What’s the big deal about Benazir Bhutto?

Published: December 27, 2010

Bhutto's contributions to the country are not all positive PHOTO: MEAUS.COM

I’m watching the thousands of doting followers streaming into Naudero. I’m listening to soundbytes of Benazir devotees describing how she changed their lives forever. I’m reading all the comments flowing into this site, but I just don’t get it: what’s the big deal about Benazir Bhutto?

I’d sworn off writing for The Express Tribune blogs after the negative criticism, but really, has everyone taken off their critical thinking hats today?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Ms Bhutto and the PPP fail to run Pakistan. Twice? Where is the glory in that?

Okay fine – so people tell me it’s not Benazir Bhutto the individual who is such a big deal, but it is the “Bhutto legacy” and the “PPP ideology” which make Benazir (the individual) so precious. But Wikipedia tells me that it was the PPP which lost fair and square against the Awami League in 1970. So technically, it is the same party that (in some part) played a role in us losing East Pakistan and altered the course of the nation forever, not to mention added in a historic chapter so heinous that it does not even appear in our history books. Not much of a legacy there.

Wait, wait I know – Benazir is a big deal because she is Pakistan’s first and only female prime minister. But really, what’s the big deal in that, given that her father was a big-shot landlord, who also happened to be prime minister of Pakistan? Last I checked, no one gets credit for stuff they inherit.

No wait. She was killed by the Taliban, and that’s what the whole fuss is really about people tell me – its a tragedy. Well last I checked, there are thousands who have been killed off by the Taliban, sometimes dozens in a single day. What makes Benazir’s death at the hands of terrorists more special? That she was born rich and lucky enough to get an education abroad and offered the role of leading Pakistan on a silver platter? Her death is horrific and tragic, but I’m simply not convinced guys.

Then there are some arguments based on the (pathetic few) programs and schemes set up by Benazir. Is the First Women’s Bank really that big an accomplishment? What did she actually do for women (or men) anyway? Let’s not even look at a national level; the plight of women in Sindh, and Larkana, her home-town, is just pitiful.

Did she deliver a lot of lectures on women’s right?


Did she repeal the Hudood laws when she had a chance?


Did she yell “roti kapra makaan” a lot?


Did that have any impact on poverty in Pakistan today?


I could continue like this for pages and pages, but it all comes back to the same thing. Loving Benazir Bhutto is fine, but let’s not toss in all these (misguided) slogans regarding her ‘guts and glory’ as a leader. She was a human, just like the rest of us. Got a few things right, got a lot of things wrong, but mostly, got lucky (or unlucky?) in inheriting a political dynasty. And just like her father, she has seen to it that the dynasty continues via Bilawal (Bhutto) Zardari.

May she rest in peace.


Nadya V

Social critic and part-time gossip monger

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://www.mehreenkasana.wordpress.com/ Mehreen Kasana

    Why, Express Tribune, why?Recommend

  • http://faisalabad Asif

    I am a liberal (here under a psuedonym), but support you this. the twitterati of writers in Pak have become a fan club, wilfully ignoring today’s ppp so they can hold a candle to her. they criticize the whitewashing of history when it comes to the 1971 in history books, but want her slate cleaned for her worship. Recommend

  • Asad Shairani

    Thanks for calling a spade a spadeRecommend

  • http://grsalam.wordpress.com Ghausia

    I’d sworn off writing for The Express Tribune blogs after the negative criticism

    I’d suggest you stick to that promise.

    Have a little respect for the dead please. Recommend


    ya u need to be corrected.
    yes BB shaheed was very rich, yes his father BHUTTO shaheed was a big-shot. but he was the one who has given the right to the poor to speak about their rights.there is no other family who has sacrificed there lifes for the people of this country.
    u will never understand wht the poor of this think about the BHUTTO’s.
    n lastly BB was martyred not by the taliban, it is not about the one who shot at her it is about those who knit this concperacyRecommend

  • Salman Malik

    Does nobody read the blogs before posting them? This is pathetic. What’s the big deal in a woman becoming PM of Pakistan?!?! The author answered her own question by mentioning hudood ordinance!Recommend

  • http://www.emagzine.org Saagar Kamrani

    I won’t be arguing over how she changed lives; because anyone with a bit ‘shaoor’ and unbiased reading can write pages and pages about Bhutto family who ONLY brought democracy in Pakistan, and unlike yours it wont come back to the same thing!
    I suggest you to see the complete history line, there are dark holes of dictatorship between each milestone of PPP government; scrutinize the consequences of dictatorship which democracy had to face every time.
    Overall your article lacked strong arguments. Self-questioning and answering are hallucinations not the TRUTH!Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/143/taha-kerar/ Taha Kehar

    I love the tongue and cheek humor!
    I wouldn’t advise you to stop writing for the ET blogs. Negative criticism isn’t a yardstick of your abilities. No point succumbing to unless it’s actually constructive!
    I agree that her contributions were marginally beneficial, but I guess everyone is entitled to respect on their death anniversary.Recommend

  • Masood

    The big deal is lack of real leaders in Pakistan. The void has to be filled in by something, be it imaginary.

