Benazir Bhutto Assassinated.

Now that came as a bit of surprise. All the astrologers predicting repeatedly that Musharraf was the one going to be assassinated…. all the cloak-and-dagger attempts on his life ever since he took over….

Or not.

What a Shame. All over again.

About wanderlust

just your average books-and-music person who wants to change the world.
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16 Responses to Benazir Bhutto Assassinated.

  1. yeah – it was out of the blue. Today mng took the tiems and saw a BIG ad, and on the next page, this news. man, how can they print full page ads when something like this happens..i know times is a paper for timepass, but still.. it was mor eshocking..

  2. sudarshna says:

    benazir bhutto will now be one of those people loved,admired and praised in death rather while alive,which ofcourse she did not anyway deserve much.

  3. wanderlust says:

    I don’t see anything wrong in carrying the ad… cmon it’s not like mahatma gandhi has died. and they did dedicate three entire pages to discussing benazir, her family and what a nice person she was, and how her death is a big big loss.
    yeah, definitely! the way karan thapar was discussing her last evening you’d think she was an angel or india’s best hope or something on those lines… let’s not forget this is the woman who promised a thousand-year war with India. If she was assassinated by the taliban, all that comes to mind is the legend of bhasmasura.
    and while it surely is a great thing that she being a woman ruled a muslim-majority country, it made no difference; she did nothing much to better the lot of women in her country.
    still… what a way to go… reaffirms my belief that bombastic death can certainly bring the glory plain living could not.
    i can see it ten years from now, the “good” parts of her interviews telecast on her death anniversary… her name being upheld as an apostle or better still, a symbol of democracy, worldwide.. maybe there’ll be bhuttoism or something like that? And then there’ll also be conspiracy theorists and iconoclasts who assert that she was nothing but another corrupt politician…..too familiar a tale.

  4. ish says:

    Definitely shocking but blown way way out of proportion. But India has a history over sensationalizing assassinations anyway. I don’t know if Nawaz Sharif was as sad as he looked on television. He was looking like he had lost a close relative or something.

  5. Seriously, what a shame. And what a brilliant novel that.
    Like I have said this before to another friend, what the whole incident, while absolutely condemnable and heartrending, does to Bhutto’s personality is something that a long political career would probably not have. It made her a martyr.
    That she was going to lose the elections was a given, what with Musharraf being Musharraf and all that. Now, she will be the face of democracy, something terribly unjustified. Have we all not heard of authentic reports that spoke of a power-sharing agreement between Ms Bhutto and Musharraf, mediated by the USA? The turn of events in Pakistan post the election, in the absence of this assassination, would have been most fascinating. We would then have known the real implications of Benazir’s return to Pakistan. Now, she is without justification going to be feted as “the woman that struggled until her last breath for what was closest to her heart – Democracy in Pakistan”, by all news channels. (who for some reason are tolerant to well-bred, propah, articulate dictators. Modi – No no; Musharraf pre-Emergency – charming General.)
    Nawaaz Sharif will of course leave the country. But my conspiracy theory infested mind tells me it is his doing, this whole assassination. This way, his only democratic rival is out of the way, the public will of course think it is Mush’s work, and if at all there is an election happening, Nawaz will win with an overwhelming majority, all riding on the fact that the PPP’s leader died fighting for democracy as also the public’s steadfast refusal of Musharraf’s continued regime. To me, it seems like a plan. What unfolds in Pakistan next will be the stuff John Le Carre will be proud of.

    And yes, it is Shame all over again. And again, what a brilliant book that.

  6. Arjun says:

    The Monkey man sums it up well here. And packs in a neat little conspiracy theory too. Though I personally doubt that Sharif had either the acumen or the resources to carry out the operation described.

    Some others are unfolding in my house too. Visiting relatives, upon watching the Pak interior minister announce that Benazir, the involuntary martyr, had died of skull fractures from shrapnel, pounced upon the mysterious ‘man inside the car’ who had shot her. How else could you explain this dramatic contradiction of yesterday’s first-hand evidence? I mean, the car was bullet-proof, gunshots were heard, she died. It only needs the putting of two and two together, doesn’t it?

