Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Benazir: Lifting the Veil of Moderation

The emergency has lifted the veil from the faces our 'enlightened moderates' once and for all. Where Musharraf has finally been exposed to be a Dictator then Benazir Bhutto, Altaf Hussain and Fazlur Rehman as power hungry, political hacks. These revelations hurt the manufactured image of one Ms. Bhutto the most.
Benazir has been busy doing the international press rounds for a few months now; hell it almost appeared as though she was about to stand for an election in the U.S. such was her presence in American papers. 'The face of an enlightened, moderate and modern (EMM) Pakistan' was so convincing in the portrayal of her EMM values that people, who were worried of the ever increasing encroachment of islamism and right wing nuttery, saw a glimmer of hope. And she had played all the cards right as well - she had manouvered a deal in a manner that didn't portray her to be a complete sell out; and she had mended fences with the MQM, the most surprising of all deals considering their history and perhaps the most important deal as the MQM has been the most vociferous opponent (amongst the political parties) of islamism.
Benazir's return was heralded with fanfare and tragedy, all of which indicated the importance Benazir had, yes had, in Pakistani society. The following two weeks has seen a drastic erosion in the goodwill that had been extended to her, and it has all been her own doing.
If Benazir's pre-return was a political master stroke, aided I'm certain by american, professional, political handlers (such was its similarity to a campaign for an americn election), then the post-return has been an abject failure. Benazir has been incoherent about her message and has shunned away from taking on substantive issues, relying on ridiculous rhetoric and forwarding wild conspiracies. She has been a rallying against the Intelligence Bureau and the ISI in an absolutely idiotic manner.
Benazir has been constantly talking about how the 18-10 bomb but in an abolutely politically immature manner. She might start of by stating that this was an attack on the 'forces of moderation' but then will come the diva like self praising, followed by her revisiting the nexus between the Mullahs and the Millitary (yes Afghan war, we get it) but then comes her tirade against the IB and how the agency targetted her and her family, and how she was deposed at the IB's urging because she was an honest ruler, blah, blah; to top it all of she will forward a new, retarded conspiracy about the bombing. Two weeks ago the lights weren't on and there was sniper fire (the lights, its Karachi ffs, and the sniper fire was actually shrapnel), two days ago it was how the second suicide bomber was a young boy (how one might ask, well she says she's got info), the authorities have identified the two suspected bombers (they found two heads that had flown off clear from bodies, which is apparently what happens when a bomb strapped around your chest explodes)!
The most telling event has been Benazir and the PPP's silence on the state of emergency. Benazir might have asked people to come out to the streets, as a confused Ahsan posted earlier, but neither her nor anyone from her party has heeded that call. Instead Benzir was planning on meeting Musharraf yesterday to deliver her 'protest' - which is the biggest middle finger she could possibly have shown to civil society. Benazir the great hope has greatly failed a failing nation.


Ahsan said...

well, i would agree with most of what you say except to note that the roadblocks to coming out on the street for PPP supporters include (a) the widespread the arbitrary arrests greeting anyone protesting and (b) a suicide bombing killing 140 of them. surely you, in the same situation, might be a little leery of coming out on the street?

NB said...


Well notwithstanding the roadblocks youve mentioned, shes going to have a protest on friday and another in a weeks time if things dont turn out as per her ultimatum. So i doubt those were genuine obstacles to begin with.

Ali Kabir said...

@ ahsan

As you noted she has asked people to come out and protest but not directed her party to do the same. She should just shut up in that case.

What has me riled is that Benazir is still adamantly trying to deal with Musharraf and me twith him day before yesterday.

As for arbitrary arrests, no one from the PPP has been arrested (ditto MQM, PML (Q)).

Its been 5 days since a total media blackout, the Janh press has been shut (its owner arrested); thousands of lawyers, judges (ffs judges!), professors and students from LUMS, BNU (Lahore) and Quaid-e-Azam UNiversity (Islamabad) have been arrested. And the PPP the largest 'democratic' force in the country is silent.

Ahsan said...

700 PPP workers were arrested yesterday. and while you can accuse BB all you want of being a collaborator, you certainly can't accuse her of silence. she has been vociferous and very specific with her demands (end of media blackout, uniform off, end of emergency, elections in january).