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.