15 May, 2021

Black Isn't All Grief

A mourning people face an unmoved ruler. The lawyers may still be a beacon of hope.

Black Isn't All Grief
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is a callow boy attending classes thousands of miles away in England. In Pakistan, though, he has become the face of the Pakistan People's Party as its mourning activists hold demonstrations to invoke the memory of his mother and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who was shot dead a month ago. Holding posters of Bilawal, with tears streaming down, the crowds chant what has become the PPP's new slogan, "Kadam Badhao Bilawal Bhutto, Hum Tumhare Saath Hain." In these posters, teenaged Bilawal typically appears as a serious and mature youngster who resembles his grandfather, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the PPP's founder.

This is the time of remembrance, of renewing the idea Benazir had come to represent. On the busy thoroughfare of Murree Road that skirts Liaqat Bagh, the Rawalpindi rally ground where she was assassinated on December 27, people continue to hold vigil round the clock. Heaps of flowers are placed before massive portraits of the slain leader bearing the image now poignantly familiar—of her waving at the...

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