    May God have mercy on her soul. Recommend

  • http://amnamela.wordpress.com/ Amna Mela

    I’m no fan of your previous articles, but I do agree with the gist of this one.
    HOWEVER, even if you disagree with Benazir’s politics, this isn’t the best way to pen it. And it’s on her death anniversary…yikes. There’s no tact in that. You say the criticism put you off but it seems like you thrive on creating controversy and can’t stay away from it.
    She was no hero of mine, but if you’re going to write a piece against a woman revered by many, expect a backlash. I’d suggest writing a piece with less emotion and more facts and research. Less fluff, more truth. But yeah, for now brace yourself for the blacklash.Recommend

  • Mahvesh

    I don’t agree with you mostly, but this time you’re right. Respecting is one thing, putting them on a pedestal which they don’t deserve is another. Yes, she died tragically and no one should go that way, but that does not mean that suddenly she becomes the greatest leader this country had. Hell, Musharraf probably did more for women than she did!

    I was saddened that she died, and I’ll acknowledge her personality but she doesn’t become my ‘answer to all of Pakistan’s ills had she lived.’Recommend

  • Ali Hassan

    Very nice post.
    Agreed. Leader should only be valued if he/she has delivered and not by any other quality. She had many great qualities, but she failed to deliver, and that should be the only criteria.
    We are a nation of leader worshippers.Recommend

  • khan

    Thank you for this post. I can guarantee that there are millions of Pakistanis who feel the exact same way! What did Benazir really accomplish for Pakistan? Common seriously. None of that rhetoric of democracy and what not, people cannot eat democracy when they are hungry. If u measure her rule in any sense, economy, law and order, international relations, etc, you will see how bad it was when she was in power. Please no more revisionist history. Had she gotten a third term, it would have been equally as bad.Recommend

  • Zahra

    Gosh. I agree!! I just don’t understand. What is wrong with these people!! Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill.Recommend

  • Hataf!!

    she gave the bloody missile technology!!
    dont u hav any info!!
    for the record, she has many followers who dont really pay heed to such stuff!
    so carry on, we dont use words while negating ppl!! we show them the ppl who hav and will come to Garhi Khuda Bux on this day by own! this is the strength of BENAZIR!Recommend

  • Ammar R

    Nadya, you should have stuck to your self-imposed-yet-popularly-advocated hiatus. That you chose to return by shamelessly bashing one of the most popular female leaders of the Muslim world on the anniversary of her death speaks volumes in itself. Have some sensitivity to the millions who adore her at the very least. Granted, her admirers don’t come from your social class or background, but don’t denigrate her memory on the very day they lost her. She (and her party) was the only one who ever even claimed to speak for the dispossessed and the destitute in this country.

    Can you explain to me, Nadya V, if she is indeed so irrelevant, Why she has thousands upon thousands of ‘devotees describing how she changed her lives forever’? Wait, let me second-guess you – they’re all illiterate, savage ‘jiyalas’ under the sway of fuedals, who don’t know what’s good for them, right?

    That answer, which thousands of middle class pakistanis will be only too ready to give, is simply indicative of the unwillingness of our middle class to understand the social, cultural and political conditions in which the poor of this country live. We’d much rather just disparage them and those they regard as their representatives from a distance, while complaining about ‘poverty’ in the same breath.

    This was incredibly distasteful. Notwithstanding the obviously forced prayer for her soul at the end.Recommend

  • http://grsalam.wordpress.com Ghausia

    I’d like to relate a story my best friend told me. She has a younger brother who was very ill since birth, I don’t recall the exact illness, but he desperately needed a surgery that the family could not afford. They couldn’t afford the surgery in itself, let alone vthe cost of flying to London for the procedure. When Benazir learned of this, she arranged for the kid to be flown to London with his parents and get the surgery he needed. I’ve met him a few times, he’s an adorable little darling and he honestly would not be alive today if Benazir hadn’t helped them. Of course, many could protest that Benazir paid for everything with the people’s money, stolen money, haraam kamayi, etc. but then again, people filled with negativity seldom want to hear of anything positive. I’m not a fan of either PPP or blegh, Zardari, but to bi**h about someone in such a horrid way, on her death annivversary no less. Well, just goes to show what kind of a person the writer is. Recommend

  • Amna

    THANK YOU! The one “Benazir” article I totally agree with on this site. As for those who think this is disrespectful to the dead…please, just because someone has died does not mean we start claiming she was the best thing to ever happen to Pakistan.

    Yes, may she rest in peace- I don’t think any mature adult would try to disrespect a dead person. But the writer has only wrote that Benazir hype is overrated, and Benazir has not done all that we like to attribute to her. And the PPP behavior after the 1970 elections was not exactly ” democratic”

    I dont see whats wrong, she just called it for what it isRecommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/225/ali-ahmad/ Ahmad Ali

    Fantastic article!!!

    An article which embodies democratic autonomy and the critical eye of scrutiny with the hard cold steel of reason.

