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In wake of assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Bush administration rushes to defense of Musharraf
Friday, December 28, 2007 :Pakistan People’s Party “life chairperson” and prime ministerial candidate Benazir Bhutto was assassinated early Thursday evening, Pakistani time, while campaigning for national and provincial assembly elections scheduled for January 8. The assassination was carried out in Rawalpindi, headquarters of the Pakistani military and ostensibly one of the country’s most secure cities.
There are conflicting accounts of how the assassination occurred. Many news reports are citing witnesses as saying that Bhutto was shot in the neck and torso before her assassin blew himself up. The explosion killed at least 20 other people. However, the New York Times has reported senior Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) officials as saying Bhutto was hit by a rooftop sniper before a second assailant carried out the suicide bombing.
A rally organized by the other major opposition party, which was to have been addressed by deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif, also came under attack Thursday. Snipers reportedly killed four supporters of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and injured five more.
Before any evidence had been collected, let alone examined, and with key facts about the assassination still in dispute, the US political establishment effectively declared the investigation over, categorically attributing Bhutto’s murder to Al Qaeda or a like-minded Islamicist group.
In a perfunctory statement wildly at odds with political reality in Pakistan, President George W. Bush declared Thursday morning, US time, that Bhutto’s assassination was a “cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan’s democracy.” He urged Pakistanis “to honor Benazir Bhutto’s memory by continuing with the democratic process for which she so bravely gave her life.”Read More