She went on voluntary exile but was later lured back into the country. Bhutto and Musharraf were two staunch enemies, so for the latter to accept her return without pressing corruption charges earlier labeled on her was such great sacrifice. While the marriage of convenience between Musharraf and the West could work, no one foresaw Bhutto and Musharraf working together. If their corpses were kept beside each other, they will each slide to the far end of the grave. Initially, she was to form a government with President Pervez Musharraf with Musharraf as president and her as the prime minister. Like a trencherman, when she arrived in Pakistan, she decided she wanted all or nothing. Indeed, she finally got nothing!
Her return was the turning point and the clarion call for martyrdom. Most Pakistanis looked at her as the Pakistani child prodigy of the west. While the West could not undiplomatically say their relationship with Musharraf was a marriage of convenience with mutual distrust, they rather had high hopes on Benazir Bhutto. By Bhutto unconditionally declaring “Musharraf must go”, she literally dug her own grave. Musharraf being the fox that he is, goes public and paints a caricature of the US carrying Bhutto in her arms. He warns the US to stay away from Pakistani politics and respect their sovereignty. He dug deep into the minds and hearts of the extremists by doing the unthinkable: he stepped down as the Army Chief and then slated elections for January. He sang a love song and the extremists followed when he denounced the US in an interview. The journalists asked him if he will hand over Osama Bin Laden to the US if he saw him. He quibbled and made the US the scapegoat for failing to find Bin Laden despite all their technology.
At this juncture, the extremists see Bhutto and Sharriff as their enemies. They fear Bhutto will auction their sovereignty to the US and the West. Musharraf may not even be directly involved in the death of Bhutto because he did not need to. He cunningly manufactured enough Bhutto’s haters. With that strategy, Musharraf has toasted Bhutto unto the terrorist altar as a sacrificial lamb for his power extension.
The presence of a suicide bomber shows its terroristic link, but the company of bullets shows that it was for political reasons meant to do away with her once and for good. She knew too much than the world thought. Whatever may be the case, her blood will cry as a martyr. It challenges other freedom fighters that freedom has a price to pay, and in most cases, it is with your life. Freedom always walks with a slow pace, people and circumstances may delay it, but it will always reach its destination. While Pakistanis will miss her, the US will miss her more because she reminds them of Operation Acoustic Kitty.
Until then, may her family be consoled.
Prince and PA Hamilton Ayuk.