Thursday, December 27, 2007

On Bhutto's Assassination

She is dead now. That's about all that is absolutely certain.

Was she the U.S. plant in Pakistani politics as many believe? And if so, was she the candidate of all power-brokers in the Bush administration or not? Was her return to Pakistan orchestrated in order to keep the pro-American sentiment alive? Was her death the greatest diplomatic blunder of all?

These are the kinds of questions I have been reading about the Bhutto assassination. I also saw her being called "a Westernized cunt" in a comments thread, where the comment was intended to be sarcastic, to sum her up the way she supposedly would be viewed in Pakistan.

Layers upon layers, as always, but underneath all of them is that awkward aspect of gender. She may well have been corrupt as a leader, but then how much choice do we have on that count in Pakistan? And she may well have been a pawn for the American chess-game, but then who is not? Did she really have no Pakistani support? I doubt that. Yet somehow everything I have read about her is reflected through that gender prism, made larger, more glaring, more suspicious somehow.

Why did she return to Pakistan? Was she really that power-hungry as many have argued? Or did she have deeper reasons for returning? Love of her country? Democracy?

And the question I can't help wondering about: Did she know that she was making a date with death?