04 August, 2021

The War She Won, But Only In Death

A PPP streak and no Bhutto in place. It's make or mar for Zardari.

The War She Won, But Only In Death
In any other party office there would have been whoops of joy over the kind of election success wrung from under the nose of the establishment by the Pakistan People’s Party in the wake of the assassination of their leader Benazir Bhutto. Even when the Congress won after Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated, it was difficult to wipe the smile from the face of beaming party officials. But unable to campaign during the 40-day mourning period, Benazir’s rudderless party was also hamstrung by a grieving leadership struggling to come to terms with its loss and dealing with the new man at the helm—Bhutto widower Asif Ali Zardari, not exactly ‘Mr Popular’ and a novice in the kind of networking and powerplay his wife had mastered.

At the PPP office in Islamabad, party officials were hopelessly torn between congratulating each other and fighting back the tears. "Agar aaj yahaan Bibi hoti" was the constant refrain as the PPP snatched victory from Khyber to Karachi. Said a senior aide, "We finally got an election date from Musharraf, we...

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