    Yes, my relatives are quite sharp at sniffing out random conspiracies.

    Speaking of Shame, I went and bought that book at the Strand festival today. Harish reckons this is because I saw the name here and I am easily influenced by everything I read.

  7. Arjun says:

    Though this is totally unrelated to your post, I found many Rushdie books today at Chinnaswamy stadium. ‘Shame’ ‘East, west’ ‘The ground beneath her feet’ ‘Grimus’ and, of course, ‘Midnight’s children.’ (Didn’t buy them all, though). Found Vonnegut also. You might want to go tomorrow or the day after and get them.

  8. The last I heard, the car was not bulletproof. The Minister of course repeated the shrapnel theory (in very poor English) way too many times, like he had to convince people of something terribly false. So, the whole “Man Inside The Car” theory may be true after all. AND, given the madness that is Pakistan’s current socio-political scenario, I would assume it takes very little resources to arrange for a couple AK 47’s, a pistol, and well, a suicide bomber. So, my “Nawaaz Is The Man” theory holds too. The man may be exhibiting signs of “Smashaana Vyraagya” now, claiming to not fight elections and all that bull, but just you wait and see how he’ll flip.

    The Strand Book Festival was a farce the last time. There was some 10% off on books about Earthworm Cooking and Mediterranean Homes. And that’s that. But there were these small 64 page hardbound books for 15 Rupees apiece that made for good birthday presents. I bought 19 of them and have given away none.
    If one wants to buy Rushdies, the best place is Blossom of course. I found second-hands of most of his books there, including Shame (150 bucks! God, I would spend money like that on no one else). If anybody finds “East, West”‘s secondhand copies, pliss to inform me.

  9. wanderlust says:

    @spunky monkey:
    at present, all the concerned parties seem to gain from benazir’s death – sharif, coz he has no rival as of now (but what if fatima bhutto or some successor of benazir cashes in on the sympathy wave), musharraf coz the US would have surely used benazir to exert more control over pakistan, and the terrorists for obvious reasons.
    listening to benazir’s rhetoric, im inclined to disagree with you that she stood no chance – she was the only one condemning terrorism in such strong terms.
    and strangely, I found barkha dutt discussing with mani shankar aiyar and brajesh mishra whether her death was making benazir seem larger than life, and what she would _really_ have meant for India had she lived.
    it strikes me our media, biased though it might be, would have torn the prez and the interior minister to shreds had this happened in India.
    sharif… seems as unreliable, that man. I have a strong feeling this was planned by the ISI… after all, not a flea can fly in pakistan without the pawprints of the ISI on it. So maybe musharraf is another puppet now, and sharif too getting his cut, and that’s why he’s running away under the guise of “boycott”.
    surprising there were no bodyguards… for someone as paranoid as benazir about being assassinated.
    and the letter accusing musharraf of being responsible… strikes me as Baazigar, where srk kills shilpa shetty and posts her suicide note.
    and the movie comparisons aren’t over yet.. that terrorist who escaped while being escorted – apparently some uncle of his surfaced, and asked the policeman/whoever to use his SUV instead of the official vehicle coz it’s more comfortable, then they ask to go to a mosque, they let the uncle and the criminal go in, even removing his handcuffs, and they wait for ten minutes outside, and when they go in, they see he’s run out through the backdoor. I’ve seen this in some Tamil movie where vadivelu is a bumbling cop, only difference from this was that this is a comedy scene in the movie.
    maybe it was due to the _entire_ situation? I mean, pak unrest, bhutto killed…. I surely want to read the book now more than i did before.
    @spunky monkey:
    ISI is a better bet. Maybe sharif _and_ ISI. maybe ISI wants sharif as a figurehead. Maaaan… this is turning into one of those mysteries of history like Mary Celeste or Mata Hari, or Subhas Bose’s death (btw, there claim to be a few people who claim to have evidence that Nehru was scared of Bose becoming the PM instead of him, and so with the compliance of Mountbatten, asked Stalin to take him away to a Russian concentration camp where he spent the rest of his life).
    Strand is okay now.. I got Haroun and the Sea of Stories at 25% and Back on the Road by Guevara at 50% off. But if you really want a lot of choice, this is definitely not the place.
    hmm… but blossoms does sound inviting.

