Posted by: uss017 | December 13, 2007

Benazir Bhutto’s passing away

Assalam Alaikum

Let me first of all begin with condolences to the family and friends of Benazir Bhutto. I think that everyone, including those (such as myself) who staunchly opposed her, feel very sad at her passing away in this manner. Certainly this act will have a very negative affect upon Pakistani politics. No matter how much we may dislike her politics, Benazir Bhutto was our former prime minister, elected twice, and for this reason alone she deserves our respect.

As Muslims, we are to say the following words when someone passes away: Inna Lillahe wa inna elahe rajion. Translation: “To God we belong and to Him is our return”.

Secondly, when a Muslim passes away, we are to pray to God to forgive and overlook whatever sins he or she may have committed, to accept their good deeds and to reward them for these by giving them a place in Paradise.

Third, what is done is done. History cannot be changed. We are also taught to hide/cover any alleged ill-deeds committed by a person, even if genuine, once they have passed away. They are to be ignored, and, as Muslims, we should only pray to God to do Justice. We should remember the deceased for the good they did, even if minute. Benazir Bhutto is now with God and we pray that God forgives her and grants her Paradise. She will be held accountable in the Highest Court for whatever she has done, good or bad, as indeed will all of us when our time comes. As a result, I have decided to remove from this blog all entries of corruption charges against Benazir Bhutto. This is not because I think the charges are false, but simply because she is no more with us and our duty now is to pray for her.

Of course, I realize that a person such as Benazir Bhutto cannot be beyond critique. It would be impossible for us to avoid criticising some of her policies and actions simply due to the position of influence she held. However, this can be done in a sober and polite manner. Islamically it is best to avoid dwelling on the bad points now, but should one criticise then it should be done sensibly and with respect.

Let me know if there is anything that I missed, any comment you find offensive, and I will remove that as well.

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I will now comment upon some of the stuff I’ve seen while flipping through a number of news channels, both Pakistani and Western.

I will begin by summarising the current state of affairs. In the aftermath of Benazir Bhutto’s killing, PPP activists throughout the country have gone wild creating mayhem and conducting large scale looting in Pakistan.

According to the latest reports, throughout Pakistan, in places such as Karachi, Lahore, Hyderabad, Quetta, Multan, and many other locations, PPP activists are burning cars, trucks, tyres and rickshaws; forcing the closure of shops; attacking police and even some police stations; burning and looting government buildings and banks; firing indiscriminately in a number of places and upon any perceived enemy; and attacking just about anyone who comes their way. The province of Sindh, in particular, is on fire. In Karachi around 7 – 15 people have already been killed in riots and firing. Over a hundred banks, including various other buildings, have been looted and burnt. All banks in Larkana have been burnt. More than 500 cars have been burnt in Karachi alone and hundreds burnt in Hyderabad and other locations. In many instances the car occupants have been beaten up and shot at. Hundreds of shops have been burnt. At least 3 railway stations have been burnt, trains have been burnt, one school has been burnt, and hundreds of buildings have been burnt. Furthermore, some prisons have been broken into and hundreds of criminals are now on the loose! The situation is so bad in Sindh, especially in Karachi, that the authorities have advised the public to remain indoors. The army has been ordered to restore the law and order situation throughout Pakistan and shoot the terrorists and trouble makers on sight.

Why are so many PPP activists indulging in these shameful, cheap and crazy acts? Should they not behave in an admirable and Islamic manner to show how different they are from the low life scum extremists who commit suicide attacks? PPP activists are only harassing the innocent and damaging the property of their own country. They are unleashing their anger upon the innocent. Will burning our own property, beating up the innocent people, and harming our own country change what has happened? Why do so many of us unleash our wrath upon items and individuals which had nothing whatsoever to do with the cause of our grievance?

All those who are burning cars, buildings, robbing banks, and killing others, are severely damaging Pakistan not only financially but also politically. They are an enemy of the nation! This madness needs to end immediately.

What is the point of all this hooliganism and jaahiliya (ignorance)? According to my own contacts in Karachi, people are advised to remain in doors in places such as Korangi due to the mayhem taking place outside on the streets. One person I know had to take refuge in a friend’s house with her baby because it was not possible and safe for her to drive home. Another risked his life to rescue his relatives in an area where intense firing was taking place. Another contact informed me that in the village of their domestic servant in the Sindh province, members of the PPP broke into a wedding celebration, cut off the village’s electricity supply, beat some people up, and ordered that the wedding could not take place for forty days. When the villagers appealed to the police for assistance, the PPP members threatened dire consequences. Imagine how many similar types of incidents must be taking place in Pakistan, particularly in rural Sindh. In fact, such incidents are now occurring in Karachi. I know of a couple of wedding engagements which were stopped by PPP activists who threatened to kill everyone who dared to enter the marriage halls. Their demands are that all such celebrations take place after forty days.

