And so the nation weeps at the fading hope of a new future

I thought long and hard about whether or not I should write a blog in tribute to Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto (former Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic Pakistan), but in the end I decided that if I truly believe in democracy, freedom of speech, and equality – then I have no choice but to write a blog dedicated to the dire events now unfolding in front of our very own eyes.There are some who may indeed contest the integrity of Benazir, but I am not here to debate that, but rather to reflect on the tragedy of a failing state.

Wedneday 27 December 2007 is not only the day that we mourn the loss of the first female leader, who at only 35 years of age, led a Muslim nation, but we also bid farewell to any attempt to restore democracy and fairness in Pakistan; an attempt to finally stand up to the probbing eyes of the west, by raising our hands and saying yes – on this day the state of Pakistan will allow it’s citizens to choose who they want to represent them, as their leader – through their own free will.

When I first heard this news, my initial thoughts were not for the loss of a political leader, but of the turmoil that was to follow on the streets of Pakistan – and with it, the scenes my family would have to face that same day. As we sit here in our comfortable homes and our air-conditioned offices, riots have begun to take over an already chaotic country. It is unlikely that elections will go ahead, with Nawaz Shariff “boycotting” the impending elections (which makes me wonder how much of this was a deliberate attempt to destroy this process). This is a country under seige by its own government; a government who although I cannot blame for this awful event, should by some means, be held to account.

Today, the death of Benazir marks another backward step in the progression of Pakistan, politically, economically, and socially. It marks a heart-felt tragedy for three young children who lost a mother. It is on this day that we reflect about what the nation of Pakistan has become instead of what it should have been.

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