The Queen is Dead: Bhutto and dynastic politics

Moni Mohsin for Prospect Magazine:

Despite all the acquired veneer of western education, whether it is the Bhuttos or the Gandhis, as long as there is an adequate supply of willing family members, south Asian politics remains dynastic; family brands once established (through the ballot box and personal tragedy) transcend regional concerns to bind complex polities. This “demand for dynasty” transcends social divides. While Pakistanis living abroad find it jarring that democracy can be dictated by inheritance and bequeathed from the grave, this is readily accepted by local labourers and intelligentsia alike, who are grateful for any short-term fix to immediate danger.

The full piece is actually a bit more of a sympathetic portrait of Bhutto than this quote would let on.

William Dalrymple on Benazir Bhutto

From his Guardian column:

Benazir Bhutto was a courageous, secular and liberal woman. But sadness at the demise of this courageous fighter should not mask the fact that as a pro-Western feudal leader who did little for the poor, she was as much a central part of Pakistan’s problems as the solution to them.

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