Assasinated: Benazir Bhutto

E-Bangladesh

E-Bangladesh

E-Bangladesh is a News/Headlines service and a group blog aimed at bringing the news and analysis from Bangladesh to its readers.

[Sky News: Born into political life and ascending the ranks to become the country’s first female prime minister, Benazir Bhutto was well-versed in the fraught tensions of life in Pakistan. Ian Woods reviews her life lost attempting to change the country she loved.]

[Rezwan, Germany.]

There is something wrong in the way General Pervez Musharraf runs Pakistan. On December 27, Benazir Bhutto is assassinated in Rawalpindi, the garrison town of Pakistan. Ironically she is assassinated at the same place in Rawalpindi where the first prime minister of Pakistan Liaquat Ali Khan was killed and her father was hanged. Her death puts Pakistan’s political future in turmoil and the country, observers say, may plunge into a civil war.

An eye-witness from Pakistan describes the chaos in Pakistan now. People have come out on the streets, and they are burning tyres, public properties and vehicles. Police is nowhere to be seen. People are angry, and in all the major cities — Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Multan, Rawalpindi, Quetta — severe riots have broken out. People are showing their anger against the scourge of terrorism. According to the recent reports. At least five people have been killed and thousands injured. Bhutto’s supporters at the hospital began chanting “Dog, Musharraf, dog…” Some of them smashed the glass door at the main entrance of the emergency unit, others burst into tears, eye-witness accounts describe.

A party security adviser says Bhutto was shot in the neck and chest then the gunman blew himself up. She was waving to the rally standing in her SUV and protruding her head from the open sun-roof. Conflicting reports on assassination: Bhutto’s supporters say snipers shot her followed by suicide bomber. Government official says it was a suicide attack.

KO observs:

Interesting sight on BBC — the bomb-site has been cleaned, and fire trucks are pouring water on the scene to clean away any last shred of evidence. It looks like a literal cleanup is underway… The attack was the work of professionals — Benazir was shot in the neck from 50 meters away — so must have been an expert marksman.

Earlier, at least four supporters of Pakistan’s former premier Nawaz Sharif were killed and another twelve wounded in the capital, Islamabad, when gunshots were fired on an election rally.

Pakistani president, Musharraf, asked people to remain calm in a televised interview. Musharraf blamed the terrorists and said political parties should be united against terrorists. The Pakistani Perspective reported:

President Musharraf has announced three day national mourning in the wake of the Benazir Bhutto’s demise. Government of NWFP has closed all the schools for unspecifed time, and government of Punjab has followed the suit. Qazi Hussain Ahmad, the leader of MMA (the religious alliance) has called for a nationwide protest tomorrow including rallies, wheel-jam strike and public meetings. International fraternity also condemns the attacks. President Bush, Karzai, Rudd, Sarkozy, Manmohan Singh and host of orthers have expressed their grief over the horrendous act of terrorism.

Nawaz Sharif to PPP supporters: I will be fighting your war now. However Sky News correspondent Alex Crawford said from Pakistan the country’s upcoming January elections would “most likely be postponed or canceled” because of the attack. Asma Jahangir, leading human rights activist in Pakistan reiterated what Nawaz Sharif said, that government and the military are responsible not the religious extremists as Pervez Musharraf is pointing fingers at. Bhutto’s husband said to a TV channel: It’s the work of the government. Another beneficiary of this death is Nawaz Sharif whose possible hand in this cannot be ignored.

Jules Crittenden has a round-up trying to find the answer: Who killed Bhutto?

The Acorn says:

It was clear that Benazir Bhutto’s re-entry into Pakistan was on the back of an American plan to engineer a political outcome in Pakistan. Those who assassinated her succeeded in frustrating this plan. What’s the US left with? Supporting a Musharraf 2.0 is out of question, because the people won’t have it. Supporting Nawaz Sharif is not workable either, for Musharraf won’t have him.

  • Global Voices has a special coverage page.
  • Another roundup at Gateway Pundit.
  • Benazir Bhutto’s profile.

  • Rezwan [http://rezwanul.blogspot.com] is often referred as “the dean of Bangladeshi bloggers” for his authoritative contributions towards setting the blogging agenda in Bangladesh. Blogging since 2003 on Bangladesh and the world. Portrays Bangladesh and Bangladeshis beyond the typical headlines published in Western Media.

    [Read posts by Rezwan]

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    E-Bangladesh is a News/Headlines service and a group blog aimed at bringing the news and analysis from Bangladesh to its readers.


    7 Responses to “Assasinated: Benazir Bhutto”

    1. akash

      In short, nothing good comes out of the army running the country. Pakistan is a classic example of such a continuing blunder: of the army capturing power one too many times in the pretext of civilian disarray, and the result? The contortion of constitution, autocratic rule, state lawlessness in the name of law and order, upsurge of militancy, total lack of human rights, and of course, building the army as a financial coproration.

