Pakistan in struggle for survival

EuropeNews October 20 2008

The atrocity of bombing the Benazir Bhutto homecoming parade screams out for comment. Democracy is being cautiously restored in Pakistan, and someone immediately tries to bomb it from the face of the earth – even targeting a woman first!

There is only one suitable word for these people: They are Evil.

It is not known at the moment who did it. Nervous Bhutto-supporters pointed at Musharraf, but that just doesn’t add up, given the deal in place for her return and the need of Musharraf to improve legitimacy of his rule through this deal.

Also, the raw brutality of the attack points not at regular military, it has the brute-force approach of Al-Qaeda attacks.

Noone claimed responsibility so far, but Islamist groups have been warning that she would be attacked. They seem to have known what they were talking about.

Bhutto doesn’t yield. She stays in Pakistan, and given her broad popular support, it is very understandable that the perpetrators have not claimed responsibility. It does not look good on their CV. Any group proudly declaring “We did it” would lose the discreet, low-level support so vital for terrorist organisations.

Pakistan was founded in 1947 as a Turkey-style secular state, with Islam supposed to take only a ‘cultural’ role and not be a factor in politics. One should not blame religion unduely, but in this case it appears to have corroded away all but the faintest echo of the peaceful, democratic state that Pakistan was supposed to be.

Bhutto has promised to crack down on militant Islamists. She needs to, and she might be the only person with moral authority to get something done. The bombers have utterly discredited themselves, and if (as it seems likely) it is the work of Islamists, now is a good time to challenge them.

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