Friday, December 28, 2007

Benazir's assassination: Terror takes a new turn in Pakistan

Till the day before yesterday, we had only 'suicide bomb' attacks. Yesterday, we saw for the first time a 'suicide gun and bomb attack'.

See video of the BBC report on the assassination here.

The game between terrorists and the state is one of improvisation. One tries to outwit the other. As Margret Thatcher said, a terrorist needs to be lucky only once, but others have to be lucky always.

Ever since Benazir Bhutto came back to Pakistan confronting headon explicit terror threat to her life, she has been lucky -- the closest she came to losing it was immediately upon her arrival when a suicide bomber killed scores except Benazir. Yesterday, an attacker improvised the cruel methodology, shot at her during the brief moments she emerged out of her secure van, and set off an explosion. Benazir's luck ran out.

Yesterday evening in my office, when I saw a colleague was rushing to our boss's cabin, I knew there was something major that had happened. "Bhutto has been killed," he blurted out. I couldn't believe that. The news spread all over within minutes. A strange sense of disbelief combined with shock descended, as we all looked at the streaming video on news channels.

One way Benazir was risking her life by doing what she did. But in another way, her return and willingness to be as close to the people, epitomised not just her faith in democracy but, more than that, her sense of conviction on what she believed in and her bravery. She was brave. She was brave to return to Pakistan in spite of threats. She was brave to campaign. She was brave in spite of the insecure environment. News reports had said she had even written to President Musharraf naming the people who were after her life after the first attack.

Will Pakistan be the same again? It's not the first political assassination or unnatural death of a Pakistan leader. Prime Minister Liaqat Ali was shot dead in 1951 -- very close to yesterday's incident. Pakistan has always been on the edge. And, that has never been a comfortable scenario for India, which has consistently taken huge blows because of the ideological turmoil within Pakistan.

Yesterday's turn is yet another new one. Pakistan will need radically new approaches to solve the unprecedented crisis it is facing. It's too complex an international issue that it'sn't easy to even suggest remedial measures. But now, it's a feeling of dreadful uncertainty of the future. One can only be hopeful that things would get better.


  1. She loved her country so much that she risked her life to return when she had a chance to stay back and lead the good life in London. That I think is the ultimate act of sacrifice and love. May her soul rest in peace and may the people of Pakistan recover from this tragic incident and take the course of their country and their future into their own hands.

  2. it is strange, she knew she was going to die, and sent out an email in advance. That she would die, whether it was by banging her head on the sun roof, bullet hit or sharpnel...she had the eerie feeling..she was one brave soul!!

  3. I wonder what will happen of Pakistan...such a failed state...Sigh!

  4. When US dished out a carrot to Benazir in the form of Prime Minister's chair, she could hardly resist the tempting offer. She paid the price for returning to anarchy-ridden Pakistan. From India's perspective, it doesn't matter who is at the helm in Pak –– Benazir, Bhutto, Sharif. Finally, with a bid to save their seat, they will all play into the hands of terrorists in Kashmir.

  5. we all agree that she was a very brave lady to have returned to pakistan to fight for democracy. but some times i wonder - was not discretion the better part of valour???

    if any body is interested to know the psychology behind such suicidal attacks, you may read my blog post with the same title, at

  6. Sorry. But after seeing the video of her speech that seemed more like an anti-India rhetoric, I was left wondering why so much brouhaha over the death of a Pakistani.

  7. Benazir is a brave soul indeed... its hard to place your life at stake, whatever the returns may be.

    Politics in Pakisthan is really getting foul, Im worried abt any impact it will have on our own Country, given the fact that we are neighbours.

  8. For haven sake..please think above all..she was a humen..we all shud feel sorry at her death...i wonder where humanity disappears..