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30/12/2007 | Remembering Benazir

Martin Edwin Andersen

In July 1990 I accompanied Senate Majority Leader Alan Cranston to India and Pakistan in a show of bi-partisan support for confidence building measures offered by Deputy National Security Advisor Robert Gates and meant to avert the possibility of a war between the de-facto nuclear powers ignited by common claims of territory in Indian-held Kashmir.

 

Bhutto was playing a dangerous double game of inflaming popular passions over Kashmir while trying to portray herself to the world, and to us over lunch, as a voice of moderation. Christopher's recollection--"How prettily she lied to me, I remember, and with such a level gaze from those topaz eyes, about how exclusively peaceful and civilian Pakistan's nuclear program was"--rings true. (I remember how Peter Galbraith, a Bhutto intimate, gamely tried to interpret for Cranston one of Benazir's more inflamatory speeches urging direct action against India as merely a rhetorical flourish--a defense neither Cranston nor I bought at the time.)  

Yet, even as Bhutto imitated her "charming and unscrupulous" father, it was also true that today in Pakistan only Benazir possessed "anything approaching a mass appeal to set against the siren calls of the fundamentalists" in the nation possessing the "Islamic" bomb.  

And therein lies the real tragedy of today's outrage

Slate (Estados Unidos)

 


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