Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Woman on a Mission

Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated. She was shot in the neck and chest as she left a rally delivering a campaign speech in the far north eastern corner of Pakistan, an area she was warned was most unsafe for her to appear.

Who is Benazir Bhutto? She was born in 1953, the daughter of a wealthy family, her father founded the Pakistani Peoples Party, a Prime Minister himself, and the sister of two murdered brothers. This political family was no stranger to the dangers of trying to bring a form of western democracy to a Muslim world. Her father was kicked out of office under charges of corruption and was executed.

Bhutto was Prime Minister twice. She was the first female leader of a country in the Muslim world. Looking for a true feminist role model for young girls in today's world? Here's one for you. Unlike the failed feminist movement in our country, this woman was active on behalf of women around the world. She was a woman with a mission.

Bhutto strongly believed it was her obligation to return to Pakistan, after many years living out of the country due to the political unrest, and devote the rest of her life to bringing about political change. She was imprisoned for many years in Pakistan after her terms in office, most of them spent in solitary confinement. She was a strong woman.

She was only a couple of years older than me and I followed her life with great interest. She fascinated me as a woman in the political world within the Muslim world. She was a voice for democracy. She loved the West and America in particular. She was educated at Oxford University and Harvard University. Before returning for the final time to her homeland, in October, she visited Washington, D.C. and met with leaders there. She did lots of interviews with news outlets and spoke of her upcoming return to Pakistan. She wanted to return to the leadership of Pakistan and challenged Musharraf.

The Pakistani election is due to be held on January 8.

Islamic fanatics were determined to kill her. To them, she was an embarrassment to Islam. She was a strong, educated, determined woman and they wanted no part of that.

She was held under house arrest under the auspices of protection not long after she returned to Pakistan in October. Musharraf knew of the threats to her life and didn't want her to travel to the region she was in today. It can also be said he put her under house arrest for his own selfish political reasons.

She was shot in the neck and chest, and a suicide bomber detonated himself after that. Many rally goers were killed from the bomb.

She had a beautiful face and a calm manner about herself. I was always so impressed with her aura of calmness as she must have been screaming on the inside. She knew she was in grave danger. She went home anyway. She was a warrior for democracy.

She was a woman on a mission.


Ottavio (Otto) Marasco said...

Good posting Karen!

The news came as a shock but we should not be surprised. Looks like the peace religion struck again...As I wrote on another blog, this complicates matters for the Bush administration which assisted her campaign of late.

There is no clear-cut Pakistani leader that doesn’t have some blood on their hands ; it’s a worry…

Ron Simpson said...

I am not suprised that they finally got her. You are right. She was a real icon for the females of the world. Our feminist are just angry spoiled brats compared to her.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

She was a warrior for democracy.

She definitely possessed the courage of her convictions; knowing full well that her life was in constant danger from Islamic extremists. A true leader. May she rest in peace.

Stylin said...

She was tough and she was a woman.Pakistan needed her.

Anonymous said...

I didn't watch the news all week at my parent's house, and yet something made me turn on the TV and turn to a 'round the clock network less than an hour after her murder. I was devastated. Ironically, I had also just picked up a new 'More' magazine, featuring an interview with her.

This world we live in is incomprehensible sometimes.