Are these criminal acts the way to remember and mourn the passing away of a loved one? Or do such acts only serve the purpose of giving a bad name to the one we mourn and what they stood for? And again, what is the point of all this ridiculous criminal and terrorist behaviour? What does it accomplish apart from harming the country?!

Moving on, it has been just a couple of hours since the confirmation of Benazir Bhutto’s passing away and already some conspiracy theories have emerged, allegations back and forth are propagating, yet the reality of the threat of extremism is still being widely ignored. Many are willing to blame just about anyone, though not the extremists!

Nawaz Sharif visited Rawalpindi hospital amidst loud howls of “Musharraf dog” abuse. Why not say “extremists/terrorists dog”? Anger is being directed towards the wrong side. For his part, Sharif declared that he would now take up the PPP fight. Sharif spent most of his time spewing venom against Musharraf in his subsequent press conference. It seems to me that he is attempting to make use of the death of Benazir Bhutto for his own personal benefit and interests. He announced his party’s boycott of the elections and, further, urged other political parties to do the same. But, just ask yourself: would such a course of action harm or benfit Pakistan? I think most probably it will be detrimental for Pakistan. Sharif also demanded the resignation of Musharraf and insisted his party could not take part in elections as long as Musharraf was the President. Yet again he is behaving like a belligerent child; it is either Sharif’s way or the highway. Yet again there is no flexibility from Sharif and he appears to be incapable of rising above petty differences for the sake of the nation. Interestingly enough, while he is more than happy to directly and indirectly blame Musharraf for the recent tragedy, he seems incapable of blaming/condemning the extremists and terrorists – the actual culprits. On top of that, Sharif heaped a series of totally unsubstantiated assertions upon Musharraf. He asserted that massive rigging had been planned, that political parties were not allowed to adequately take part in the process (how?), and that they were not permitted to conduct their campaign properly/fully (how?). Of course, proof and evidence is irrelevant for Sharif. All he needs to do is make claims after claims and they will magically transform into facts before our very eyes.

Next, consider some of the people who are giving interviews to news channels (especially Western) and the type of far-fetched claims they are making:

One Ayesha Siddiqa, presented as a political and defence analyst in a recent interview on the BBC, proposed that Musharraf should now resign. Why? Should every leader offer resignations every time a suicide bombing occurs? This does not seem logical. The sad reality is that one can never have in place a 100% foolproof mechanism against suicide bombings.

Siddiqa said that Musharraf claimed that extremism was “now under control” in Pakistan. I thought this was a very deceptive comment on her part. On the contrary, again and again Musharraf has said that extremism continues to be our leading problem and a real danger. It may have waned in some areas, but, overall, it remains a real threat.

Siddiqa then had the nerve to suggest an ISI conspiracy behind this tragic event. Her proof? None. Just make a statement – whatever it may be – and it becomes true.

In proposing this ISI conspiracy theory, Siddiqa, who is supposed to be a “defence and political analyst” merely reflected the shallow thought process of the ignorant folks out on the street who are busy burning tyres, cars, and screaming nonsense in anger. This mindset refuses to acknowledge extremism as a real problem and, in denial, is eager to concoct just about any conspiracy theory to satisfy its desires. In other words, you ‘see’ what you want to see and not what really is happening.

Sharing Saddiqa’s mentality is the equally shallow Hussain Hakani, a former advisor to Benazir Bhutto, who spent his time ranting the “dictatorship, dictatorship, dictatorship” song on CNN via telephone shortly after the death of the later was confirmed. He said nothing about extremism and terrorism in Pakistan and merely delivered a poisonous diatribe against Musharraf filled with empty rhetoric and nonsense. It was as if, for Hakani, it was Musharraf who killed Bhutto and not the extremists. Moreover, he accused the President of allegedly not investigating the individuals who were earlier on accused by the late Benazir Bhutto of conspiring to harm her. One of the names was that of Pervaiz Elahi, the popular Chief Minister of Punjab province and her main political rival. As far as I can tell, almost all political commentators, including those who do not like Musharraf, did not entertain this allegation with much seriousness and no evidence was submitted to substantiate it. Instead, the claim was (rightfully) treated as nothing more than a political stunt, a common ploy in Pakistani politics. Hakani then lied when he said that “no investigation” had taken place after the suicide attack on Benazir Bhutto’s rally in Karachi. In fact, investigations began straightaway and they are still ongoing. Another lie by Hakani was that nothing good had happened in Pakistan under Musharraf. This assertion can be easily exposed as a lie by considering the facts (see this, this, and this). In short, besides proving himself to being a liar, Hakani exhibited not an ounce of maturity on this occasion.

