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World View: Pakistan Commemorates 5th Anniversary of Benazir Bhutto's Murder

World View: Pakistan Commemorates 5th Anniversary of Benazir Bhutto's Murder

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This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Benazir Bhutto’s son launches political career in midst of Pakistan’s political chaos
  • Pakistan has a new ‘hope and change’ candidate, Maulana Tahirul Qadri

Benazir Bhutto’s son launches political career in midst of Pakistan’s political chaos

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (R) with his father, President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan (BBC)
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (R) with his father, President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan (BBC)

It’s been exactly five years since Pakistan’s popular former primeminister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated (From 2007: “Benazir Bhutto killed by suicide bomber after election rally in Rawalpindi”.) She had beenfavored to win the office of Prime Minister again in elections twoweeks later. Bhutto was well-known internationally, and the scenariothat Western countries have been hoping for was that Bhutto as PrimeMinister would work closely with President Pervez Musharraf, and thatbetween them they would restore stability to the country. Bhutto’sassassination only destabilized Pakistan further, and a large part ofthe population blamed the Bhutto’s death on the government and thearmy for not protecting her from terrorists. Moreover, her deathpropelled her widowed husband, Asif Ali Zardari, into the presidency.

On Thursday, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the 24 year old son of BenazirBhutto and Asif Ali Zardari, commemorated the anniversary of hismother’s murder by launching his own political career. In his30-minute televised speech, delivered alongside his mother’s tomb, herecalled not only the death of his mother, but also the death of hisgrandfather, who was hanged by a former military ruler. He said:

“I am the heir to the martyr. If you kill one Bhutto,there will be a Bhutto in every house.

Bhutto is not a name, it is an obsession, a passion, a love. Youcan chain our feet to the ground but we will still keepmoving.”

There will be new elections, probably in May, but Bilawal will not beold enough to run for office until September, so there is talk ofpostponing the elections until them. Daily Times (Lahore) and Reuters

Pakistan has a new ‘hope and change’ candidate, Maulana Tahirul Qadri

I’ve frequently written about former Pakistani cricket superstar ImranKhan, once voted as the “Sexiest Man of The Year” by AustraliaMagazine Oz, who has become an anti-American “hope and change”Pakistani politician who hopes to win the 2013 elections. (See “Hope and change Pakistan candidate Imran Khan draws huge crowd in Karachi” from November 2011.)He drew crowds of hundreds of thousands in campaign appearances inwhich he blamed the Taliban and al-Qaeda linked terrorist attacks inPakistan on the United States war on terror, and promised to end allsuch relations with the U.S.

Now there’s a new “hope and change” candidate, Dr. Maulana TahirulQadri. He’s not nearly as sexy as Khan, but he’s a highly respectedSufi scholar, and he has a different solution to the problem ofTaliban terrorist in Pakistan: Instead of ending relations with theU.S., he’s declaring a jihad against terrorism — though he has yet tolay out a road map for how he plans to accomplish his jihad.

While Khan drew crowds of hundreds of thousands, Qadri drew crowds ofmillions in a rally last weekend in Lahore. Even so, Qadri does notyet have the stature to achieve his stated goals. The News (Pakistan) and Kuna (Kuwait)

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