Friday, December 28, 2007

a tragic loss

during another bout with insomnia, i turned to my tried and trusted cure, late night cable TV. though unlike a fellow blogger out there that has more interesting stories happening even in his episodes of sleeplessness, my only way of "spicing things up" is if i chance upon a nice show to watch till it lulls me to la-la land.

though this method of mine had proved effective for the past couple of weeks, last night was an exception since instead of falling asleep, what i saw jolted me to an instant state of alertness.

last evening, after coming from a political rally for pakistan's upcoming elections, benazir bhutto was gruesomely murdered. a suicide bomber found his way close enough to the former pakistani prime minister's convoy and shot her in the neck, after which, he blew himself up, killing 20 other people with him.

i found myself speechless after seeing the news. i was switching channels from CNN and the BBC trying to gather as much from the events as they unfolded. the images were sorrowful and the reports, absolutely shocking. i just found myself asking why does such violence exist in the world. either it was the sleepless night's that was talking but i felt a cocktail of emotions springing up. i was angry and saddened for the most part since i always believed that murder is the gravest sin, whatever the reason.

benazir bhutto came from a dynasty of politicians in pakistan, that being said means that her life had its share of violence as well. her father was executed by the former military regime and two of her brothers were also both assassinated. she became the prime minister of pakistan on two consecutive terms but was deposed when the military took over, under the leadership of incumbent president pervez musharraf. she and her husband went on self exile after being charged with graft and corruption, which were never proven. in london, washington and in dubai, where she stayed, she waited for the day when she can once again return to pakistan and reinstate democracy, her objective from the start.

her wish finally came true when the current government struck a deal with her. plagued with social and political unrest as well as failed attempts to control extremism, the current government agreed to drop all charges against her and allow her back in the country. there were also talks of power sharing until a proper elections would take place. she flew back to pakistan in full knowledge that doing so would put her life and her family at risk since she was diving into the hornet' nest. true enough, though her return was greeted by a celebratory frenzy by her supporters, it also triggered a blood bath of violence from those who thought otherwise. the ensuing violence put pakistan in a state of emergency, giving musharraf unlimited power despite talks of power sharing. the situation seems to be spiraling out of control. but after months of vigilance from the opposition and international pressure, the state of emergency was abolished, giving again hope for a new order.

but somehow, someone out there believed that the new order cannot involve bhutto. either it be some personal grudge or the fact that she was a woman set to rule (popular polls show bhutto to be the most likely winner), she had to be stopped.... at all costs.

though i am the last one to talk about polictics, much more about international affairs, the events that have transpired affected me more than i expected. the tragedy that happened to bhutto, like the murders of yitzak rabin and the sudden loss of princess diana evoke the same sense of sorrow, and shock i suppose. the sheer suddenness of the events would account for the shock, most especially with such highly popular characters such as these. but i am still puzzled by the sorrow. i guess any loss of human life, be you a popular figure or not deserves at least the mourning of one. the sorrow i guess is also for the human soul, a reminder of the extremes of sacrifice people will do for their beliefs.

Benazir Bhutto (1953 - 2007)

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