More reactions are pouring out in the Pakistani blogosphere and elsewhere as it settles in that a very strong and capable leader is no more. Some bloggers are concerned about the law and order situation, providing personal accounts of the violence on the streets. There is also a lot of speculation about the impending elections, and the likely postponement. Taking the issue forward, some blogs are discussing the legacy of Benazir Bhutto, the future for Pakistan and the likely suspects who ordered the assassination, even as the Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility.
Red Diary discusses why Bhutto was a target, and the resulting riots.
The strong possibility of the rise of a secularist Benazir into power made her a mortal threat for those in the State who harbored sympathy for Islamic Fundamentalists, with whom the notorious intelligence agencies, such as the ISI, were closely knitted since the Cold War and the Afghan War. Benazir Bhutto become a symbol of resistance against Islamic Extremists – both residing inside and outside the State. She stood secularism and modernity against militant retrogressive and conservative trends.
Some bloggers assert that while they did not agree with Benazir Bhutto's politics, or support her part – Pakistan Peoples Party, an attack such as this is deeply tragic and reflects the turmoil that Pakistan is likely to find itself in. Muslim Matters calls it an act of terrorism, and condemns violence as a tool of resolution.
This is pure terrorism that must be condemned by all, religious or otherwise. If anyone had a problem with her politics, then the proper route is to use one’s pen and mind to argue against her ideology, not use the coward’s strategy of shutting up who you can’t argue with. Violence is the nemesis that will sink Pakistan if people don’t wake up and recognize its evil (both in an Islamic and social sense).
Irrespective of one's views on Bhutto — mine were mostly negative — she was the primary secular-minded democratic leader of Pakistan. She had made statements about hunting Bin Laden, eradicating the pernicious madrassa system, as well as apologizing for allowing the Taliban to acquire power during her watch in the mid 90's. Her killing is a huge blow to the anti-extremist movement in Pakistan. Frankly, as it stands now, there are no other anti-extremist democratic leaders in Pakistan.
Metroblogging Karachi has a post detailing the panic on the streets. Tabish Bhimani focuses on the consequences of this tragedy, and recommends that people take caution when venturing out of their homes.
What I am trying to say here is not that one of these individuals or organizations have committed a heinous crime, a murder, deciding the fate of not just a country, but of human beings; rather what I am trying to say is that there are an equal number of possibilities as to what happened and why and that we must reserve judgement. What happens in a country such as Pakistan, which is so famous in the international media, has global repercussions.
Teeth Maestro who is providing constant updates on the event and its aftermath, sets up an online condolence book for Benazir Bhutto.
In an attempt to provide the online community and opportunity to offer their condolences to the grieving family and literally thousands of Peoples Party supporters I would like to initiate this condolence book for Benazir Bhutto. I will make it my own responsibility to present the entire list to the offices of the Pakistan Peoples Party to be attached with the main condolence book.