Much like my fellow citizen's i was shocked to hear the news of assassination of Ms Benazir Bhutto, i was glued to the tv screen with my wife and my parents while my 10 months old was trying to break everything around totally unaware of the fact that death of a person can create so many problems for a nation.
One advantage / disadvantage of media and today's high tech world is that news travels so fast that it's really hard to do any damage control, this is what happened with Government of Pakistan that evening, much like a person caught with his pants down GOP and Law Enforcement agencies were still trying to comprehend the amount of damage done and strategy when public started havoc on the streets of different cities in the country.
The rest of the time we spend trying to contact our loved one's, confused,puzzled,angry (at the mob destroying properties and robbing shops etc) and helpless. It was time which reminded me of the days of Karachi Operations when riots and burning tyres was for a regular routine. By late night we were hearing from our relatives and their stories, the damage they had to take and hell out on the streets of Karachi. I think nobody was sleeping or was able to sleep that night.
Of course Government Of Pakistan had to give an explanation and they had to clam things down, much to our amusement the statement given by GOP for the assassination was changing from the initial reports and it seemed rather impossible to most of the people. It was a mistake on Government's part and later on denials came but damage was done to credibility of Government.
For three days we were forced to sit inside our house like we had committed a sin and were being punished for it, if we tried to move out of our house due to some emergency we were subject to constant danger of being mugged and deprived of anything we were carrying, the events followed by Ms Bhutto's death were a dream come true scenario for all the thugs around the country and they took full advantage of the situation. Our own family was saved on the third day in night when we had to go to a nearby store to buy some medicines for our kid and to get some grocceries and few people decided that we don't have right to do that and opened fire in the area forcing the shops to closed down, Rangers were close by and came to the rescue but damage had been done, shops were closed again and customers were rushing back to the safety of their homes.
On the first working day we were relieved to be back to our normal lives and were busy trying to cover up the pending work when the dreadful news of riots starting came, DAMN NOT AGAIN followed by HOW WILL I REACH HOME and IS MY FAMILY SAFE were the immediate thoughts, Cell phone was constantly ringing and panic was wide spread in very little time much credit of that goes to few rumors which spread (Like i said above this is disadvantage of news traveling fast that anyone can spread rumors and create havoc). Finally took a big gulp and left the office for home. Driving in such situation is a unique and horrible experience, everyone looks like a person coming for you, any traffic congestion ahead on the road and you will slow down the car thinking some riot is taking place. Took me more than an hour to reach home safe and sound much to relieve of my family. Again spend the whole day calling friends and relatives to find out if they were okay.
Now after the fifth day of assassination of Ms.Bhutto i am forced to ask myself few questions
1. She was a great leader for many in this country and also very popular internationally, but all the riots and mobbing was she worth it?
I personally don't think so, Muhammed Ali Jinnah passed out everyone was shattered but back than nobody took it out on public property, Liaqut Ali Khan was shot down but nothing like this happened, JFK was assassinated while he was the President (not Ex Prime Minster like in case of Ms.Bhutto) and nothing like this happened, why?
I don't blame PPP leadership or PPP workers totally for the situation in the country, they were a huge factor but i personally believe there were other foreign interests involved trying to disrupt the peace of the Country and when they saw (and perhaps even encouraged) PPP workers coming out on streets and showing their frustrating and anger they joined the ranks and had their goals achieved.
2. When she knew she was on target list than why did she had to pop her head out of the sunroof?
This is where my mind boggles, she was a highly educated person, she was again and again warned not only by local agencies but from international agencies about possible attacks on her, she was told to follow security protocol which she didn't, Having a bullet/bomb proof car and wearing a bullet proof vest is not going to do any wonders if you stick your unprotected head out of the sunroof in clear view for any person with ill intentions. People say she liked to be close to her supporters but i guess in this case it was Too Close For Comfort.
3. Where do Shireen Rehman gets her news from?
Laser guided bullets and smart weapons? damn either i need what ever she is on or she tells me which author she likes to read, she was seen roaming around wearing a neck strainer thingie while she seemed to be moving her neck without any problems.
4. Why poke your nose into other people's business?
Seems to me that western media is having a field day covering the events followed by Ms Bhutto's assassination, Presidential candidates coming and talking about situation in Pakistan when they should really be talking about their own situation in Iraq. They are trying to teach us how to handle our affairs when they were not able to manage disaster recovery in case of Katrina. They just need any excuse to bad mouth us and much to my disgust Geo is following their footsteps being local Fox News.
5. Practice what you preech?
PPP announced Bilawal "Bhutto" Zardari (Bhutto was added to his name much like a callsign), a 19 years old student to be the chairperson of the party, this atleast to be is absurd, i was hoping to see Makhdoom Amin Fahim coming up and taking the charge of the party, but i guess Chairperson of PPP has to be from Bhutto family making it a family inheritance. Makes me question if political parties can't have democracy within their own structure how can they advocate and promise democracy for the nation? PML (N) is again an example with Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif being the leaders and they would be followed by son or nephew or family relative. This is a system which needs to be changed before we ATTEMPT to achieve democracy.
Democracy Is The Best Revenge, were the ending statement of young Mr.Bilawal and that sends a negative vibe to many of the listeners.
6. What was Government doing?
Opposition or not, She was one of the biggest name in local politics in current times, i was disapponted to see that no one from the government or political parties went to her Namaz-e-Janaza. It would had shown a very polite gesture (which again can be taken as a sign of weekness, and we know politics is all about who has bigger balls right?) and perhaps had cooled down the situation. Maybe it was due to the angry crowd consideration at the tadfeen?
7. International Investigation?
This really cracked me up, Mr Zardari apparently stopped the autopsy to take place, maybe its because of family values or what ever maybe the reason. He has announced that he has no faith in Government investigations (much due to blunders made by them which i discussed before) and he wants to get international investigation teams to conduct investigation. I think they will conduct an autopsy too so DUH!!
Secondly, we are calling the same people who in all these years are unable to find one person which in their opinion is the world's biggest menace and whose name this War On Terrorism was started, There is still controversy about JFK assassination and they are going to come here and solve our problems?
8. What's next?
Nothing, i had enough typing for a day and i am going to end it here only! Our nation lost a leader in a tragic event, people may had liked her or not, supporters or not, but we have to admit that she had a strong public support and to many she would be remembered as a Hero. She spend whole of her life in the name of her father and followed his fate.