Hi, guys. Beautiful weather this morning.
Last night I watched TV and read a book and messed around on the computer a whole bunch.
And former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto seems determined to remain in Pakistan and to try to return to power through fair and democratic elections following a suicide bombing attack which apparently tried to target her in Karachi, Pakistan on Thursday. The attack killed 136 people who were attending a welcoming celebration for Bhutto (hundreds more injured), and officials are stating that the attack bore signature elements of known Islamic militants from Pakistan's southern provinces, where Taliban and Al Qaeda elements are still known to be active.
I gotta say that I like Banzir Bhutto. She's an extremely well spoken, intelligent, articulate woman who seems to be determined to see democracy prevail in Pakistan, and even more courageously, she insists upon a secular government with participation by members of any and all religions, despite the fact that Muslim militants within her country would much rather see her dead than have a non-Muslim government installed. (To my understanding, Musharraf, the current leader of the Pakistan's military-led government, has walked a tightrope for years, alternately pacifying the Muslims while condemning extremism and terrorism and operating what is, ostensibly, a secular, military government). I'm aware that Bhutto and her husband have been accused of corruption in the past (including kickbacks for military contracts), but it seems unlikely that these allegations have merit. Instead, they seem to represent further political attacks against Bhutto (her husband, Asif Zardari, spent eight years in prison on such charges, and claims to have been the subject of politically motivated torture during his time in custody). Bhutto herself claims that the corruption charges are politically motivated and false, based on a few fabricated documents, lies, and misrepresentation. A report by the Auditor General of Pakistan has supported Bhutto's claims, providing evidence suggesting that Bhutto was removed from power in 1990 as the result of a witch hunt ordered by then president Ghulam Ishaq Khan (who paid investigators millions of rupees to file corruption cases against Bhutto and her husband in 1990-92).
So the lady has subsequently been in exile for a significant amount of time, she seems to have had any possible sins forgiven by the current government of Pakistan (Musharraf seems interested in some sort of power sharing agreement where he and Bhutto might contemporaneously hold office), she seems to be fairly popular with the Pakistani people (at least 1.5 million people filled the streets of Karachi to welcome her home), and she seems to be willing to risk her life to bring Pakistan a more stable, democratic, secular government. In a part of the world where extremists seem to get their way just by bullying political leaders and the public with horrific acts of violence, Bhutto has exhibited a good deal of courage by sticking to her principles and insisting upon a course of action for Pakistan that she sees as best serving the interests of its people.
Anyway, I like her. I wish more of our politicians exhibited even a bit of that kind of courage and conviction. I wish people would quit trying to blow her up.