It is official. Benazir Bhutto, leader of the Pakistani People’s Party has been assassinated in Pakistan in a rally. Bhutto died of a gunshot wound to the neck, after which a suicide bomber blew himself up – this according to CNN. There is perhaps a lot of speculation, mourning and anger looming in the air. Everything seems to be chaotic, and the recent socio-political situation of Pakistan is reminiscent of a phrase, “order out of chaos.” When I wrote the articles, As the Fog Clears Parts 1 and 2, on Chowrangi, I never considered this a possibility.
It is important at this point to focus, not on what has happened, but what will ensue in what I believe will be a series of events leading either to a revolution or, well, nothing. People will either eventually forget about it, or instead of just demanding justice, will take it into their own hands.
A major portion of the Pakistani population and ex-pats will say that this is the Musharraf government at work – Satan at his best. But please, countrymen, let us not over-attribute, and remember that Bhutto had a lot of enemies. This assassination may well be an attempt to defame the Musharraf government. All the same, it is not even rational (at this point) to rule out that this was not an assassination attempt by the Pakistan Muslim League (PML, Musharraf’s Party).
It may well be Nawaz Sharif to secure his throne, since he is the obvious rebounder. Although Sharif claims to now boycott the election, he has done so before, only to compete in the January 2008 elections.
It may well be Mr. Zardari, who may come back to Pakistan with renewed vigor and lead his party to salvation. After all, he does have a disturbing track record.
It may well be the local or foreign intelligence agencies, trying all the more to destabilize Pakistan through internal stress.
It may very well be the Taliban, or other local extremists.
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. We must contain ourselves before we give our state up for grabs to a number of ill-intending entities. Let us not be another Afghanistan, another Palestine, another Iraq, or perhaps Iran.
Stay in your local communities. Keep a vigilant eye out for any suspected activities, and report to the police on their hotline numbers (Madadgar 15 in Karachi) of even the remotest suspected threat. Take care of chores during those times of day when there are not a lot of people gathered together. A suicide bomber is going to target a large crowd, not a dispersed one. Look for people wearing thick heavy clothing (for they may well be c4 strapped to the chest), some people with their hands constantly in their pockets, or those people you have not seen before.
Avoid keeping your cars outside of a safe and secure area, for this may allow enemies to use them in their illegal activities. Avoid taking routes which are deserted for that matter, for you may be stopped by dacoits or kidnappers. Stay out of home for as little as possible. Arrive from work early. Take extra security measures in securing your home and family. Be prepared for any emergencies (include a first aid kit, clean water, toiletries and important legal documents).
My brothers and sisters, this is a dark and gloomy day for all of us. Stay strong, Pakistan.
If anyone would like to add anything else, please do so.