When calendar shows 27th December, mind immediately flashes us the brutal murder of Benazir Bhutto, the first woman to lead a Muslim state. After the assassination, there was a loud hue and cry last year, the responses ranged from an investigation to capture the real culprits to cracking down on the insurgent groups and their perpetrators, who were behind the whole incident.
A year later, if we look back on what has been done, one finds that the outcome is literally nothing.
Following the assassination, a lot of things seem to singing the song of change or so it appeared. Her husband, Asif Ali Zardari became the President of Pakistan, her son made an entry into politics and her party did manage to bring democracy back to Pakistan. Ironically, an incident of this magnitude didn’t have any significant outcome. Neither has the situation improved, rather it seems to have deteriorated further. The perpetrators too have not been arrested, despite the talks of constituting an international body to investigate and find out those who are behind the crime.
“In the tradition of a true Bhutto, she faced certain death rather than abandon her principles or the people,” Zardari said in a message to the nation to mark the anniversary.
“The tyrants and the killers have killed her but they shall never be able to kill her ideas, which drove and inspired a generation to lofty aims,” he said, adding that democracy was the only way to fight militancy.
One wonders what is the significance of these statements considering the fact that there has been very little visible progress. Regardless of her political ideology or past records, she is a victim, and if justice is not delivered and the culprits are free, then there is a fundamental flaw in the existing system. While justice is still elusive, these statements appear to be nothing but mockery and on top of all a recent story dominated the newspapers which read that Mr. Zardari is actually hindering the probe.
Things are not very different elsewhere too. Following every such major incident be it an assassination of a leader or a terrorist attack, people rasie voices but the reaction is never strong enough to stay afloat and change things. If we dig the last year’s history, there are enough instances which did raise a lot of noise across the spectrum, the media channels fighting for the highest TRP ratings via Prime Time discussion shows and every channel invariably manages to find at least one expert (read so called), the media trials, the concocted stories, the shamelessly telecasted fake mms clips and the character assassination of a little girl, the fake stamp paper scam, the cash for questions scam, stacks of currencies being shown inside the Parliament and one need not mention the latest incident which could be added to this list which seems to be endless to say the least…… but, how many of them are still remembered today ? What is the outcome of all the frenzy? Do we really learn something for the future from such incidents while? After all, those who are at the helm of affairs are accountable to the people and when people themselves don’t assert it, no wonder things never move those desks.
Perhaps one should agree to the statement that “public memory is short lived” in the wake of such circumstances. It’s only those who are the victims and their families continue to bear the pain inflicted, the judiciary and the public memory make it a long forgotten ordeal.