Even her foes must be missing her woefully at this point in time. Late Benazir Bhutto did have her infirmities; after all, a human being she was, whereas infallibility and perfection are exclusively the divine attributes. But she had political instincts that were sharp and strong; she had a vision that was profound and imaginative; creative and constructive she was in her thinking; and her faculties of intellect were tremendous. For her extensive erudition and intimate knowledge, she was well versed with the intricacies of the global politics, too. And a public figure of world status she also was. She thus had all the intrinsic qualities of leadership to steer the nation out of the crises it presently is enmeshed in so direly domestically and internationally. Blighted by colossal personal tragedies and constantly haunted by scheming establishments, she had had a grueling lifetime. A military dictator hanged her revered father in a judicial murder; and her two loving brothers died unnatural deaths. And a woebegone, grieving mother she had to tend on. All the while, military dictators kept hounding her, slapping on her an unending train of detentions, incarcerations, exiles and what not. And the intriguing establishments cut short her two stints in office in collusion with pliant politicos and kept hounding her. Yet she held on, braving the vicissitudes of her circumstances unyieldingly and defying surrender to the Byzantine machinations of the powers-that-be. She did get suck into the politics of confrontation and vendetta of the 1980s and the 1990s, but not volitionally. And victimized she was; victimizer she was not. Instinctively, she was a compassionate person. And of indomitable will. Though a woman, she was a real man in spirit, grit, determination and resilience. After her father's death, his opponents cried doom of his Pakistan People's Party. Adieu PPP, they gloated. She made them to lick the spit. Together with her mother, a youthful Benazir lifted the party's demoralised and distraught rank and file from the abyss of despondency, rid it of the obstructionist fossils and meticulously nursed its budding young blood to transform the PPP into a formidable, kicking political force of the country. And with this reinvigorated party, she triumphantly rode into office in the 1988 poll to become the first Muslim female, and the youngest, chief executive, not just in this country, but in the entire Muslim world. Recognition as a powerful voice for democracy and against dictatorship flowed in torrentially for her from near and afar. She did draw flak, and lot of it, at home for shaking hands with military ruler General Musharraf. But the fact also stands undeniably that it was this handshake that made for the return of democracy to the country, for the evenly fought fairly transparent and free elections, for the resultant emergence of representative legislatures and governments, and the eventual exit of military dictator General Musharraf who many had thought was there to stay for long times to come. On this sad day a year ago, the accursed terrorist assassin's bullet snuffed her out, imparting this grief on a nation that had reverentially and in great indebtedness celebrated just two days earlier the 131st birthday anniversary of its founder, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, an unparalleled leader and an inimitable visionary, who envisioned Pakistan as a moderate, tolerant and forward-looking polity, in which constitutionalism would prevail and extremism will have no place. The assassin may have eliminated her physically. But her spirit will live on. And she will always be remembered by the people of this country, both by her admirers and critics alike.