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 DEATH OF A BRAVE WOMEN

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MAJOR(R)KHALID NASR
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PostSubject: DEATH OF A BRAVE WOMEN   Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:31 am

skip to nav Sign in | Create an account Death of a brave woman dogged by corruption



Benazir Bhutto, assassinated in Pakistan, was bold, but flawed, says simon scott plummer

Benazir Bhutto can be criticised for arrogance, corruption and administrative incompetence. Whatever her weaknesses, however, her physical courage was not in doubt. Attempting to restore democracy in the maelstrom of Pakistani politics, she knew exactly the danger she faced from her fundamentalist foes.

Bhutto's assassination deprives the international political scene of one of its most colourful personalities. Educated at Harvard and Oxford, where she was president of the Union, she was driven into public life by the hanging of her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, in 1979. When his executioner, General Zia ul-Haq, was killed in an air crash in 1988, she became the first democratically elected female leader of a Muslim state.

Her two terms as prime minister dismally failed to fulfil that promise. In the first, her room to manoeuvre was tightly circumscribed



Bhutto’s two terms as prime minister dismally failed to fulfil her promise
by the military, who in 1990 engineered her sacking by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan on corruption charges.

In the second (1993-96) she was more her own woman but continued to be dogged by allegations of corruption. In the end, she was dismissed by her own appointee, President Farukh Legari.

After General Pervez Musharraf had seized power in 1999, she and her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, were sentenced to five years in jail and fined $8.6m for allegedly taking kickbacks from a Swiss company, a sentence overturned as biased by a higher court.

Benazir, who was overseas at the time of her conviction, did not go back to Pakistan, instead dividing her time between Dubai and London. It was only in October, after lengthy negotiations with General Musharraf, that she returned home to fight an election at the head of the Pakistan People's Party.

Her triumphal reception in Karachi was quickly blighted by suicide bomb attacks which killed 139 people. With hindsight, this was an ominous dress rehearsal for what happened in Rawalpindi.

FIRST POSTED DECEMBER 27, 2007



Related links Related Links
The return of Bhutto
The former prime minister of Pakistan returns from self-imposed exile
October: scores killed as Bhutto returns
Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto escapes an earlier assassination attempt
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January 21, 2008

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