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A Miserable Scene in Pakistan - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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In a dramatic scene, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in front of her supporters at a mass rally in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi. Pakistan is a country that has fallen captive to a terrifying trinity: religious extremism, outrageous tribalism and a military government. Pakistan is no longer able to run away from this monster that is throttling the country.

The assassination of Bhutto was an expected chapter in the history of a country torn apart by corruption, extremism and oppression, and segregation and discrimination between its people whether based on religion or even between followers of the same religion and sects such as Sunnis, Shia and Ismailis, whilst not forgetting the vast gap between the people of the Sindh, Punjab and Baluchistan provinces.

It is evident that many fingers could have pulled the trigger that killed Benazir Bhutto since the political map in Pakistan is changing. After the collapse of the extremist Taliban regime in Afghanistan, the main creators and supporters of which was the strong Pakistani military intelligence forces, Pakistan lost the traditional support of its Afghan neighbor and this was reflected “suddenly” in the number of consulates established by India and Iran in Afghanistan. The [Pakistani] intelligence services decided to resume its strong support of the Taliban thus paving the way for the Taliban’s return to power in a considerable part of Afghan territory. This extremist ghoul is in need of popular support and accordingly this led to the reemergence of Al Qaeda.

Ever since her exile began, Bhutto continued her threats against allowing any kind of relationship to be established between Pakistan and any extremist entity whether directly or indirectly. After her return [to Pakistan], her message against the Taliban, Al Qaeda and all of their supporters intensified.

The army will remain the chief ruler in Pakistan; this was confirmed when General Zia-ul-Haq returned to power via a bloody coup and when the unlawful execution of the most prominent political leader in the history of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Benazir’s father, took place despite international mediation by world leaders to stop this catastrophe. After that, Zia-ul-Haq had adopted an extremist approach and created a very tense atmosphere. He dragged the country into circles of violence that came with a heavy price and the country became an example of corruption, extremism and imprudent governance. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Indian neighbor progressed economically, socially and educationally without paying attention to the attempts of Pakistan to occupy the world with a futile arms race, (how could people rejoice the building of a nuclear missile whilst they suffered from hunger and prevailing tyranny?) or by supporting odd and suspicious separatist movements in Kashmir!

The death of Benazir Bhutto is the beginning of a new, but certainly not the last, chapter in the series of Pakistan’s endless failures.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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