    Only those who are blinded by intense passion and emotion, will be oblivious to the virtues of this article. Recommend

  • Lelomaye

    And only last night I was wondering why you haven’t written for so long. Controversy’s favourite child is definitely back. Recommend

  • Gibran Ashraf

    Ok, Benazir, or the PPP might not have been the best rulers of Pakistan, ZAB would have been the worst if there had been no Zia, but this rant is below the belt.

    I am not a PPP supporter, and not a fan of the Bhuttos, i believe they are dynastic, and they made a hell lot of mistakes, sold out this country, but what you have put in there is just plain ignorant. you have not provided even one counter argument with proper proof. Have no real idea other than a cursory glance at wikipedia on the history of Pakistan and politics.

    Benazir might not have been the ideal leader but you, my dear have attempted to disgrace one of the biggest political leaders of Pakistan of all time.

    Whats the big deal that the taliban killed her you ask? Really?????? How old are you? have you ever been out of defense? have you seen a bomb blast? Talibans have been killing our country men and it makes no difference to you? they killed a leader – one who had been a focal contact point between the Afghani Taliban government and the Pakistani government in the 90’s?

    In a patriarchal country for Benazir, a female, to be “ELECTED” in 1989 after almost a decade of military rule speaks volumes – but you wouldn’t know that – because she did not sing like Miley Cyrus or Justin Blieber?

    One of the first Muslim women to be elected as the head of state in the world is just insignificant or that you did not chance upon that in Wikipedia?

    She was Shia – an ethnic minority, elected to be Prime Minister of an Islamic Republic like Pakistan which is a melting pot of ethnicities, she rose above her ethnicity and portrayed herself as a Muslim rather than indulge in ethnic divide. but of course to you ethnic divide is just the other side of the bridge??!!!

    What is this? another wordpress or blogspot spot????Recommend

  • Manzoor chandio

    Mohtarma Shaheed Benazir Bhutt (RA) was the queen of the islamic world. She made Pakistan an Asian Tiger. Jiey Bhutto, Jiey Zardari, Jiey PPP. Zinda heu Bhutto zinda hey.

    Her Son Bilawal Bhutto who will be the next PM of Pakistan will carry out her mission.Recommend

  • faraz

    Just look who opposed her when she returned in 1988: military establishment, civil and military intelligence agencies, religious parties, clerics and mullahs, jihadi organizations, conservative urban middle class, right wing urdu press, pro establishment intelligensia, traders and industrialists, political parties created and supported by intelligence agencies. Recommend

  • Ali

    Hatts off to you dear for being so bold n straight forward!! i myself grew up in Karachi n personally always kept thinking about all of these so called DEMOCRATIC LEADERS like… wat r they upto actually?? Do they even care wat the masses r going through?? specially this PPP just reminds of ineffeciency and corruption n nothing else!! and Yes guys,,, accept it! Before Zardaari we had Benazir n she too didnt even know wat were the problems of the country! i dont know Why she has suddenly become the most respectable leader of Pakistani History!! Why? Just because shez dead??
    its ok we should Respect the Dead but plzz call a spade a spade!! Dont confuse the younger generation!! PPP sucks n its a fact!Recommend

  • aik voice

    Well written.. keep thinking critically, i could not agree with you more on the points covered!Recommend

  • http://www.thetrueperspective.com Hamza Malik

    Wow. That was just harsh. But true. Harsh write up Nadya. Keep em coming!Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/341/muhammad-fahed/ Muhammad Fahed

    I dont want to comment on this but as far as Talibans are concern i do voiced with Nadya V.
    PPP that is supposed to be a liberal party but always accommodate Talibans and their sympathizers and that is a reality, what was the reason behind it? Establishment, Religious Parties who play with the emotions of people in the name of Islam or something else but Shaheed BB was reluctant to take any step against those laws and people.
    My Article Is PPP really Secular and Liberal

    is all about PPP attitude towards Talibans and people like them and a history how PPP supports them in successive governments.
    BB Shaheed was not only a leader but a Darling of Masses, Although i am NOT a PPP fan or voter or Supporter but i do admire her as a leader, she has a charisma and People love her, either we accept the reality or not, Benazir was Benazir.Recommend

  • Mohammad naeem

    It was distasteful at v least.
    Yes its not a big deal.. To be a woman PM of Pakistan and defeat two dictators and all the odds of establishment!!?
    All that just for the rights of oppressed ones.. Certainly not a big deal for privilaged ones of your type. Recommend

  • Saad Durrani

    @Nadya: a bit distasteful but quite true.Recommend

  • http://none Arsl

    Hey Nadia,
    That was a ” Fair statement” . You forgot to mention Hubco and other deals as well here. I only empathy with her children, as they lost a mother.

    Rest was ” ********************” .

