The assasination of Benazir Bhutto was a tragedy, and a fairly evocative example of how messed up Pakistan actually is (thank you American foreign policy and your fondness for military dictators). But recent events have pushed this event from tragic to downright bizarre. Two weeks of media coverage have convinced me that Pakistan suffers from some combination of the following:
- The worst conspiracy theorists on Earth;
- The dumbest government on Earth; or
- The worst coroners on Earth.
Here's why. A Pakistani newspaper reported yesterday that Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP) now believe the opposition leader was killed by a laser beam. Yes, that's right, a laser beam. Said PPP leader Babar Awan:
''The X-ray reports suggested that there were two to three tiny radio densities under each fractured segments on both projections which were in fact invisible electromagnetic radiations. After these medical reports there was no need for further post-mortem or exhumation."
From this, they conclude lasers were involved. And apparently, this conclusion was so satisfying, they ended all investigation. I mean, it's a fine theory. There's just one problem. Laser weapons don't exist. Well, they do, but in gigantic, airliner-sized weapon systems. Difficult to smuggle into a rally, anyway.
So, here's the first part of the puzzle: dumb conspiracy theorists. Whom, it appears, are drawing strength from the lunatic idiocy of the Pakistani government. As soon as they launched their 'she hit her head on the car' theory, the gates were open for rampant speculation. The banged noggin' theorem reeks of a coverup, and whether it actually was or not it irrelevant. As soon as those words left the government spokesmen's mouth, the conspiracy crew was off to the races. And let's face it: when an opposition leader is murdered in a country where democracy is a dimly understood notion mouthed by autocrats, the ground is already pretty ripe for speculation.
Both the government and the conspiracy theorists seem bedeviled by a medical establishment that can't seem to figure out what the hell is going on. I mean, it's not like Bhutto died from some mystery virus. She died violently in front of many people. It should be fairly easy to determine whether it was a gunshot or bomb blast that did her in. And yet, doctor Musaddiq Khan, who treated Bhutto, told a PPP leader he had seen "such a case for the first time in his life." Really? You're a doctor in a trauma ward, and this is the first gunshot/head trauma you've ever seen? Are you an idiot?
There are so many innuendos and political agendas floating around Bhutto's murder than we may never know what happened. One thing is for damn sure- she wasn't killed by a laser. To suggest otherwise is to purposefully muddy an already brackish pond.