The Economist‘s obituary, which is headlined as “Benazir Bhutto: Erstwhile democrat or ersatz democrat, she embodied the failed ideals of her country’s elite”:
That was her third world: Pakistani patriot, centre-left populist, democrat and ruthless politician. Like India’s Indira Gandhi, Bangladesh’s Sheikh Hasina Wajed, and Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi, she risked and suffered much to fulfil her father’s legacy.
Obviously the folks at The Economist weren’t reading Jemima Kahn‘s scathing assessment of Bhuto.
The Economist continues,
She endured grim years in detention after her father’s death. Both her brothers died unnaturally—the younger one in a mysterious poisoning in France, the elder in a murder in Pakistan for which her husband Asif was charged (and exonerated) but some family members still blame her.
Freed, Benazir went into exile in London, then returned home to a tumultuous welcome in 1986. Two years later, after Zia ul-Haq was killed when his plane dropped out of the sky, she was elected to power. For a while, it seemed that the country could put its many troubled years of military rule behind it, and look forward to a democratic future.
But the hopes Benazir had aroused were swiftly disappointed. Her regime was marked by human-rights abuses, incompetence and massive corruption. Mr Zardari became known as Mr 10%. Ousted in 1990 and re-elected in 1993, she was again dismissed in 1996 by the president. Mr Zardari was jailed and she retreated back into exile to escape corruption charges. From there she watched her successor and nemesis, Nawaz Sharif, fall to the Musharraf coup in 1999, and saw Mr Musharraf become an important American ally after September 11th 2001.
Meanwhile, her husband, writing at the Washington Post, The Duty My Wife Left Us
The Musharraf regime has postponed the elections scheduled for Tuesday not because of any logistical problems but because Musharraf and his “King’s Party” know that they were going to be thoroughly rejected at the polls and that the PPP and other pro-democracy parties would win a majority. Democracy in Pakistan can be saved, and extremism and fanaticism contained, only if the elections, when they are held, are free, fair and credible.
Curious stance by a man who inherited his current positon from his wife. As The Economist said,
After her assassination, a handwritten will was produced. Foreseeing her own untimely end, it bequeathed her party, like the dynastic heirloom it has become, to her husband, who said he would pass leadership to their 19-year-old son. For a woman who claimed to be driven by a burning desire to bring democracy to Pakistan, it was a curious legacy.