    Kind Regards!Recommend

  • Mike Sullivan

    Nadya, I agree! What mithers me the most is how someone who, apparently, lived and died for democracy could ‘nominate’ a successor to her ‘throne’? Recommend

  • roomi

    The biig deal about Benazir Bhutto is that she became a symbol of resitance against the Miltary Civil establishment for a decade before she became Prime Minister. Her two terms as the first Muslim woman prime Minister were fraught with intrigues and also by her own mistakes and to giver her due she was never allowed (by the establishment) to complete her two terms. And her third homecoming promised a lot as we all witnessed the carnival atmosphere in Karachi when she arrived as it seemed that to the Ordinary man on the street she still symbolised hope of some kind and not just people of Sind ( Punjab Kashmir frontier- people had travelled long distances to welcome her) The big deal about Benazir was that she was not a drawing room politician. She was a people ‘s leader and campaigned in Peshawar and Rawalpindi when the Ch. Shujaaat’s n Musharaf”s would not venture too far from their own bullet proof home territories. As for your remark about who she failed to rule Pakistan twice. Military dictators have failed to run with all their absolute power wheras she was never allowed to complete her terms. Ayubs rule led to the break up of the country It was the Military who had the power when Pakistan broke up. Bhutto only inherited a truncated Pakistan. She wasnt killed by the Taliban as you claim. It wasnt the Taliban who ordered the fire brigade to wash the site of her murder shortly after the incident. Perhaps this question should be answered by the “Powers that be” – our establishment – that what was the BIG DEAL ABOUT BENAZIR THAT she was killed like this and all evidence washed up. The Big deal about Benazir to my mind is that she symbolized HOPE for the common man – in all the four PROVINCEs- not like the leaders we have now whose appeal lies only with their own ethincities or religious leanings. She was the LAST TRULY NATIONAL LEADER and she represented HOPE- that was so cruelly exnguished on 27 dec 2007. Recommend

  • http://bakedsunshine.wordpress.com/ Shumaila

    Tact isn’t your strong point is it? I agreed with most of your points, and the timing isn’t wrong exactly, but you could’ve been less controversy-mongering.

    On the whole, I wouldn’t discourage you from writing either. Your posts are so amusing and cause so much furor its entertaining. :PRecommend

  • Zara

    Thanks you o thank you for being the voice of reason.I swear soon they will come up with blasphemy laws for anyone criticizing her if her deification of now not to mention reaction of ppp to criticisms in talk shows is anything Togo by!!!!!!Recommend

  • parvez

    In your article you have chosen to articulate, in your Nadya V style, those qualities and points of BB and the PPP that resonate with many people. Many will disagree with you.
    You have treated the subject somewhat superficially but I like your no nonsense style. Recommend

  • david

    whats the big deal about this blog!!? Bad taste! Crass! Generalisations and assumptions about history n politics! seems like snatches of overheard drawing room debates put togather to bash the late BB rather distatefully- n that too on her death anniversary. Express editors should be ashamed. The writer needs to educate herself or perhaps would be better off writing gossip coloumns about bollywood stars. Recommend

  • Dina

    Thank you for this! The weirdo Bhutto personality cult reeks of mindless hysteria.Recommend

  • http://www.LiaquatAli.com Liaquat Ali

    Nadya, what you write relates to the first 53 1/2 years of her very eventful life.

    Please listen to and evaluate her interviews from the last 6 months of her life. I believe that she had decided to learn politics instead of living off of her father’s reputation, and was getting properly trained.

    She was finally becoming a serious political material. It is sad that she was eliminated at a tender age of 54.

    May she rest in peace.Recommend

  • amna javed

    guys , cut the scribe some slack here. thats what BB’s soul would truly want, a woman to speak her mind , would’nt she?

    it is truly annoying when a majority of the poor people in this nation immortalize a leader who created more problems than she solved. most of her service was merely lip service , and it takes more than sozzling a fawning audience with impassioned oaths to solve a country’s problems. our brethren are sunk in superficiality to titanic depths, and are blind to common sense. Its sad she had to pass away the way she did, but if she was a spade, she deserves to be called one. Recommend

  • Abbas

    fantastic article …. A view with a critical eye …… For me its reality , useless slogans .Recommend

  • Anushka

    Awesome piece! totally spoke my mind out! Really wish the world would get over her already.Recommend

  • Anushka Jatoi

    Awesome piece! totally spoke my mind out! Really wish the world would get over her already.Recommend

  • Maha

    @Manzoor chandio:
    I like your humour.Recommend

  • Maha

    Hope? Hope for what? No offence but i think hope for more corruption.Recommend

  • Maha

    Thanks for writing this article. Even i don’t understand that what’s the big deal about her.Recommend

  • Sohrab

    Nadia: Out of 37 comments so far, 26 have agreed with you. That is over 2/3rd of the people, an over-whelming majority. I suppose you should keep on writing.Recommend

  • Talha

    Very true, what exactly did Bhutto achieve for Pakistani?

    Nada, nothing.Recommend

  • Talha

    Also, please keep writing here, it’s fun to read your entries.Recommend

  • Ali

    The timing of the article could have been better. But I agree with it after seeing the state sponsored propaganda for the whole day on PTV.Recommend


    I’d sworn off writing for The Express Tribune blogs after the negative criticism.

