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International | Government & Elections

Benazir Bhutto, 1953-2007
by Informed Comment Global Affairs (reposted)
Thursday Dec 27th, 2007 7:52 AM
From a Thursday, December 27, 2007 entry on Informed Comment Global Affairs, a group blog run by Juan Cole, Manan Ahmed, Farideh Farhi, and Barnett R. Rubin
Benazir Bhutto was killed at a PPP rally in Rawalpindi. The rally, with foolproof security was held at Liaqut Bagh - a site which had already seen the assassination of another Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaqut Ali Khan.

There were earlier reports of security threats on her rally - similar reports were issued before the suicide attack on her in October.

In the nation whose history is dotted by military coups, assassinations and hangings of public figures, this is surely the bloodiest stain. She titled her autobiography, the Daughter of Destiny - but surely she deserved a fate other than the destiny of her father and Liaqut Ali Khan. It is truly a tragedy and a revelation of the chaos gripping the nation.
§Benazir Bhutto Under Police Guard When Killed
by NPR (reposted) Thursday Dec 27th, 2007 8:07 AM
Thursday, December 27, 2007 : The former prime minister of Pakistan was killed at a campaign rally today, despite having a security detail. Kamal Siddiqi, editor of the Karachi News International, reports. "The details right now are very sketchy," Siddiqi says.

He says that in addition to a number of people having been killed, scores more were injured. "The main general hospital is now turning away patients who are coming in and redirecting them to other hospitals because their emergency ward is now full."

Bhutto appears to have completed her speech in a park in Rawalpindi, gotten into her car and was heading out of the park. She had a police escort. "It was obvious that the security was not as tight or as good as it should have been," he says. "If she was leaving, possibly the security people thought that the rally was over and they could relax. And that was the time when the attackers struck."

On our blog, an open thread: Bhutto killed: Feeling queasy?

Listen Online
§Blowback, Pakistan-style
by Al Jazeera (reposted) Thursday Dec 27th, 2007 8:09 AM
Thursday, December 27, 2007 : Blood, politics and tribes prove a deadly brew in Pakistan.

1_231231_1_3.jpg
Bhutto's homecoming turned into a tragedy
after a suicide attack on her convoy [AFP]

The carnage that greeted Benazir Bhutto, the former Pakistan prime minister, upon her return to the country may have occurred in Karachi, but there is little doubt about where the orders came from: the badlands of the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) and neighbouring Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), the home bases of al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Those who gave the orders for the bombing intended not merely to decapitate the soon to be consecrated government before it could assume power.

As important was the need to pre-empt the well-advertised assault on the militants in the frontier and tribal regions by the Pakistani military that was scheduled to start any day.

Bhutto's return was the public symbol of the government's new, get tough attitude. "I know who these people are, I know the forces behind them," Bhutto explained to the New York Times.

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Comments  (Hide Comments)

by krostychovic
Thursday Dec 27th, 2007 6:56 PM
.
" One can make the claim - and some already have -
that foreign agents of countries in conflict with
Pakistan (re: ******) orchestrated the assassination
so as to create chaos and to create an image of a
country that is unstable and unreliable."

( "Moments after... equities futures began to move
downward... the moves in the major indexes that
followed were, well, highly PREDICTABLE." )

http://www.dealbreaker.com/2007/12/the_assassination_of_bhutto_wh.php#more
Profit from panic
http://www.google.com/search?q=value+investors+panic&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

" Not only did the assassin want to cause maximum
casualties, but he also hoped that authorities would
later be unable to identify him and thus ascertain
which organization he was working for."

"The most astounding aspect of Thursday's events is
the negligence displayed by Bhutto's security detail."



Last update - 23:16 27/12/2007
ANALYSIS: Conspiracy theories abound over Benazir
Bhutto slaying
By Yossi Melman, Haaretz Correspondent
Tags: Pervez Musharraf, India
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/939112.html

The most intriguing question that arises from the
assassination of Benazir Bhutto is who plotted and
carried out the killing.

After the failed assassination attempt in Karachi,
observers in Pakistan theorized extreme Muslim groups
who were outlawed by President Pervez Musharraf, or
Al-Qaida elements aligned with these groups, were
responsible.

From these groups' point of view, Bhutto and her party
are an enemy, perhaps an even more dangerous enemy
than Musharraf. Yet, in Pakistan, considered one of
the world's most fertile breeding grounds for
conspiracy theories, many more possible suspects will
be bandied about. Indeed, the blame can be laid at the
feet of any of a large number of elements.




The most astounding aspect of Thursday's events is the
negligence displayed by Bhutto's security detail.
According to reports, the assassin managed to approach
Bhutto and position himself within a short distance of
her, before proceeding to shoot her and detonate the
explosives with which he was strapped. Not only did
the assassin want to cause maximum casualties, but he
also hoped that authorities would later be unable to
identify him and thus ascertain which organization he
was working for.

What makes the security failure all the more startling
is the fact that it comes just weeks after the first
assassination attempt following Bhutto's return to
Pakistan from a lengthy political exile.

In the attempt, suicide bombers killed 150 people,
although Bhutto escaped unharmed. Under these
circumstances, it was chiefly incumbent on her
security guards to do all in their power to prevent
direct access to her, even during the course of an
election campaign in which a candidate seeks to come
into contact with the public.

One can make the claim - and some already have - that
foreign agents of countries in conflict with Pakistan
(re: India) orchestrated the assassination so as to
create chaos and to create an image of a country that
is unstable and unreliable.

Others will point the finger at Musharraf and his
supporters, who viewed Bhutto as a rival who was
likely to win next month's elections.

The likelihood of both claims is extremely low,
especially considering the apparent deal in principle
struck between Musharraf and Bhutto whereby both would
enter a power-sharing arrangement and form a joint
coalition.

Another possible perpetrator is former prime minister
Nawaz Sharif, a bitter political rival of Bhutto who
once ordered her husband arrested on corruption
charges.