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Reader comment on item: Zulfi Bhutto of Pakistan: His Life and Times

Submitted by Vijay (United Kingdom), Jul 24, 2006 at 18:03

As described by Stanley Wolpert, Pakistani respondents have idealized him and put him on a pedastal ignoring many of his grave shortcomings. He egged on the military establishment to war with India in 1965 and 1971, both of which were disasters.

In 1970-71, Bhutto's megalomania and a drive for power at any cost made him dishonour the results of democratic elections which resulted in a large genocide of Bengalis (some estimates put it to the tune of 3 million within a 9 month period). He also famously proclaimed "We (Pakistani's) may eat grass, but will produce nuclear bomb". A nuclear armed Pakistan is a tempting target for Al-Quida and Islamic fundementalist forces to swallow.

His main weakness was a great insecurity which made him rig elections and prosecute his political opponents. Most probably, even without rigging , his skills would have ensured an electoral victory. This gave Gen. Zia ul Huq a pretext to stage a coup. While Bhutto was a destructive leader, he was a democrat of sorts in a feudal society. He was definitely more democratic and came up by his own political and manupulative skills compared to US 'democratic' allies like Iraq's Al-maliki or Egypt's Mubarak or Karzai.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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