By Harlan Ullman
The Washington Times
January 1, 2008
Shortly before 8 a.m. Dec. 27, while driving from Washington to Norfolk, my cell phone rang. It was a very senior Pakistani official and trusted friend. “Something has happened to Benazir. We are not sure what.” The “what” quickly became tragedy.
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto had been assassinated. Unwittingly, she had written her own, incomplete epitaph years before. The second sentence of the new edition of her autobiography “Daughter of the East” reads: “Born in Pakistan, my life mirrors its turbulence, its tragedies and its triumphs.” Sadly, she would not live to achieve many of those triumphs. And her life and character reflected the complexities and contradictions of Pakistan.
Born into privilege, she remained a servant of the people. A child of the East, she was educated in the West first at Radcliffe, where I recall we met, and then at Oxford, where she became president of the prestigious Oxford Student Union. The surviving member of a political dynasty, she expressly advised her three teenage children to steer clear of politics. Then she bequeathed the chairmanship of her party to her 19-year-old son, Bilawal, a student at Oxford, as an insurance policy if the worst were to happen.