My thoughts are with friends Arifa, Bilal, Beena, Sajjad and many more. My thoughts are of the echoes: Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, Zulfiquar Bhutto and now Benazir Bhutto. My thoughts are of the danger and uncertainty that 150 million people in that country face.
And I cannot suppress the unease I feel, inside me.
On the TV screen in this room I'm in, there's been some comment, I didn't catch from where, asking (I paraphrase): "Indira, Rajiv, now Benazir, when are assassinations going to become obsolete?"
I don't believe they ever will become obsolete. When justice and governance is as tenuous as it is in Pakistan, when politics is as polarised and vicious as it is, and when religion is so much part of it too -- when all those things hold true, Benazir's death is really just another fallout.
Yes, Pakistan needs to find a path to stable, working, accountable democracy for all its people. From where it is now, that seems like an impossible path to a mirage of a dream. Yet if Pakistan is to survive, what choice is there?
I'm uneasy, yes. Selfish as it may seem right now, I cannot help thinking about the lessons for us in India. Polarisation, justice, religion, governance, accountability, politics, democracy -- may we think long and hard about what those words mean to us too.