18. Feb 2008

Stig Toft Madsen 

18 February 2008

For the last twelve months the telos of events in Pakistan have been the elections, postponed once, but now most likely to be held tomorrow on February 18th.

On the bumpy road towards this day, the country has replayed most of its blues. The Pakistan People’s Party now apparently stands to a landslide victory. If it really scores upwards 50% of the votes, as predicted by some pollsters, it will in no small measure be due to the cruel assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the leader of the party, on December 27th. Her murder has generated a sympathy wave.

The logic of the feud tells the aggrieved party to inflict a loss similar to its own on the opponent. Instead Bilawal Bhutto, upon being installed as the political heir of his mother, said: “Democracy is the best revenge”. In this elevated logic, an election victory – and the victory of elections – vicariously atone a murder.