Online, Emotion Palpable After Bhutto Death

(AP Photo/K.M.Chaudary)
As news broke that Pakistani opposition party leader Benazir Bhutto had been assassinated, supporters erupted in anger and tears, smashing the glass doors of Rawalpindi General Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Online, the emotion is just as palpable as Pakistanis vent fears and frustrations about the upcoming election and mourn the loss of a political icon who many are now calling a martyr.

Bhutto was a polarizing figure, loved by some and despised by others. As a blogger at Metroblogging Islamabad writes, "Bhutto was not perfect, but at least she was for a democratic process. Democracy once again dies with her."

Another Pakistani blogger refers to the assassination as "the bloodiest stain" in Pakistan's violent history. Pakistan Policy Blog provides some interesting historical details that provide a context for this tragedy. The first prime minster of that nation, Liaquat Ali Khan, was assassinated in the same park in Rawalpindi back in 1951. The blog also details the many tragedies of Bhutto's life, including the assassination of her father and two brothers.

Beyond the outpouring of grief and emotion, there are bloggers calling for action and for attention to be paid to the situation in Pakistan. A blogger at Corrupt Pakistan writes, "I hope that the killing of Benazir Bhutto will open the eyes of US and UK administration and will allow political forces to grow rather Pakistan Army."

And in the age of video blogging, video tributes and news clips from Pakistan were on YouTube within minutes of the report. Also on YouTube are clips of a BBC report detailing alleged corruption in Bhutto's own party and within her regime during her tenure as prime minister.

When the blogs and video entries are viewed together as a whole, a more complete picture emerges. The assassination, as The Hindu News stated this morning, marks the end of a life "bathed in blood and awash with controversy."
  • Tony Maciulis

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