    Weak decision-making abilities. You need to work on a lot of areas.Recommend

  • Dr.Khan

    Thank you so much you have read my mind!!!!Recommend

  • Shehriyar

    Sir i salute you for writing this. these are exactly the arguments i present to my fellow PPP(Bhutto) supporters, and they always somehow manage to swing that to Z.A Bhutto. well in the same case we can swing military rule to Ayub Khan( Musharraf still being the best leader we have ever had, but you know the point i am making). Even some of the most educated people i know fall for the sham that the P.P.P and Bhuttos are. A democratic party which is a monarchy within itself? i mean for gods sake people, dont you guys have a brain? roti kapra makaan?..i ask how many people got this “roti,kapra, makaan”. she has estates worth millions all over europe. her husband is now the richest man in Pakistan, and her son, who has not even lived in Pakistan is supposed to run it? i am always just left in awe when i think of these things.. she came back to pakistan to loot it for the third time, but no, our country is too blind to see it. pick up an illiterate person from the slums of karachi, i bet he/she can do a far better job at running teh country, becuase they know what problems this country faces. however, i strongly believe that we are better off under a dictatorship. our people dont know what they want.Recommend

  • Rizwan

    FINALLY, someone tells it how it is. I’m sick of this BB love in, okay she was killed and it was all very tragic but when was she ever a national hero? What has her party ever brought to our country, save for mass corruption and economic disasters?Recommend

  • Ahmad

    Maybe instead of criticizing her for what she did, you should look at the reasons why she made the decisions she made. She was wrong on many counts, but the Hudood Laws situation was simply out of her control, if you read a little bit of history, maybe you would know that, but i guess you were in too much of a hurry to write something that would attract a lot of comments instead. Not her biggest fan, but Pakistan would’ve been a much better place with BB in charge right now rather than Zardari. And dont even bring ZAB into this discussion. PPP never won the election but last time i checked, the army was in charge when BD decided to split, not Bhutto. And you simply dismiss everything that happened during the ZIA era, maybe because it didn’t fit your manufactured narrative? Again, not the biggest fan, but this article seems very biased, but can one expect from the tribune, the same paper that publishes articles by Asad Durrani.Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/2534/whose-country-is-this-anyway-not-the-tax-payers/ Syed Nadir El-Edroos

    BB was/is a public figure. Whether in life or death, whether she is idolized or ridiculed, as a political leader its part of the job description. Every media outlet is filled with pages of ads, most on government expense, eulogizing her persona. One blog entry here goes a long way to add some objectivity. As for the timing, well – well Zia’s death anniversary doesnt stop anyone from ridiculing him…Recommend

  • amina

    this is the problem with us pakistani people…we try our best to find flaws in people n make do.
    she didnt HAVE to carry out her fathers dreams…she couldve just sat down,made babies and critisized ppl, ! She could have let her brothers deal wid the politics.
    She was the ONLY internationally acclaimed woman pakistan ever produced.and shame on you for taking that away from her.Recommend

  • http://dinopak.wordpress.com Hasan

    Wow, I am sorry to see how people are being pessimistic about this. Any sane person will agree Benazir wasn’t any ‘leader’. If she had the slightest ‘pain’ for the poor masses, she would give away her “heritage” and literally help the poor.

    The problem with Pakistani people is that we don’t have many ‘symbols’ to worship, hence with the assassination of Benazir, we created one for ourselves. I couldn’t help but notice that every Pakistani channel ran a MARATHON of programs to ‘tribute’ a lady who was held for corruption charges, who never achieved anything when she was in power EXCEPT for the First woman bank (applause for her on a great achievement). What was her ‘significant’ achievement? Big deal she became the Prime Minister, which frankly was a given since PPP have always done politics of condolences. You will see even today, the PPP feudals using the words “SHAHEEDON KI PARTY” (party of the martyrs) and stuff like that.

    I read someone saying Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto gave poor the rights. Is that so? If he did that back in 1973 why is it that in 2010, the people of his own city are illiterate and still under feudal system?

    This is the very reason Pakistan does not develop. Our priorities are with those who are corrupt and failures. We never glorify our true heroes, all of you Pakistanis, does anyone have the slightest hint of what was the achievement of Professor Dr. Abdus-Salam? No but we all know what Abdul Qadeer Khan did, that is big. We are the frog in a well, as proved by everyone on top here.Recommend

  • pfft

    Nadia, this piece ill-timed.
    I agree some things are just not right about BB. But on her death anniversary? Seriously? Thats harsh. It just comes out as evil. Controversial topics are good. But don’t address them controversially. Treat them logically. Give both sides of the story. It may seem unnecessary in blogs, but it just shows how balance you are.
    Also, your last para about her being human makes no sense simplyn b/c it does not go with the nastiness with which you have portrayed herself. It almost looks like you’re calling her human by not treating her as humanbeing.
    Everyone gets negative criticism. U should find the one that helps you and stick to it. But don’t try to think that you can get away with saying anything about people there are facts.
    Anyone who think that this piece shows democratic values is hugely mistaken about the difference between brutal honesty and rudeness. This is not me speaking as a supporter of PPP/MQM or even ANP. It is me speaking as someone who values the ideal of human respects and dignity. Please, mind it, next time that there is no need for such pieces which attempt to say nothing that can help.
    In Pakistan, politics is not a one-WO/man game. It involve many people and agencies. America also. So please expand ur analysis a bit.

