernity, a mix of east and west, rest in peace.’

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