    2. Iftheker Mohammad

      Here is the chronology of events leading to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Although details are still sketchy….

      * Bhutto goes to address an election rally in Liaqat Ali Bagh

      * Finishes her address and gets into her car at 5.30 P.M.

      * Two men with AK 47 fire bullets. She is injured in the head and chest. (But later we have seen a man form her left-back fired 3 times, with 9mm )

      * Simultaneously, there is a suicide attack near her car.

      * No one goes near her car for 10 minutes fearing another explosion.

      * She is rushed to hospital.

      * Doctors take her to operation theatre.

      * Declared dead at 6.16 P.M about 40 minutes after the attack.

    3. Nizamuddin Mahmood Selim

      Benazir Bhutto’s tragic but anticipated death by the assasins — call them terrorists or “extra-judicial” death squad — is a reminder about the fate of politicians and leaders campaigning for restoration of democracy under non-democratic and authoritarian regimes. Authoritarian regimes, such as that of Musharraf that purports to be a military dictatorship, remain alienated from the masses so that they are by no means accountable to the public. Accountable politicians who appeal to the masses because of their popular and representative bondage are therefore the enemies of those who usurp power through the use of the barrel of the guns.

      The gun-toting generals are supported by a handful of beneficiaries who go by the name of the “civil society,” or “shushil samaj” in Bengali vernacular, as is happening in Bangladesh. Cult figures like Benazir are revered and loved by the public, even if they might have scandals and controversies of corruption dogging them and their lives. Leaders like Benazir face the public in spite of their tainted names, their appeal for public office either accepted or rejected by the electorate trough the mechanism of elections. On the other hand, generals and their grafts and corruptions in government are held in place by brute force, elections are either abhorred or manipulated and distorted through the administrative and bureaucratic maze.

      Benazir was killed because she wanted restoration of democracy, elections and an end to Musharraf’s gun-toting and tunic-clad governance. This would have meant baring the bureaucracy — both military and civil — to public scrutiny and accountability under a democratically elected government. If that had happened the cat would have been out of the bag on the inside-stories of the 10 years of Musharraf’s authoritarian military regime and dictatorship of Pakistan!

      Bhutto therefore had to go. Her death was fait accompli. Arguably Benazir’s death had the Musharraf government’s hands in it. How or who did it doesn’t matter now. In fact, all traces for an investigation have been swept clean by the government functionaries, if that is at all an indication about who might have been behind the plot of the Benazir assassination.

      Before the final and fatal end of Benazir Bhutto, General Pervez Musharraf had tried all games and gimmicks to bring Benazir to see his way and be his ally. Initially Benazir had played along Musharraf’s game as a ploy to allow her return to Pakistan from forced exile by Musharraf and retraction of Musharraf’s corruption charges and cases against her. On return to Pakistan Benazir turned the tables on Musharraf and went to the people for endorsing her and Pakistan’s right to return to democracy (remember Musharraf and his Government forbidding/asking Benazir Bhutto not to hold public meetings and rallies?). General Musharraf and his government had warned Benazir Bhutto that if she went to the people, public, they wouldn’t be held responsible for either her safety or any mishaps! That was in fact a veiled threat to Benazir to hold parleys and bargains with General Musharraf for power-sharing rather than seek power and right to governance from the people. General Pervez Mushrraf and Pakistan’s military establishment, albeit including the civil bureaucracy, did not want to see a return to democratic form of government in Pakistan.

      As Benazir’s son Bilawal has said, Pakistan’s return to democracy shall be a sweet revenge for his mother’s tragic, but schemed, death. Benazir with all her faults, flaws and failings had ultimately paid with her life for her longing and desire to see Pakistan return to democracy, forsaking the military’s offer for power-sharing on the basis of a compromise; she went to the people rather than to the powers that be. Benazir has sacrificed her life for the sake of her people and their right to democracy.

      Benazir is not only perhaps the “Daughter of Pakistan,” she is also plausibly, and rightfully, the “Mother of Democracy in Pakistan”, if not in the sub-Continent. Benazir Bhutto has died by the people and for the people. Let us pay homage to her and remember her as a scourge of authoritarian regimes and military dictatorships and a champion of democracy.

    4. akash

      Appreciated Mr. Nizamuddin’s analysis. It is very clear with Pakistan that the army has consistently intervened with the collaboration of civic beneficiaries in undermining the civic polity and institutions. It is far more pathetic that the model has been followed by one scheming general after another in Bangladesh. And most of us have given and are still giving “bah-ba” to that.

    5. Zulfikar Ali

      It is a very sad event for humanity. Every assassination justified or unjustified is wrong. It is robbing people of their rights to life. I don’t care who assassinated Madam Bhutto, but I think it is failure of the Musharraf administration to provide security for her. I highly condemn this tragic death and I don’t want to see this repeat in Bangladesh.

    Comments are closed.