Pakistani political history has shining stars. They came onto the scene ready to defend our country’s promise, even give their lives for this very cause.
I am thinking of one person in particular.
In defending the principles Pakistan was founded upon, she had a brilliant career, and an untimely death.
But in following her dreams, she changed the course of our country and the world.
I am thinking of Benazir Bhutto.
Yesterday was the anniversary of her assassination, something so ugly and vile as to have rocked the nation. Friend and foe alike walked under a cloud of sadness in the days after her death, knowing that something spectacular was gone.
There are many pictures, speeches, anecdotes one can find to get a better idea of her perspective. But her true legacy is how all her words and actions impacted others. As a young girl, I would often hear wonderful stories about the distinctively named Benazir, a woman who stood by the ideals of her father and travelled the world to learn. She wanted to apply proper democracy to her country. My mother told me the people rejoiced when she became Prime Minister of Pakistan. For me, a natural feminist, this woman was really a superhero.
She was a feminist, a progressive, a staunch supporter of equality and democracy. She had a way of connecting with people few will ever understand; today, her closest friends in awe of her intelligence and her compassion – a truly wonderful combination. That is what we seek in our leaders, is it not? Judgment and heart.
Benazir Bhutto was a force of a woman. She worked steadily but always vigorously for democracy. There is a democratic government in Pakistan today, it is trying to sustain itself against an onslaught of ignorance, violence and the ever-constant threat of extremism.
Yet we must remember that we are fighting for a better tomorrow. We must remember that many have come before us and we stand on their shoulders, reaching for that better tomorrow.
Two years have passed since the death of Benazir. We remember her struggle, honor her efforts and work for democracy, so all she did will never be in vain. Democracy WILL be upheld. So it must be.
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Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un
Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return