Losses are not local

I am so sad to write that Benazir Bhutto has been killed. It is not just Pakistan’s loss – and for all that means, it is tremendous – but also the world’s loss. A courageous, outspoken, fearless yet reasonable, diplomatic and engaged human being was just wiped from the map.

Do I agree with her politics? I don’t know, it isn’t my country, so what can I say about politics local there? But, I can identify with the rhetoric, the passion, and the bravery that necessitated her extraordinary return to Pakistan, and her desire to press for January 8th elections at all costs.

For my colleagues and friends that live in Lahore, I wish for peaceful streets and no violence in that (or any Pakistani) city.

Meanwhile, I’ll be hoping for peace and democracy to prevail over terror – not in a platitudinal way; my people are from Belfast; but in a way that all sides can come to value the merit of diplomacy and dialogue, as such recent foes as McGuinness and Paisley can do now.

RIP, Benazir Bhutto. Many may think this isn’t the right forum, but to me, if you don’t stand for something, you stand for nothing. And nothing means you have no standing. . .

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