Thursday, December 27, 2007

Murder in Rawalpindi

From Rawalpindi comes shocking news that Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated. Many details remain uncertain, but the horrific basics are clear enough:

Benazir Bhutto was killed at a PPP rally in Rawalpindi [along with at least 30 others]. . . . The election rally, with “foolproof security”, was held at Liaqut Bagh - a site which had already seen the assassination of another Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaqut Ali Khan.

There were earlier reports of security threats on her rally - similar reports were issued before the suicide attack on her in October. [link]

Sadly, the South Asian subcontinent has been down this road before. More than once, in fact -- but one moment stands out as eerily reminiscent:

[An] heir to a miraculous name, disappeared in a fiendish conjurer's trick: amid the theatrics of an electioneering stop, and in the puff of smoke from a bomb... Apart from the egregious act of violence that killed [the former Prime Minister], the bloody shirt of extremism and communal vengeance has been threatening to supersede all norms of democracy in the nation. [link]

So wrote Time in 1991, when another former prime minister (Rajiv Gandhi, in India) was killed on the campaign trail by a suicide bomber. During the late 1980s, Gandhi and Bhutto together were regarded by many in India and Pakistan with a fair bit of hope. Youthful and energetic, the two "got along famously" in their first summit meeting and were seen by many as ushering in generational change, a new set of leaders capable, together, of moving the subcontinent in different directions. The days of such extreme optimism passed long ago. But tragically, both of them now are linked with each other in death as well.

When Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated, some observers fretted over the "uncertainty" and the "leadership vacuum" that his death may have created within the Congress Party, much as they fret today over the future of Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party and democratic leadership in Pakistan more generally. The circumstances are by no means identical, but certainly one need not lose all hope that democratic leaders can and will emerge in Pakistan in the aftermath of this tragedy, that the prospects for democracy in Pakistan did not rest on Benazir Bhutto's shoulders alone. Indeed, the lawyers' movement and the vigorous resistance of Pakistan's civil society to Musharraf's Emergency demonstrate that many such leaders already are present -- that the mainstream, democratic instincts and aspirations in Pakistan may well be durable enough to survive the assassination of one charismatic and pioneering leader. If, that is, those instincts and aspirations are given space to flourish, rather than simply to grasp for dear life. One can only hope that going forward the United States will belatedly recognize this fact, nurturing and supporting the democratic processes and civil society institutions that have been producing those leaders, rather than simply propping up particular personalities, out of perceived expediency, even as they tear the institutions of democracy and civil society asunder.

For now, I leave you with the remembrances of Benazir Bhutto offered by Adil Najam:

[A]ll of these [questions] are paled by thoughts about Benazir as a person. The woman. The wife. The mother. The human being. What about her?

I have not always agreed with her politically but there was always a respect for her political courage. I had met her many times, first as a journalist covering her when she had just returned to Pakistan in the Zia era and before she became Prime Minister. Later a number of times in her two stints as Prime Minister and then a few times during her exile. In that last period she toll to referring to me as “Professor sahib” and some of our exchanges were more candid (at least on my part) than they had been earlier.

At a human level this is a tragedy like no other. Only a few days ago I was mentioning to someone that the single most tragic person in all of Pakistan - maybe all the world - is Nusrat Bhutto. Benazir’s mother. Think about it. Her husband, killed. One son poisoned. Another son assasinated. One daughter dead possibly of drug overdose. Another daughter rises to be Prime Minister twice, but jailed, exiled, and finally gunned down.

and by Manan Ahmed:

In the nation whose history is dotted by military coups, assassinations and hangings of public figures, this is surely the bloodiest stain. She titled her autobiography, the Daughter of Destiny - but surely she deserved a fate other than the destiny of her father and Liaqut Ali Khan. It is truly a tragedy and a revelation of the chaos gripping the nation.

And finally, with the hope that the political violence emerging in response to Bhutto's assassination -- all too common in the subcontinent -- will soon subside.

Posted by Anil Kalhan


Sobek said...

"One can only hope that going forward the United States will belatedly recognize this fact, nurturing and supporting the democratic processes and civil society institutions that have been producing those leaders..."

I wonder what, specifically, you would recommend the U.S. government do to accomplish those goals.

