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).
Echoing a similar point of view, Ali Eteraz writes an article on the Huffington Post.
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.
Pakistan UNFORTUNATELY WAS CREATED IN THE NAME OF RELIGION. RELIGIONS WHATEVER TYPE HAVE ONLY CAUSED WAR, HATRED, SORROW AND MISERY AND AMONGST BELIEVERS SENSE OF ARROGANCE, VANITY AND WALLS OF SEPERATION. TIME HAS COME WHEN HUMANITY AS A WHOLE MOVE AWAY FROM RELIGION TO SPIRITUALITY WHERE UNIVERSAL HUMAN VALUES OF TRUTH,NONVOILENCE, CONTENTMENT,SELF RESTRAINT (SHARING AND SACRIFICE)WHICH CANNOT BE CORRUPTED ARE EMBRACED. THESE TURBULENT TIMES BE TAKEN AS AN OPPORCHUNITY FOR INTROSPECTION AND LEARN INTERDEPENDENCE AND PEACE.EVERYONE HAVE TO CHANGE THEIR MINDSET AND START THINKING GOOD OF EVEN THE ENEMIES OTHERWISE MORE PAIN IS IN THE OFFING.IT IS TIME PEOPLE BURIED ALL RELIGIONS AND INSTEAD DEPEND ON RATIONALITY AND CONSCIENCE.
Benazir’s Freudian slip- Omar Sheikh “Murderer of Osama”
Benazir made an interesting Freudian slip in her Frost interview. She called Omar Sheikh the murderer of Osama rather than Daniel Pearl- the crime for which he is actually, being held in Pakistan. Similarly, Musharaff in his book made a curious faux pas, embarassing his British allies- describing Omar Sheikh as originally an MI6 (British) Agent recruited for the Bosnian imbroglio who later ‘went native’. Now, Benazir was P.M when Omar Sheikh masterminded the kidnapping of Western tourists in India- including Britishers and an American- clearly at the behest or with the co-operation of the Pakistani I.S.I.
These two Freudian slips, taken together, on the part of the two key figures who represent the West’s ‘acceptable face’ of Pakistan give us an insight into the psychology of Pakistan’s rulers as well as showing us the kind of games they play.
Take Mush’s remark first- the Freudian meaning is, yes Omar Sheikh was my agent, it was thru him my General Mahmoud Ahmad wired $100,000 to Mohammed Atta shortly before 9/11/. However I am now your Agent. Answer me then, who does Omar work for? The double has been re-doubled because his control has been doubled. But, when terrorism is the agent, it follows that for the Hegelian Master/Slave struggle referenced by Fukuyama and other neo-cons thru Kojeve’s friendship with Leo Strauss- the polarity has been turned around. So now answer this, which is the agent and which the control?
Now Benazir, in her Frost interview, wanted to point the finger- for the assassination attempt against herself- at people precisely like Gen. Mahmoud Ahmed close to the mighty Mush. But her parapraxis in saying ‘Osama bin Laden’ rather than naming the Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl reveals that Omar Sheikh was her agent and- with hindsight, at least for a Western audience- she wishes she had used that agent against Osama- whose hold on Afghanistan was engineered by her ‘Uncle’ Gen. Babar during her own tenure as P.M.
The point here is that both Benazir and Mush- when presenting themselves for a Western audience- make Freudian slips involving Omar Sheikh- which show that they consider themselves Western agents who have or have not gone native. They themselves don’t know.
In the geneology of Pakistani politics, everybody- including Al-Qaeeda, including the Taliban- has a Western genealogy. All were originally Western agents who doubled or whose control doubled or both. Why? Well, the West had a double policy. That’s why it liked its agents to double. Ian St.John Philby- father of the Soviet double agent Kim Philby- was a member of the Indian Civil Service who became a double agent working for the Saudis. Or was he a quadruple for Aramco? An octuple for the Soviets? Who knows?
The West wants agents- native informers- who are both loyal and ‘authentic’ – this means they want double agents whose agency is caught up in an existential double bind. For Satre, in his ‘Roads to Freedom’- the way out in such situations is ‘Freedom as Terror’ being a sniper in a bell-tower still shooting though yourself under fire.
Add in the doubleness of Western policy objectives and you have agents especially recruited to double so as to seduce their own control into doubling- this is the praxis of a double policy agenda.
Benazir as martyr of democracy, Mush as ‘key ally’ in the war against terror- what madness next in this ‘hairat-e-aainah’- this bewilderment of mirrors?