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The Dynasty

Benazir Bhutto is dead.

I only found out about this via Ars Technica indirectly referring to the event — I only saw even this because AT is my home page. That said, it was an almost physical blow, for reasons I find hard to pin down.

Six months ago, I had no idea who Benazir Bhutto was, nor did I have any grasp at all on Pakistani politics. I wouldn’t say I have a firm grasp now, but I know a bit. To my layman’s view of matters, Benazir was Pakistan’s greatest hope. Even when Musharraf declared his martial law and began acting every bit the military dictator, in my mind, if anyone could fix the problem, it was her.

And somewhere along the way, she became the symbol for all the hope in the Middle East. It seems silly, but news of her murder instantly brought doubt for the future of the region.

This is all, however, background to something I came across, in relation to the Bhutto legacy: an article that talks about her 19 year old son, Bilawal Bhutto, being her successor. From the outset, I tacitly assumed that this would be something he would undertake willingly, to carry on a vision that he shared with his mother — which very well may be the case.

But as I read, I found there was more and more talk about how a Bhutto must lead the Pakistan People’s Party, and it seems more and more like this is something he must do. What gets me is that this man is about five months older than I am. And the people of Pakistan are going to be looking to him for leadership.

I can’t imagine what the must be like.

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Categories: Real Life
  1. Grandma
    January 1, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Yes, news of her death hit me very hard also. And yet there was a sense of inevitability about it, sad to say. She was incredibly courageous. Her nineteen-year-old son will continue at Oxford for now, but it will take the same courage if he is to actually assume leadership as his mother and grandfather did.

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