Benazir was a victim of her own legacy, says William Dalrymple
January 4th, 2008.
Washington, Jan 3: Assassinated ex-premier of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto was a victim of her own legacy, according to noted author William Dalrymple.
During Benazirs regime, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan had installed the Taliban in Afghanistan and a large number of young Islamic militants were recruited to carry out ISIs “dirty work in Kashmir”, Dalrymple writes in the New York Times.
These Islamist militant groups that flourished under the Benazir Administrations in the 1980s and 1990s contributed to her assassination, according to Dalrymple.
Writing in the New York Times, he said that though “the recruitment of jihadists had started before she took office,” but it would be “naive to believe” that Benazir had no influence over Pakistans foreign policy toward its two most important neighbours, India and Afghanistan.
Benazirs death was, of course a calamity, particularly as she had “embodied the hopes” of so many liberals in that country, but Benazir was no Aung San Suu Kyi, said William Darlymple.
Recalling the record of the Pakistan Government during her Prime Ministership, he said that her governments were widely criticised by the Amnesty International and other groups for their use of death squads and terrible record on deaths in police custody, abductions and torture.” As for her democratic bona fides, she had no qualms about banning rallies by opposing political parties while in power,” Dalrymple said.
Benazir was a natural autocrat who did almost nothing for the cause of human rights. She was also a calculating politician who was complicit in her country becoming the “regions principal ****** paymaster,” while she also ramped up an insurgency in Kashmir that has brought two nuclear powers (India and Pakistan) to the brink of war, he asserted.
Benazir was responsible for turning “Kashmir into a jihadist playground,” said Dalrymple, adding that during Benazirs second term, the Arab and Afghan jihadis had started taking control of the uprising from the residents of Kashmir.
He further said at that stage “the secular leadership of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front began losing ground to hard-line Islamist outfits like Hizbul Mujahedeen.”