  10. wanderlust says:

    another angle i came across on this blog… Al Qaeda has no mailing address… so… maybe the taliban dudes are too wondering what’s going on… or maybe they are gonna use this to blackmail Mush or the ISI into submission…. seem to be no dearth of possiblities here… hell, there’s a bestseller novel in all this waiting to be written.

  11. Arjun says:

    [Monkey]150? I spent 300 on ‘Shame.’ After discount. I’ve been had, haven’t I?

    The relationship between the Taliban and the Pakistani leadership has always been suspect. We never know whether they’re really good friends pretending to be at odds or whether the Pak leadership is actually trying to root them out. Tne Talihban may control all the powerful mullahs in Pakistan and one of them might have bumped off this foreign-educated, Westernised woman pretender-to-the-throne. I mean, that’s the greatest threat to them, isn’t it? A woman in power. Had Benazir been a man, I don’t think she would have been blown up. Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif survive yet.

    Maybe there were no bodyguards because Benazir thought she was the Gandhi of Pakistan and would be loved and protected wherever she went. Also, she said she ‘had to take risks.’

    The wiki-type underscoring for italics doesn’t seem to work here. Maybe the will.

  12. Arjun says:

    Sorry that last bit got screwed up. The “” works.

  13. wanderlust says:

    gandhi of pakistan.. I don’t think the lady was that deluded.. think she knew or atleast had a slight inkling of what she was up against. She was i guess the only candidate who spoke out so bravely against terror… her last speech has her saying something like “outsiders are saying pak is plagued by terrorism. They want to come here and rid it for us. Why, i ask, should others come here for that? we’ll all fight it together… i’ll fight, you’ll fight… we’ll all fight” And that was rhetoric, but anyone would be swayed by that powerful and earnest-seeming a speech.
    woman, yeah maybe, but i think the main problem was that she was a US agent… too westernized for her own good.. imran khan might have a brit wife and all, but he got her to convert, and wear a burqa… “”that’s”” why he wasn’t in danger that way.

    on a different note, there’s an unexpected gainer from all this – penguin publishers, and salman rushdie. Today I did go to Strand, and I find ALL copies of “”Shame”” are sold out!!!! howzzat. so many folks are suddenly curious about Virgin Ironpants.

  14. Shayon says:

    It’s a shame that such an incident would’ve occurred. It now seems to be for the better that Bhutto had been out of the country all this while. She’d been so caring for her countrymen, all her life, and this is what she gets in return.

    Just posted a video on her life and a few words too on my blogpage at

    Hope you give it a visit.


  15. Arjun – Yes, you have been had.

    Talking of Virgin Ironpants, there are so many things in the book that make you regret you do not know Pakistani politics enough. That it is essentially about the relationship between ZA Bhutto and Zia ul Haq is obvious, but there are so many subplots which I am sure are allegories but don’t quite know who is being referred to where. Like I said, it makes you want to know Pakistani politics more.
    Just like Dave Barry Slept Here or 1066 And All That makes you wish you knew American and British history better.

  16. wanderlust says:

    @spunky monkey:
    that’s true of every rushdie book. I felt Midnight’s Children was too simplistic the way I understood it, and constantly feel there’s something more that I’m missing.
    Currently I’m reading The Ground Beneath Her Feet. I _used to_ feel i knew a fair amount of beatles and Queen trivia, but now i’m not being able to figure out who is what, though the lead character is based on Elvis, Lennon and Freddie Mercury.
    Satanic Verses, I felt, is the one least like that.
    At Strand, I found a “Guide to Rushdie’s works”…. what more can I say.

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