December 2007 News

Stunned Kashmiri Women Mourn Benazir’s Death

30 December 2007
Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: The assassination of former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto has sent shock waves among people of Kashmir and in particular women who strongly denounce the killing and consider her death as an immense loss to the humanity. Greater Kashmir spoke to number of women who expressed their anguish and anger over the assassination of first Muslim woman Prime Minister of a Muslim Republic. According to social activist Nighat Shafi Pandit, everybody feels bad when such incidents take place. Describing her killing as distressing, She said: “Benazir’s killing has brought pain, anxiety and anguish to everyone. She was a woman who had come back to serve her people and to restore democracy in her country, hence her killing is more distressing.” “If she would have succeeded in bringing back the democracy in her country it would have also helped the Kashmir peace process to move further. Also as a woman she would have felt more pain for the women in her country,” Pandit added. Expressing shock over the killing of Benazir Bhutto, Asiya Andrabi, leader of Dukhtaran-e-Millat, said: “It was not something which was unexpected it is happening all over the world right now and is nothing new.” Benazir’s killing is nothing but a part of a political game, she said. “I think she was not doing any good for Pakistan or for the Muslims. Infact she was more close to Indian policy. The only thing that concerns me is that the Muslims may face the repercussions of this killing. Her killing has not harmed the gains of Pakistan.” Qurat-ul-Ain, a teacher and a social activist, while expressing her anger and shock over the assassination said, “Benazir’s assassination is a very unfortunate incident from all points of view. Her demise is extremely bad for Pakistan because she was a charismatic personality and had all solidarity for her country. I believe her death has created such a vacuum which can never be filled.” Saying that she was the only ray of hope for the return of democracy in Pakistan, Qurat said the people in Pakistan are shattered over her death and rightly so as she could have taken them to the path of democratic Pakistan. ”When I heard the news of her killing I was stunned and was not able to sleep for the whole night as I consider it a personal loss. I feel it is something we should not have witnessed. She was the only lady I was looking at. She was an idol for many women across the world. She knew that her life was at stake but still she took the decision of coming back to Pakistan. This shows how brave women she was. I can define her departure as an extremely unpleasant incident.” Hameeda Nayeem, an Associate Professor in English Department at University of Kashmir, and also a human rights activist. “I am still unable to formulate my reaction for such an inhuman act. I am terribly shocked and condemn the killing in the strongest possible terms. It is not only a loss of a great leader and a human being but it will also have appalling fallout on the politics of Pakistan as well as on the peace process between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir issue.” “Such heinous crimes go against the basic spirit of Islam. Islam never allows killing of human beings on the basis of the difference of opinions. I am still not able to come out of the terrible shock and I believe that her killing will have bad fallout on Kashmir. Such incidents also affect the hopes and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.” Dr Yasmeen Ashai, coordinator, Women Studies Centre and head of the department of the post graduation of Human Development, Government College for Women M.A Road Srinagar, said: “I am deeply shocked about the untimely death of Benazir Bhutto. I strongly condemn the assassination. I had always admired her as a women leader. It is a great loss for the whole humanity and more so for the women folk. She was a very dynamic, progressive and charismatic leader. She being the first female Prime Minister of an Islamic nation, I had great aspirations from her. I expected that as future Prime Minister of Pakistan she would have restored democracy in neighbouring country and would have also taken forward the Indo- Pak peace process and would have given a push to Kashmir dispute. I believe her demise to be a huge loss. Also as a mother I feel extremely sorry for her children.” Saima Farhad, lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Social Works Kashmir University, believes that Benazir’s killing is not a killing of a women or a leader but a killing of the hopes of millions of people. “Islam is a religion of peace and for peace democracy is most important thing and it was what Benazir intended to provide to her people. She sacrificed her life for the democracy of Pakistan. Our religion prohibits attack on women so she should not have been attacked like this. She was not only a great leader but a role model for the women in the entire world. Her death is a big loss not only for Pakistan but for the whole world.” Asmat Ali, a university Student, said: “Benazir’s killing was a real shock to me, something that I would have never expected. I believe she was a daughter of east in real sense. She was an inspiration for all the women who stood against all odds throughout her life. She was the role model of all the girls in the sub-continent.”


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