Asim Bhutto, a cousin of Benazir Bhutto, was also interviewed on the BBC. I sympathise with him since he has lost a dear family member and I understand why he would be angry and upset. But that does not justify a number of comments he made on the BBC. Asim Bhutto essentially put the whole blame upon Musharraf, as if the later had committed the suicide bombing himself, and he then presented a conspiracy scenario, a somewhat weird one at that. Speaking somewhat incoherently, a number of his claims were just daft. For example, besides blaming Musharraf for the death of his cousin, A. Bhutto argued that Musharraf had arrested the lawyers and the political activists but he had not arrested the extremists nor allegedly taken action against extremist parties/groups/organisations. Besides being factually erroneous, it seemed Asim Bhutto was essentially accusing Musharraf for deliberately avoiding arresting the suicide bomber himself. What can you say to this? It got worse; he then asserted that there were fanatics and extremists in Musharraf’s camp (hence the alleged lack of crackdown upon the extremists by Musharraf)! Moreover, he asserted that the army had been responsible for killing members of the Bhutto family. Let us consider this briefly. Only Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto’s father, was hanged on the order of an army general, the late Zia ul Haq. The rest were not killed by the army. Shahnawaz Bhutto died in France in 1985, possibly due to drug abuse. The Pakistan army had nothing to do with it. Murtaza Bhutto, on the other hand, was assassinated by police officers in Karachi (1996) when the late Benazir Bhutto was Prime Minister. M. Bhutto’s followers, wife and children still insist that it was Asif Zardari who had ordered some police officers to carry out the assasination. In anycase, the army was not involved here. And, finally, Benazir Bhutto was killed today by an extremist.

Again on BBC, I managed to see a few bits and pieces of an interview being conducted of an Indian analyst (sorry I didn’t catch his name). The little bit that I saw was startling. The Indian analyst first argued that Benazir Bhutto was attacked in Rawalpindi, which, as we know, is a garrison city. From this he inferred that probably, or possibly, the ISI and the army were involved in the conspiracy. Well, most of us can agree that this is not the only, or the necessary, conclusion that can be derived from the supplied premise (that Rawalpindi is a garrison city). He then asserted that the death of Benazir Bhutto was the greatest loss for President Musharraf, that Benazir Bhutto was most beneficial for Musharraf since she too was a liberal and also opposed extremism. So, let me get this straight: Musharraf, through the agency of the ISI and the army, got rid of Benazir Bhutto – a person who was most beneficial for his cause and purpose! Oh why? What a chump indeed.

Moreover, many channels, although they rightfully mention the attacks on Benazir Bhutto and Sharif (a recent firing incident), make little or no mention of a suicide attack on the former Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao on the day of Eid. One gets the impression as if only opposition leaders, such as Benazir Bhutto, have been the targets of terrorism. The Eid suicide blast was the second attack upon Sherpao, in which his son was injured. Not only that, Musharraf himself has been the target of at least two massive suicide attacks. Former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz too faced a close suicide attack. My point here is that everyone is on the hit list of the extremists and terrorists, whether they be affiliated with the government or the opposition. In light of this reality, both the government and the opposition should be united at least in the fight against extremism.

It is not appropriate or wise to through blame around in a fit of anger with no shred of evidence. These people need to also consider the adverse affects of their big mouth upon the interests of Pakistan.

In the end, the right thing for people to do now is to pray for the deceased and her family, pray Allah grants her a place in Paradise, and avoid indulging in abuse and mayhem out in the streets. Let the authorities do a thorough investigation and catch the culprits behind this heinous act.

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© Musharraf Supporters 2007 All rights reserved

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Responses

  1. Dear All,
    Asim Bhutto is not related to Madam Benazir Bhutto in any way. He is not a nephew or a cousin jus a peasant who took advantage of the situation and became a bhutto during Benazir’s assanation. His mother has married numerous times and now is a leghari even asim bhutto goes buy that name.

    Asim bhutto was involved in different criminal cases including assualting his own wife in England a drugy and a Bum by proffesion …


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