[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.]
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.
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.
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.