The attempted assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto is apparently just one story in a never ending violence which is enveloping Pakistant. While Pakistani security forces attacked a cleric’s stronghold, nearby insurgents kidnapped eight police from a bus. About 2,500 soldiers took part in the assault on cleric Maulana Faziullah’s stronghold which is one of many such encampments where insurgents are trained to conduct attacks on Pakistan soldiers and society. Residents observed security forces firing rocket propelled grenades, mortars, and other weapons at the cleric’s forces. Militants carried out the ambush of the soldiers and fired on a helicopter carrying a general. Yesterday, a suicide car bomber hit a truck carrying troops and killed 19 soldiers and wounded 35.
The violence continues unabated in Pakistan raising fears if the present Musharraf-Bhutto alliance is capable of restoring some semblance of law and order to the nation. Benazir Bhutto claims to represent the moderate middle ground in Pakistan that wants democracy and a government capable of stimulating the economy and providing work opportunities for the masses. In her previous shot at being prime minister, Bhutto used the office to help family and friends accumulate millions of dollars through corruption. Has she learned anything during her exile? Is she capable of creating a government of the people and for the people?