Benazir Bhutto’s death mourned by the Boston community

Benazir Bhutto had visited the Boston Pakistani and Pakistani-American community several times over the past several decades. Over time she had developed friendships, and strong political support from some of her friends here. I was not a big fan of her politics, but I also got a chance to meet her on some such occasions in Boston. She walked with grace and had a band of followers who stood close by wherever she went. She spoke fluently (at least in English) and said pretty much what she thought her typical US based audiences would like to hear: democracy, women’s rights, poverty, progressiveness. When politely confronted for her shortcomings, she would equally politely refute them, and carry on with her speeches on injustices meted out to her and her family.

But now she is no more. The Boston Pakistani community came together yesterday to grieve and pray for her soul at a gathering held at the Islamic Center of Boston-Wayland (see Boston Globe write up).

Adil Najam led a discussion after the ceremony and the community shared their thoughts on this occasion. People remembered their interaction with her, her grace and determination to go back and take her rightful place as a democratic leader of Pakistan, her defiance of all odds against her life in the past but succumbing this time, her being upset at not being given a chance by the military to complete her last 2 tenures as prime ministers, her realization of the trust and support she had lost due to allegations of corruption in her government, whet her death meant for Pakistan, was this a Kennedy momnt where the idea of Bhutto could live on for something positive, who would take leadership now, etc.

Most importantly we were all reminded how afraid and scared we all are now that this has happened. Adil Asked us an important question: Why did we all feel literally/physically shaken when we heard the news? and would we not have felt the same had the news been about General Musharraf or Nawaz Sharif? His answer was yes, we would have felt the same, and we were shaking because we had realized how violent our society had actually become. What is this culture of violence, especially political violence as a legitimate tool, that we have bred amongst us. It is haunting us from one end of the country to another, and threatens the very unity of our federation. Adil had ominous words for the audience: There is 40/60 chance that Pakistan’s unity will threatened as a result of this death. And the worrisome part – he didn’t know which had the 60% probability!

4 Responses to Benazir Bhutto’s death mourned by the Boston community

  1. Gibson Block says:

    I was really shocked and upset by her assassination. Perhaps because I had always struck by her beauty. Recently, however, when I heard her interviewed she seemed a bit haughty. I’m wondering how she came across in personal meetings. Also, Tariq Ali seems to accuse her of being a party to the killing of her older brother. Is that something you guys discussed?

  2. Tuntematon says:

    Armored SUV with sun roof, is this a joke or what. Even the Pope uses his see thru Pope mobile to greet his flock. Was Ms. Bhutto so naive or just miscalculate the threat, or just paving the way for her son.
    The Queen is dead, Long live the King.

    Bhutto and democracy, an oxymoron, a joke. Its Nepotism and kleptocracy at its best.
    which is defined in as:
    patronage bestowed or favoritism shown on the basis of family relationship, as in business and politics: She was accused of nepotism when she made her teenage son Chairman of BPP. Bhutto’s People Party.

    I assume either you are real naive, or just a real royalist waiting for a payback time.

    I do not buy the notion of The ultimate sacrifce, which was made by the people of Pakistan who got killed and their properties burned.

    Just think about it. This can olny happen in country ridden by great loyalist one like yourself.
    Immagine someone like yourself one day
    some wise gay from Harvard advising George Bush to appoint daughters Jenna and Barbara as the next Pres. and VP of THE USA, and why not Bill Clinton just appointing his daughter as the next President. At least these women have now some kind of college degrees. I also just wonder the US media not to say any word on such kind of gruesome nepotism.

  3. mcbaldwin says:

    Here’s a video about Pakistan that might amuse you:


  4. Sena Pazderski says:

    Twitter drives MOST traffic to my sites

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