    I give this piece

    7/10 for writing
    2/10 for research
    3/10 for analysis
    4/10 for containing argument
    6/10 for creating interest
    3/10 for understanding both sides of the story
    5/10 for the context she chose
    4/10 for avoiding generalization
    3/10 for coherent strategy
    6/10 for actually stating an opinion

    43% is a good number. Recommend

  • Nomad27

    This answers two things:
    Why we can’t build anything on a previous persons/regimes efforts
    Why we don’t have any champions
    Keep it up!Recommend

  • TKhan

    About East Pakistan, my advise is to read before you write. Hamood-ur-Rahman Commission Report can be a good start, as ignorance is a blessing as long as your mouth is shut. Recommend

  • kalim

    well, if the writer has any other leader better than her please bring that person on. i think she was the best of the worst lot available. and you could have waited for some other time for this article because one of the good or bad things of our society is that we dont speak that much bad of the deads.Recommend

  • http://islamabad Maryam

    i agree with you Nadya,
    with much respect to the dead…this is what i was wondering the whole day yesterday ….a holiday in sindh government run insitiutions ..why? she was no Quaid no Allama Iqbal….
    the mere fact that she inherited her fathers party n became 1st women prime minister plus could speak english doesnt make her a hero.

    all the benazir supports plz tell me one good thing PPP did for Pakistan.
    i m so sick of this benazir and zardari thing….seriously…!!!Recommend

  • http://islamabad Maryam

    how can someone who was all for democracy nominated a successor for her throne and that too her own corrupt husband and baby son??/


  • kalim

    p.s after going through your this and other articles you remind me of our very own veena malik.Recommend

  • Amadeus


  • Mohsin Junaid

    Finally one sane voice among stupid millions!! Recommend

  • Danish

    Thank God for people like you, who have the courage and the good memory to state the facts. She did become prime minister of the country …. it’s really not a big deal, her husband became the president of the same country!!!!! is anyone willing to give him the credit and respect for doing so???? and her son will probably become the prime minister one day, so what? the taliban have managed to take over and rule parts of our country, does that make them heroes???? usurping power in this country is no big deal, anyone who has ill-gotten wealth, or weapons can do so. Saaaad, isn’t it????? Recommend

  • Moazzam Salim

    Brilliant!! But it shouldnt stop at only Benazir. Try fitting this pattern on the rest of the Pakistani politicians and you will find that it fits everytime. And ultimately one must not forget that most of the Political Dynasties/powerhouses have been created and nurtured in Pakistan by the Millitary, including PPP, PML(N) and MQM. And the Generals make sure that after a short time of presumed freedom under a weak democracy people start screeming for another Martial Law. And thus the cycle goes on and on and on…… Recommend

  • BB………

    excellent article. spot on! by the way benazir was the only elected leader refused an entry into the nation’s strategic space because there were question marks over her intentions and loyalties. and why does everyone forget her liaisons with rajheev gandhi……………
    when i see all the people crying and weeping for her death…………i feel disgusted and angry but we will have leaders like these as the fault does not lie with our leaders but it lies with us as a nation. we are crooks and we elect crooks. what this nation needs is deep self introspection otherwise we will always be ruled by these dynaties and treated like garbage.Recommend

  • Ahmad Moeenuddin

    To the enlightened Pakistanis,

    I happened to be reading for my Bar in London when this tragic incident took place. Then and now i have stuck to my stance, though barraged with a lot of criticism, that Benazir deserved nothing but a few words of sorrow for her death. Yes call be cynical or a disrespectful brat, however truth be told, that as the writer suggests she left behind nothing for the country to be proud of.

    Now, i hear many talks wonders about her, but it was at my house in ’88 when her inner kitchen shadow cabinet took place, where BB was being prepared for her press conferences. A question asked by a late senior PPP official during her prep seemed quite simple “So BB why have you decided to join the Pakistani Politics?” A simple and an honest answer would have been to continue my father’s legacy (not much to be proud of there either) but she wanted to touch the hearts of the voter by saying “to stop the injustice that is taking place in Pakistan” and as anyone would have expected, the question followed, “what is this injustice that you talk about?” to which she in all her seriousness replied, whilst chewing on her gum, “i was on my way home (larkana) and i saw that people had been tearing up Bhutto’s pictures, and that is such a big injustice the people of Pakistan are facing.” (only if i had the permission to leak that video out)

    The fact remains, that BB continued her struggle for her family name, during the process had her brother assassinated during her regime and did nothing about it, what could the rest of the country expect from her. She left behind a husband who should not even be called a president, and a son, who seems to be in line of his rightful inheritance, knows nothing about Pakistan and its people, yet shall be hailed as a leader.

