Just days after the murder of the artist Gulgee and his wife, Benazir Bhutto has been gunned down.
I was in elementary school when one-time prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was executed under General Zia’s martial law in April 1979. Less than a decade later Benazir Bhutto took on the mantle of her father and became prime minister in 1988. Towards the end of the first decade of the 2000s, Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated. I haven’t been following her family much, but this would be the ideal way for the dynastic politics to continue.
Bhutto was not my favorite politician, nor was she a person of great charisma or outstandingly relevant politics. She is suspected of numerous crimes, financial and others, against the nation. But she was the prime minister of Pakistan when I was 20 years old, and her existence is etched upon my mind – and her death is necessarily a shock. Though I wasn’t an admirer, a woman head of state was still a tremendous statement in our everyday lives. Electing a woman head of state is something many, many other nations have yet to achieve, and my country achieved this in spite of enormous challenges.
We remember this today, as we mourn the circumstances in Pakistan that make such events possible and oddly unsurprising today. As a friend has reminded me, Pakistan needs our prayers today more than ever.