BENAZIR KILLED: Is Pakistan a failed State?

Former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto has been killed in a suicide attack in Rawalpindi. She was 54, and is survived by her husband and three children. The killing throws the January 8 election process, Parvez Musharraf‘s attempts to gain legitimacy, and the anti-terror campaign of the United States in serious turmoil. Benazir had survived an audacious attempt on her life when she had returned to her country from exile 10 weeks ago, but the “life” was short-lived.

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Amid all the hoo-ha over this being the 150th anniversary of the first war of Indian independence, and the 60th year of our independence, it is easy to forget that this is also the 150th anniversary of a war that ended up in the creation of Pakistan, and the 60th year of its independence. Yet, while India exults in the diamond jubilee of its freedom, Pakistan is going through all the familiar pangs and pangas that has marked that country’s existence.

Periodic dictatorships, the hanging of one Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the mysterious death in a plane crash of president Zia ul Haq, now the killing of Benazir. Add to this, the circumcision of citizen’s and media rights, a puppet judiciary, an economy in a shambles, its support of terror, and you wonder, is Pakistan a failed State? A democracy that doesn’t seem to be able to get its house in order for a reasonable length of time? A nation whose only raison d’etre was, is and will be India?

Also read: Was Benazir a friend of India?

Tunku Varadarajan: State of Nothing

Photograph: courtesy Greg Baker/ The Associated Press

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This churumuri poll was first published on 12 May 2007