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Benazir Bhutto: A Sad Farewell
by NAM (reposted)
Saturday Dec 29th, 2007 12:17 PM
Originally From New America Media

Friday, December 28, 2007 : I first met Benazir Bhutto in the back alleys of downtown Sacramento not too far away from the California State Capitol building. But that is just a partial truth (because it wasn’t really a back alley). It actually happened to be the guest exit behind the Sacramento Convention Center as she was about to get into a limousine.
It was soon after 9/11 (October 2001) and earlier that day I had seen her deliver one of the finest speeches that I had ever covered by any woman, as an ethnic reporter. Benazir Bhutto had just finished addressing more than a thousand women (and about a half a dozen men including myself) at “A Woman’s Day Professional Conference and Exposition” event. If memory serves me right, she was a last minute replacement for Tipper Gore. I tried to get a picture with her in the exit area but was firmly turned down by the security around her. She did not know me from Adam. And at that time her security was the last thing on my mind. During the past couple of months it had been a major concern for everyone. Her murder was my worst fear realized.

Before going further a little more into this story, let me digress. I am beginning to dread calls from my brother. He called early in the morning to give me the news of Benazir’s assassination. He had also called in 1979 to give me the shocking news that her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had been hanged by the regime of then military Dictator General Zia. Both times I had found the information unbelievable. And both times I have felt deeply saddened for the Bhutto’s and the country of Pakistan.

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§Today We Mourn, Tomorrow We Think of Politics: Pakistani Bloggers
by NAM (reposted) Saturday Dec 29th, 2007 12:18 PM
Originally From New America Media

Friday, December 28, 2007 :New America Media, News Analysis, Ketaki Gokhale, Posted: Dec 28, 2007 Editor’s Note: The Pakistani blogsphere is not ready to beatify Benazir Bhutto into the Pakistani Aung San Suu Kyi like many in the West have done. But whether they supported her politics or not, they regard her assassination as a big step backward reports NAM contributor Ketaki Gokhale.

The frenzy over the assassination of Pakistani opposition party leader Benazir Bhutto has spilled over into the blogosphere, where emotions mirror the rising tides of violence in Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi, but are tempered with a strong dose of pragmatism.

Blogs are popular among Pakistan's urban elite and the chattering classes appear to remain skeptical of Bhutto’s altruism, her feted return to Pakistan earlier this year, and her contributions as prime minister, a position she was elected to twice. They raised the issue of the corruption and money laundering charges brought by the Pakistani government against her and her husband – charges she said were politically motivated. But the general consensus among bloggers, however, is that her death represents a step backward for the country.

A post at Metroblogging Islamabad, a city-specific site featuring posts by handpicked regional bloggers, generated dozens of responses the day of Bhutto’s assassination. “I have never been a fan of Benazir Bhutto, rather I disagree with a lot of her policies,” one reader wrote, “but the way she has been killed is very saddening. It was quite shocking. May her soul rest in heaven.”

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