Benazir Bhutto, Bin Laden and big bombs

In a previous post I spoke of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, and how Pakistan is a nation that is going not so slowly insane (see here), which could have grave repercussions for the rest of the world. Benazir Bhutto was the first woman to lead a Muslim state, and was the Prime Minister of Pakistan between 1988 and 1990, and then 1993 to 1996. She was removed from office both times because of alleged corruption and in 1998 she went into self-imposed exile in Dubai. Bhutto returned to Pakistan in October 2007, after President Pervez Musharraf granted her an amnesty and corruption charges were dropped (such is the murky world of Pakistani politics). Her intention was to stand in the forthcoming general election.

When Benazir Bhutto landed at Karachi airport on 18th October 2007 there were hundreds of thousands of supporters there to greet her. As Bhutto and the crowd made their way into Karachi there were two explosions; suicide bombers who killed more than 150 people in the crowd and injured hundreds more. At the time it was one of the worst bomb attacks in Pakistan’s history. Bhutto escaped unscathed.

Two weeks later she gave an interview to David Frost on Al Jazeera. It’s a very interesting interview for two reasons: firstly, Bhutto talks about how Islamic extremists had infiltrated the highest levels of Pakistan society; secondly, she says that Osama Bin Laden had been killed (remember, she gave this interview in November 2007). This latter piece of information has, of course, been seized upon by the conspiracy theorists, the general thrust being that the West has covered up Bin Laden’s death because he is needed as a bogeyman in order to continue the ‘war on terror’ (if interested see here). Bhutto makes the statement, that Bin Laden had been killed by Omar Sheikh, 6 minutes 12 seconds into this interview. This seems strange, because Omar Sheikh was a fellow looney of Bin Laden’s. In the context of the interview it seems that Bhutto made a slip of the tongue and meant to say that Daniel Pearl had been killed by Omar Sheikh (Daniel Pearl was an American journalist who was kidnapped in Pakistan by Al-Qaeda in 2002 and later beheaded – they’re a jolly lot these Islamic extremists, aren’t they). Bear in mind that a few weeks before this interview there had been a brutal assassination attempt on Benazir Bhutto, and perhaps she can be forgiven for the odd slip of the tongue…

The loonies would never tolerate a woman as Prime Minister, particularly one dedicated to purging extremists, and they finally got her on 27th December 2007, at an election rally…

Many of us felt that all hope for Pakistan died along with Benazir Bhutto on that day. Indeed, the violence and chaos has got much worse in the last three and a half years (in 2010, for example, there were 44 suicide bombings in Pakistan, killing 1033 people and injuring 1992 people). It was bad enough in the 1990s, but started going downhill fast when the Americans invaded Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks; because of course most of the loonies in Afghanistan fled into neighbouring Pakistan (it was al-Qaeda and the Taliban who murdered Benazir Bhutto). American drone strikes in Pakistan, along with CIA operatives going round shooting people, only drives more Pakistanis into the arms of the extremists. Pakistan now has the fastest-growing nuclear arsenal in the world (soon to be fifth largest, behind the US, Russia, China and France). These weapons are held in the northwest of the country, which is where most of the al-Qaeda and Taliban militants are (see here). Just how secure the Pakistan military is from extremist infiltration can be gauged by the operation earlier this week to kill Bin Laden (the Americans didn’t tell the Pakistan military what they were doing) This powder keg of a situation has been created largely by the American ‘war on terror’ (which, ironically, could result in far greater terror being unleashed on the world).

Now that the Americans have got their bogeyman perhaps they should go home.

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