And please don't take my question the wrong way -- I'm no fan of Musharraf. I'm just wondering about concrete, realistic options for active steps, rather than just "nurturing" and "supporting."

egarber said...

I have a few questions:

1. What exactly is the upcoming election for -- simply the lower house?

2. Is a new presidential election an immediate outcome of that? Or is Musharraf locked in place until some future date, when the bodies vote again for president?

I guess my big question is: will Musharraf remain in power as president for a while even if opposition parties win in the upcoming elections?

It's very confusing, imo.


Anil Kalhan said...

I wonder what, specifically, you would recommend the U.S. government do to accomplish those goals.

For one thing, the United States could start by expanding non-military aid, which is a tiny fraction of what goes to the military. Military aid itself should be subject to tighter controls and conditions -- see the NYT article from last week. For another thing, the United States should be speaking up more strongly against Musharraf's excesses and attaching consequences for them -- if one listened to the Bush administration, you'd never know that Musharraf's crackdown against lawyers, journalists, students, and the rest of civil society had even taken place because he supposedly hasn't "crossed any lines." It's an outrage, for example, that the leaders of the lawyers' community are all still under house arrest -- and leading journalists muzzled -- without a word from Washington. These are the segments of society that will help win the war against extremist violence, but instead of supporting them we are supporting the crackdown against them.

I have a few questions

The election is for the national parliament. Musharraf has secured his five-year term as president from the outgoing parliament, and I think at this point the technical legal rules are somewhat beside the point when it comes to his staying in office. Under the law that existed on Nov 2, it seems that the Supreme Court was going to hold that he is ineligible to be president, but of course he has now rewritten the rules and tried to protect his place in office even further by purging the courts of anyone who might disagree w/him.

The incoming parliament might not regard any of that as legitimate. If not, then he has a potential problem because he has committed treason under the constitution and needs a two-thirds vote to amend the constitution to indemnify those actions. (He claims that's not the case, that he can indemnify himself, and again, he's purged the courts of judges likely to disagree with him.) Even with rigged elections five years ago, he didn't get two-thirds of the seats -- he needed to cut a deal with the religious parties to get the indemnity for his 1999 coup through parliament. So regardless of what happens with the elections a political crisis is likely to follow soon after -- most parties will not regard the election outcome as legitimate, but even if they do there almost certainly will be a big fight about that indemnity and the other constitutional and legal changes that Musharraf unilaterally adopted during the last two months.

At the same time, he seems to have made pretty clear that he plans to stay in office unless he's expelled by force. So your big question probably won't be answered by law and procedure. It's almost certainly the politics that will matter most at this point.

Sobek said...

Your response appears to boil down to two points (and feel free to correct me if I've misunderstood, of course):

1. Send money; and
2. Use harsh language (to paraphrase Hudson from "Aliens").

Forgive me if I'm skeptical that either of these points will have any sort of real-world impact. First, consider that Palestine under Fatah was an unmitigated hellhole that subsisted almost entirely on foreign aid (to the extent it didn't end up in Swiss bank accounts and whatnot), that still produced anti-Americanism and terrorism as its chief exports. And the comparatively "moderate" Fatah was voted out in favor of freakin' Hamas. Can you name any Islamic country where increased foreign aid tangibly promoted democracy, modernization and moderation?

Second, while I defer to your expertise on Pakistan, I am somewhat skeptical that Musharraf hangs onto power because the U.S. has failed to sufficiently condemn his actions. Again, don't get me wrong: his actions deserve condemnation. But history suggests that violent thugs who are scolded by foreign powers do not change their ways, or abdicate. Indeed, unless I'm mistaken, the only way thugs end their regimes are (a) revolution following total economic collapse, and (b) foreign invasion (with "invasion" clearly distinct from "tough rhetoric"). The only exception I can think of is Lybia, which voluntarily dismantled its WMD programs, but even that was after a credible threat of (b), above.

The Musharraf problem, as I see it, is that he is dismantling the rule of law by the very fact that his is still the president. There is no solution unless and until he has a successor. But who will that successor be, in a country where Osama bin Laden has more support than the president (such as he is)?

