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A Bloody Homecoming

Benazir Bhutto may have been an incompetent and corrupt prime minister, but her ill-greeted return to Pakistan leaves me wondering if incompetence and corruption is a small price to pay for combating terrorism. It should be remembered that the Taliban … Read More

By / October 19, 2007

Benazir Bhutto may have been an incompetent and corrupt prime minister, but her ill-greeted return to Pakistan leaves me wondering if incompetence and corruption is a small price to pay for combating terrorism.

It should be remembered that the Taliban was given succor and military safeguarding under the Bhutto administration of the mid-90's, under the presumption that a totalitarian Islamist state was better than sheer anarchy.

However, Bhutto's time in exile has not been misspent. She's now both clear and firm in her opposition to Al Qaeda. She's managed to pull off what the U.S. Defense Department had hoped Ahmad Chalabi could do in Iraq and cultivate a massive electoral base from outside her own country. And as a Western-educated woman of great beauty and charm, her place at the head of a Muslim state would surely send a signal to the Bin Ladenists that their former patron regime is now unambiguously ranged against them. Bhutto is quite right to say that the ISI can never really fight Al Qaeda while it is still infiltrated by Al Qaeda sympathizers and rogue generals like Mohammad Zia ul-Haq, the man responsible for her father's murder.

Ms. Bhutto earlier said in the interview atop the truck that she was concerned about her security and that she had told General Musharraf that she suspected people in his administration and the security forces of supporting the militants and terrorism.

“This is not the same Pakistan it was in 1996 when my government was overthrown,” she said. “The militants have risen in power. But I know who these people are, I know the forces behind them, and I have written to General Musharraf about this. And I’ve told him there are certain people I suspect in the administration and security.

“Unless there is some thought given to that, this is what emboldens the militants,” she said. “They’ve got some covert support from sympathizers within the system.”

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