Monday, December 31, 2007

Political Dynasties & Assassinations

Benazir Bhutto's assassination is very tragic and worthy of the strongest condemnation as she was murdered while engaged in a democratic process in Pakistan. In spite of increasing levels and sophistication of security arrangements, political assassinations have remained a sad fact of life for as far back as the recorded political history. Julius Caesar, Abraham Lincoln, Liaquat Ali Khan, Mohandas Gandhi, and Martin Luther King stand out on the list of the victims. Of particular note are the assassinations of leaders in political dynasties. Among those who have suffered the most in recent history, the two families that come to mind are the Nehru dynasty in India and the Kennedys in the United States.
Political dynasties are based on a strong emotional link with the people. These strong emotions are both positive and negative. While many love them dearly, a few hate them with equal passion and are willing to use violence to act out their hateful feelings. Benazir's father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's assassination was carried out in late 1970s using the court system in Pakistan and recoded as a lawful. Then her two brothers were killed in mysterious circumstances. The enemies of Benazir succeeded in their second attempt on her life on Dec 27, 2007. The other notable fact that characterizes such assassinations is the abundance of conspiracy theories. There are still many conspiracy theories about the JFK assassination four decades later. And, it's just starting to emerge that the Benazir Bhutto assassination is no exception. These theories are further heightened by the incompetent handling of the investigation by the government and the media fascination with conspiracy theories. The accusations and counter accusations have already started to fly among political rivals while an investigation is going on. In such an environment, this murder will probably remain a mystery in the minds of many of her supporters regardless of any inquiries, domestic or international. The Bhutto family refusal to allow any autopsy will ensure the mystery continues, if nothing else does.

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