    In the end, it was a tragic day, a loss the country and the world suffered, but that loss was and is repairable, nothing has been lost. And to all those who ask to respect the dead, to them i shall, leave your sentiments at home. No one is saying anything about BB as a human being, she might have been an angel for all i know, it is her legacy as a Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition (as such) that forms the basis of criticism, and anyone who enters the public sphere should embrace to accept that (along with their followers). For let me assure you Hitler is dead too, so is Sadaam, not to forget Bugti, or the many taliban insurgents. Should i sit and say prayers for all ? Recommend

  • zuhaib

    couldnt agree with you more,,,you have hit the nail
    keep’em comingRecommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/265/haris-masood-zubairi/ Haris Masood Zuberi

    Excellent work Nadya!Recommend

  • http://billaytoot.wordpress.com Belal

    According to my knowledge, PP was the only democratic party in Pakistan who had itself democracy in it in early days (which is not present right now) and Mr. Bhutto was considered as the best leader that Pakistan had ever…

    I am not fan of Benazir, as whats so good about Benazir, whats so good about your blog? You criticize some one when you have done some thing yourself better than the person you are criticizing..Recommend

  • Jehan Naseem

    I actually agree with the logical theory of the piece. This is the first time I believe you are getting some positive feedback. Good job.Recommend

  • Manoj


    Not only 1971, but ZAB was also responsible for 1965 war with India. He mislead Mr. Ayub Khan and behind his back conspired with other military officer and also gave wrong message of China support to Mr. President.To some extent he forced Mr. Ayub Khan to attack India. ZAB’s calculation was very simple, that if Pakistan loses war, Ayub will be removed and he will become Prime Minister of Pakistan.
    At that time Ayub Khan was doing very good job of nation Building. Rapid industrilization with the help of USA and other western country were taking place in Pakistan. He was already moving towards resolving the Issues with India and Indus Water agreement was starting point of this process. If Ayub would have continued for five more years Pakistan would have been Germany of South Asia by now. Resoulution of India centric issues would have allowed Pakistan to utilize more and more wealth on public welfare instead of military expenditure.
    ZAB always kept his personal interest above the country interest. Most of the problem that India and Pakistan is facing today has roots in ZAB’s personal ambition.Recommend

  • http://ykhan.wordpress.com Yasser Khan

    Simply EPIC postRecommend

  • Umer

    Nadya, i would seriously advise you to reconsider your decision to start writing again. This is appalling stuff from you once again.
    Its incredible how you so casually flaunt the use of wikipedia as a source for historical information. Not to say wikipedia is not helpful but it has no credibility as an academic or journalistic source.And that is the least of my peeve with you your childish writings.

    Where in god’s name are the editors of the tribune?Recommend

  • Waqqas Iftikhar

    brave of you to write this – i have always maintained that the manner in which she died was a travesty and was unjust but to borrow words from the late, great malcolm X…its a case of chickens coming home to roost. Her interior minister Naseerullah Babar (he of the Khajji ground fame) called the taliban ‘my boys’ – her government recognized the taliban govt in afghanistan, her brother and political opponent was murdered in cold blood without anyone being held accountable while she was prime minister so do not blame me if I dont accept that ‘martyr’ theory…she was not a hero, her two stints in power were as damaging as anyone else’s so yeah rest in peace and all that but do not tell me to worship here as a hero..Recommend

  • Waqqas Iftikhar

    Oh and as for PPP being democratic – it did start out idealistically but ZAB became the first Civilian Martial Law Administrator (CMLA) in the history of this country, he established an official set of thugs called the FSF under Masood Mahmood….and had senior party leaders such as JA Rahim beaten up for dissent – and very badly….he was a feudal after all.Recommend

  • Danish

    Brilliant, couldn’t agree more. Major hype! PPP also messed up with the drive of Nationalisation. Recommend

  • Anonymous

    Great Stuff Nadya! I fail to understand what the big deal about her is. Recommend

  • Sadia

    I totally agree with you but ofcourse several million and that too highly educated people will not. So forget about the haters cause you can’t expect people in Pakistan to think critically and practically. Do keep writing =)Recommend

  • kalim

    apart from all this she has been elected twice by the people, so you have disgraced all the masses who follow her, please leave your cozy drawing room, stop watching the talk shows on tv with coffee mug in hand, come out and talk to the commoners out side, plus she was an international figure from pakistan.
    p.s ma’am why dont you write on kitty parties, you will be at your best there, because eating french fries in the evening and talking of french revoloution in pakistan at night is injurious to health.and please stop making your self different to be noticed.Recommend

  • Hassan Raza

    Please Mr. Publisher for the sake of making money do not bring the subjects in light where many of us lack knowledge and information? Recommend

  • Muhammad Adnan Khan Qadri

    Disappointed after reading ur “Don’t kill my goats” but inspired enought after reading this master peace, great job Nadya.

    When I realize that this political party is treating Pakistan as its property makes me burn from head to toe but alas we have to listen Jiye Butto Benazir.Recommend

  • Musheer Ahmed

    She was in power for 56 months of her 30.5 years political life. Off course she didnt achieve much as you may like to term it, but she gave us the courage to fight dictators and stand up for certain principles. She was a larger than life lady, something the “intellectuals” of our country could not accept.

