27.12.07

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto and neocolonial politics


I was reading few days ago the excellent portrait written by Tariq Ali in the LRB of Benazir in particular and the Bhuttos and Pakistani politics in general. I was struck by the level of resemblance between Pakistani and Lebanese politics, and by the similarities of the trajectories of politicians from both countries.

I thought that this is the fate of countries who are still very much under disguised and sometimes not so much disguised colonial rule. Well, today, learning of the assassination of Benazir, I thought that the resemblance with Lebanese politics was taken to its extreme. Let's then meditate this citation from Benazir's father which figured in Ali's article:

I entirely agree that the people of Pakistan will not tolerate foreign hegemony. On the basis of the self-same logic, the people of Pakistan would never agree to an internal hegemony. The two hegemonies complement each other. If our people meekly submit to internal hegemony, a priori, they will have to submit to external hegemony. This is so because the strength and power of external hegemony is far greater than that of internal hegemony. If the people are too terrified to resist the weaker force, it is not possible for them to resist the stronger force. The acceptance of or acquiescence in internal hegemony means submission to external hegemony.


Also:
William Dalrymple on Pakistan's flawed and feudal princess
Bhutto's son, 19, to take over his mother's role as Pakistan opposition leader. The game of internal nad external hegemony continues in Pakistan.
Jason Burke: his journey with Benazir.
The day I spent on the campaign trail with her this month was vintage Benazir. At first I interviewed her in a relatively formal fashion. Then I put my notebook away and we simply talked - about her ambitions, Pakistan, the coming elections and, of course, the various threats against her. As ever, I was impressed by her intelligence and courage and depressed by her delusions and ego

8 comments:

Pierre Tristam said...

Sophia, this isn't related to Benazir (my stuff on Benazir is elsewhere) but I just wanted to return the vist and say thanks for your wishes. It's been a long time. If you were to go back to the Notebooks now, maybe more time would pass still! By coincidence I posted the sort of piece that always has you and me at opposite ends of the table (a long reflection on the murderer of Theo van Gogh, inspired by the murder of Benazir). Well, anything to kick off the discussions again. Meilleurs voeux et joyeux noel en retard.

yaman said...

The LRB article was very informative... thanks for posting it.

Ted said...

Bush benefits because it brings Al-Qaeda back into the news and he can talk about terror again.

Musharraf benefits, he can put martial law back in place because of terror and unrest. He remains dictator, Bush keeps his puppet in power and everyone is happy.

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Sophia said...

Thanks Pierre. I am going to read this article of yours and hopefully find enough time to kick off the discussion again. To your knowledge I am still visiting regularly the Notebooks, not so often but regularly anyway, but I am not posting comments because of lack of time.

Naj said...

Happy New Year, dear Sofia :)

M Bashir said...

okay, i left you a merry christmas and a good year wish here but it seems to have gotten lost in cyberspace, anyway, thank you Sophia, for your note and we wish you and your family all the happiness there can be.

francois said...

wrote something as well

it seems that buttho assassination would be unsolved ...

however we have to notice that hariri was an ex PM and Bhutto as well. Does the international community care about Pakistan and/or would they protect Mousharraf?

Sophia said...

Dear Naj,
My last post explains my silence. I wish you a very happy new year.

Dear Moussa,
Thanks a lot. Even if your wishes were lost somehwere on the web I know from my heart that you already had them for me.

 
Since March 29th 2006