I realize that's not a good argument -- propping up a thug to keep a different thug out of power still leaves you with a thug -- but where's the good argument? What's the good solution? I suppose a popular election of Benzair Bhutto would have been a step in the right direction, but ...

Anil Kalhan said...

The extremists have never garnered deep support in Pakistan and there is no reason to believe that they would do so now -- though if we continue to alienate and cooperate in Musharraf's sidelining of moderates that might change.

To follow your six-word summary further, you missed:

3. Be prepared to back up the "harsh language" with consequences, such as pulling the plug on some of the military aid.

I do think that if the US is firm enough, and the public movement against Musharraf in Pakistan continues, others in the army may well push him out and transition to a national reconciliation government and then meaningful elections. At least that's one hopeful scenario; there may or may not be others. But I wouldn't too quickly dismiss the potential influence of the United States if they really choose to exercise it.

Finally, Palestine and Pakistan involve very different situations -- I don't think they're really comparable in the sense you suggest.

egarber said...

The only exception I can think of is Lybia, which voluntarily dismantled its WMD programs, but even that was after a credible threat of (b), above.

From what I've seen, it isn't accurate to say that Libya came around because of an invasion threat.

Libya wanted to dismantle and become a legitimate world player during the 90's, way before the Bush Doctrine and the Iraq war. In fact, experts in the region have said that if anything, our actions in Iraq made it TOUGHER for Libya to deal with us -- given the general Muslim backlash against our occupation there.

And measuring how that threat has played out with two other concerns, I'd hold out Iran and North Korea as examples that cut the other way. Instead of being intimidated into submission, they became much more aggressive in their posturing on nuclear weapons, etc.

Sobek said...

Anil, thanks for the response. You did not answer one of my questions:

"Can you name any Islamic country where increased foreign aid tangibly promoted democracy, modernization and moderation?"

I ask this question again in light of egarber's claim that the Bush doctrine made it harder for Lybia to abandon its WMD programs. If we accept that U.S. meddling increases Islamic radicalism, it is hard to imagine that U.S. threats against Musharraf are likely to produce a positive outcome.

"Libya wanted to dismantle and become a legitimate world player during the 90's, way before the Bush Doctrine and the Iraq war."

Interesting theory, but if Lybia wanted to dismantle, what was stopping it? And considering that Ghaddafi publicly announced that he was dismantling his programs shortly after the Iraq invasion, and not during the 90s, how is that consistent with the theory that it would have been easier pre-Iraq War?

Follow-up question for Anil: What do you think of the announcement that Bhutto's husband and son will lead the party? Good thing or bad thing? Follow-up to the follow-up: do you think overt U.S. support of a pro-democracy candidate would have a net positive or net negative influence?

egarber said...

Hi Sobek. Hope you're well.

Insofar as the following has been documented, I'd say my position is more solid than a mere casual theory:

1.Diplomacy was underway in the 90's with Libya. Interestingly, regime change was taken off the table, which many say created the critical opening.

2.UN and US sanctions created harsh economic conditions in Libya; the country was ready to join the larger world market as a legitimate player.

3.In 1999, Libya made a formal offer to eliminate its WMD program. So there was no stalemate where one could reasonably say Iraq tipped the scale; on the contrary, there's no reason (imo) to think the process wouldn't have ended successfully.

If anything, I think it's possible that the change to a more hawkish posture -- W coming in -- might have chilled progress.

So putting it all together, I think one can make the case that Libya is proof that assistance and negotiation CAN lead to meaningful change.

Anonymous said...



A片,色情,成人,做愛,情色文學,A片下載,色情遊戲,色情影片,色情聊天室,情色電影,免費視訊,免費視訊聊天,免費視訊聊天室,一葉情貼圖片區,情色,情色視訊,免費成人影片,視訊交友,視訊聊天,視訊聊天室,言情小說,愛情小說,AIO,AV片,A漫,av dvd,聊天室,自拍,情色論壇,視訊美女,AV成人網,色情A片,SEX





Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

免費A片, ut聊天室, AV女優, 美女視訊, 免費成人影片, 成人論壇, 情色交友, 免費AV, 線上a片, 日本美女寫真集, 同志聊天室, 聊天室交友, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 色情網站, 辣妹視訊, 美女交友, 微風成人區, 色美媚部落格, 色情影片, 成人影片, 成人網站, 免費A片, 上班族聊天室, A片,H漫, 18成人, a漫, av dvd, 一夜情聊天室, 微風成人, 成人圖片, 成人漫畫, 情色網, 日本A片, 免費A片下載, 性愛, 成人交友, 嘟嘟成人網, 嘟嘟成人網, 成人貼圖, 成人電影, 成人, 中部人聊天室, 080中部人聊天室, 成人貼圖, 成人小說, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 免費成人影片, 成人遊戲, 微風成人, 愛情公寓, 成人電影, A片, 情色, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 做愛, 成人遊戲, 成人影城, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 寄情築園小遊戲, 色情遊戲, 成人網站, 麗的色遊戲, 色情網站, 成人論壇, 情色視訊, 情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 言情小說, 愛情小說, 色情A片, 情色論壇, 自拍, 癡漢, , 俱樂部, 豆豆聊天室, 聊天室, 色情影片, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊交友90739 情人視訊網影音視訊聊天室 免費視訊聊天室 視訊聊天 視訊交友 美女視訊 視訊美女 視訊 免費視訊 免費視訊聊天 視訊聊天室 辣妹視訊 一夜情 色情a片 aio交友愛情館 情色電影 情色視訊 色情遊戲 色情 情色小說 一葉情貼圖片區 色情小說 色情聊天室 情色交友 成人論壇 成人網站 色情網站 情色論壇 小高聊天室 女同志聊天室 6K聊天室 080苗栗人聊天室 080聊天室 聊天室尋夢園 UT男同志聊天室 男同志聊天室 尋夢園聊天室 UT聊天室 聊天室 豆豆聊天室 A片 成人電影 成人貼圖 嘟嘟成人網 美女交友 本土自拍 成人交友 成人影片

Anonymous said...








Anonymous said...

酒店喝酒,禮服店,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,制服店,便服店,鋼琴酒吧,兼差,酒店兼差,酒店打工,伴唱小姐,暑假打工,酒店上班,日式酒店,舞廳,ktv酒店,酒店,酒店公關,酒店小姐,理容院,日領,龍亨,學生兼差,酒店兼差,酒店上班,酒店打工,禮服酒店,禮服店,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,經紀 彩色爆米花,經紀人 彩色爆米花,酒店傳播,酒店經紀 彩色爆米花,爆米花,童裝,童裝拍賣,童裝大盤,童裝寄賣,童裝批貨,酒店,酒店,童裝切貨,酒店,GAP童裝,酒店,酒店 ,禮服店 , 酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,招待所,

Anonymous said...








Anonymous said...

酒店喝酒,禮服店,酒店小姐,制服店,便服店,鋼琴酒吧,兼差,酒店兼差,酒店打工,伴唱小姐,暑假打工,酒店上班,日式酒店,ktv酒店,酒店,酒店公關,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,酒店上班,酒店打工,禮服酒店,禮服店,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,經紀 彩色爆米花,經紀人 彩色爆米花,酒店傳播,酒店經紀 彩色爆米花,爆米花,童裝,童裝拍賣,童裝大盤,童裝寄賣,童裝批貨,酒店,酒店,童裝切貨,酒店,GAP童裝,酒店,酒店 ,禮服店 , 酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,招待所,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店上班,暑假打工,酒店公關,酒店兼職,酒店經紀

Anonymous said... .
[url=]puma shoes[/url]
[url=]chaussures puma[/url]
[url=]nike air max ltd[/url]

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店經紀, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店工作, 專業酒店經紀, 合法酒店經紀, 酒店暑假打工, 酒店寒假打工, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店工作, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店經紀, 專業酒店經紀, 合法酒店經紀, 酒店暑假打工, 酒店寒假打工, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店工作, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店經紀,,

Unknown said...

Those are best online website , best service , best quality. Good luck !
ed hardy clothing
Chaussures Sport
Tennis Racquet Shop
Cheap Polo Shirts
The North Face Jackets
cheap ed hardy
Chaussures Sport
Tennis Racquet
nike shox r4
ed hardy
cheap ed hardy
polo shirts
cheap polo
Remise Chaussures Sport
nike tn requin
ed hardy clothes
nike femmes chaussures