    I agree to most of the comments that it is an ill timed and tactless posting. Few months down the road, we can envisage you being interviewed by TV channels and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Idiots taking you on board as the “symbol of youth” in PakistanRecommend

  • Patriot

    wow!!! Nadya you can make sense at time…totally with you on this…she was just a corrupt and stupid leader, who chose a wrong husband and took her head out at the wrong time!!Recommend

  • hamid

    Fantastic piece..finally someone said what is right.. i mean, she is represented like an angel or something wereas she was nothing of that sort! Excellently done Nadya!Recommend

  • Sohaib

    agree with the author..Recommend

  • Amer

    Nadya oh Nadya, This is the first truthful article I have read about BB for a loooooong time. I thought all along that I should just shut up and let the uneducated, rooti, kapra, makan people be blind sheep.
    Guess I wasn’t alone in knowing the truth. I commend you for writing this on her death anniversary! You might wonder why I would do that… the simple answer is that this day has brought the most wonderful President in the history of the world to our pakiland, the only thing I remmember on this day is the chaos, fear, burning and looting on the streets.
    What a gift! Recommend

  • Narejo

    Good one. In death we all become martyrs and our sins are washed away. But why?? Recommend

  • Yousaf

    good one.. yea seriously all of media has the BB phobia, yes was a good person, she certainty had added value to political system if lived, but why this all this n that.

    Moreover, is it right changing the old and famous names of the airports and cities to Banazir Bhutto’s name? I would never ever agree with that. Instead, built new towns, roads, bridges and name it Banazir Bhutto.. Recommend

  • rukun


  • jabil

    Please tell me is any political leaders or the dictators have done anything for pakistan. While we are at it please tell me what did QeA did for pakistan, most of the muslim league leaders active in pre-partition India were bengalis or other like Maulana Azad. Jinnah was used by churchile in the hope that post-partion land for muslim , i.e. pakistan will be subservant to the british/western interests once the WW-II was over. What QeA really wanted was autonomy for muslim majority population in the independ India..the british called his bluff for asking to create a new country! Recommend

  • feather brain

    n finally someone speaks my mind! fantastic!! carry on writing more on ET on such a “bitter but true subjects!”….Recommend

  • Fahad Javaid

    After having a quick glimpse of all the replies to this thread, it is quite evident that majority here didn’t like her and Pakistan was worst hit during her regime. But writing such article on the day she died, I believe is not the best thing to do atleast for the sake of humanity. Although she wasn’t my hero but still it sounds evil.
    Anyways, it reminds me of an interesting story of this government before coming into power. While we were studying, my friend from Sindh – was a hardcore follower of PPP. He used to say that Zardari after spending these years in jail must had understood the importance and will definitely do something good for the sake of our country. But after seeing the repercussion, his blindfolded following vanished – Resultantly, he stopped relying on any of the political party.
    Anyways coming to where I was before, during their government in early 1990s they were the one who installed IPP and now they are doing it again to just cater their lust of money. The author took words right out my mouth, what really irked me that any new project government initiated was named on BB. She came back for power but not to represent people of Pakistan – while considering her pass record. Their tenure has always damaged and had brought ill to Pakistan. Recommend

  • mahwish rahat

    I am a big supporter of peoples party.. the peoples party not the zardari party. but the things you have said about BB are just that negative perceptions which people all the time use to exploit her image. If you are truly aware of the east Pakistan issue then you must have known that it was a propaganda on the whole against PPP. It was basically army who made it happen in such a disgusting way. Z.A Bhutto’s statement was wrongly interpreted. Now comes to issues hat you have discussed right now. Benazir could have done much more for Pakistan if she was given the maximum time to do what she planned to do. Both times her tenure was violated by these so called political parties. and not to mention that it was Z.A bhutto who make this country the atomic power. not the Nawaz sharif not the ANP and other political parties. i admit that initially she was not that much politically mature but at the time of her death her vision was quite quite much matured and she was really the Precious ASSET of Pakistan…. and please first have a full scope on Pakistani politics and then criticize…Recommend

  • http://www.logicalfools.com Logical Fools

    This is an article so well written, i had to read it twice. A delight for readers, people who have had enough of misguided slogans by die hardliners.
    Sometimes you hear so many lies from people for long your patience gives way and beyond. Then you just stop arguing and start to accept the lies.
    Then from a dark corner someone shouts liar, and everyone turns over and cheers.

    Bravo Recommend

  • http://www.logicalfools.com Logical Fools

    A wrong is a wrong be it a woman or a man. Recommend

  • http://www.logicalfools.com Logical Fools

    How many Dead Leaders do we worship in Pakistan?
    Could this not be added to the list of feats for Mrs Zardari?

    I read an article by a dear friend of mine on my blog Titled
    Pakistan-A Nation Forgetting the Real Legend
    He wondered how we have not given this Honor to The Quaid.Recommend