I recall one of Benazir Bhutto remarks, when she said something along the lines of: ‘I have sadly learnt to sacrifice political morality in favour of political pragmatism’.
Many would question her claim to having practiced any political morality after her 1988 election, but that is not the issue here.
So here is a humble message for her!
(Side issue here: I recently read a news report that PPP seniors are now insisting that Benazir be referred to as ‘Mohatarma’ and not ‘BB/bibi’ as ‘Bibi was a term used for low class women’.
What a bunch of ignoramuses and what a load of ineffable codswallop!
‘Mohatarma’, is an Urdu term of extreme courtesy (which to my ears renders a woman positively geriatric). On the other hand ‘Bibi’ (or Lady) is a Persian word redolent of gentility.
Anyhow, not being any party’s appartchik, I reserve my God-given - and democratic - right to call Benazir Bhutto (or for that matter Bush, Bliar, Mush, Nawazu et al) exactly what I want.
So okay, BiBi!
There is such a thing as pragmatism and there is such a thing as sheer opportunism. Your recent performance on BBC’s Question Time was an illustration of opportunism run amok.
While I realise that you are absolutely convinced that your third chance at power depends on the Bush White House but even blatant obsequiousness has to have limits.
Can I remind you what you said on television on 23 March 2007?
Here is a gist of your pronouncements:
- The world is now a safer place for some, including the people of Iran, because of Saddam’s removal from power.
- Once the Iraqis are able to institutionalise democracy, the invasion and occupation will ultimately be called a success.
- There was a broad-based consensus behind the invasion of Afghanistan, whereas with Iraq, on the basis of faulty US intelligence, there was the perception of an imminent threat.
- Bush’s ‘surge’ (i.e. his plan to increase US troops) has a chance to wipe out the insurgents, the terrorists and the militants.
- If Iraqi democracy succeeds, then Bush and Tony Blair will be regarded as the champions of freedom, and democracy will spread to the rest of the Middle East.
It was just not me who was flabbergasted; this is what a Dawn editorial said about your performance:
…she might as well have added, pigs will fly. Although her utterances occasionally suggest otherwise, Benazir Bhutto isn’t a blithering idiot. The trouble is that, for all her invocations of democracy, for the past 20 years she has clung on to the belief that the road to Islamabad passes through Washington. The idea of speaking truth to power probably never even crosses her mind, and one can only assume she is unembarrassed by the fact that when it comes to Iraq, a military ruler such as Pervez Musharraf, despite being beholden to the US in a variety of ways, manages to sound much less obsequious.
Bhutto appears to have learned nothing during her years in Dubai, else she would have realised by now that the sine qua non of a political future, as far as she is concerned, is not the goodwill of the White House but the intellectual capacity to acknowledge and apologise for her abysmal record in office.