One of many things I don’t really understand about Pakistan but that seems worth commenting on if only to point out, is that Benazir Bhutto’s strong personal connections inside the West seem to be an important factor here. Bhutto, let’s recall, wasn’t driven from power by Musharraf’s coup. Rather, she simply lost power to a rival political party led by Nawaz Sharif in a democratic manner. It was Sharif who Musharraf deposed.
Nevertheless, it’s Bhutto who went to Oxford and Harvard, it’s Bhutto who once made People‘s most beautiful people list, it’s Bhutto who the Bush administration tried to push Musharraf into agreeing to share power with, it’s Bhutto who pens op-eds for The New York Times, and so on and so forth. These things are all interrelated and it should probably be kept in mind that an opposition leader’s popularity among western elites whose institutions of higher education she attended and her popularity on the ground aren’t necessarily the same thing.