Home for just over a week, the opposition leader Benazir Bhutto has raised the temperature in Pakistan a hundredfold, stirring friend and foe alike as she rallies supporters, courts the news media and plunges back into the muck of Pakistan’s politics.
Her arrival procession on Oct. 18 demonstrated the strength of her Pakistan Peoples Party, as did the quarter of a million loyal and enthusiastic supporters who went to Karachi to greet her. But the bomb blasts, which killed 140 of them, showed her enemies to be equally fervent.
Since then, the charges and counter-charges hurled in both directions have shown that Ms. Bhutto — daughter of a famous politician executed by the military, twice prime minister before, and an exile for eight years to avoid corruption cases — “remains an intensely polarizing figure,” as Shafqat Mahmood, a former member of Parliament and a columnist, put it. [complete article]