Sunday, November 11, 2007

Is Benazir Bhutto the Chosen One?

In an interesting NY Times story of Nov 11, 2007 about Benazir Bhutto, a friend of BB is quoted as saying: "She believes she is the chosen one, that she is the daughter of Bhutto and everything else is secondary". Times goes on to say: "Ms. Bhutto calls herself chairperson for life of the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party, a seemingly odd title in an organization based on democratic ideals and one she has acknowledged quarreling over with her mother, Nusrat Bhutto, in the early 1990s".
Such a sense of entitlement is representative of her feudal thinking and it offers no comfort to those looking to bring any semblance of democracy to Pakistan with BB as the head of a civilian government.
As to her popularity, Times story goes on as follows: "Saturday night at the diplomatic reception, Ms. Bhutto showed how she could aggrandize. Three million people came out to greet her in Karachi on her return last month, she said, calling it Pakistan’s “most historic” rally. In fact, crowd estimates were closer to 200,000, many of them provincial party members who had received small amounts of money to make the trip." And yet, Washington and London back her as their choice to lead a "secular, democratic government". I fear that it is more likely to be just a repeat of her last two terms as prime minister of highly corrupt and imperious governments with rampant lawlessness that characterized them.
The understandable outcry against Musharraf's emergency rule and a real yearning for "democracy" may yet again bring severe disappointment to people of Pakistan. Unfortunately, there seem to be no good options for this nation of 160 million people. I have a feeling that any change now may either be worse than the status quo or more of the same.

No comments: