Benzair Bhutto Killed

Kazmarov

For a Free Scotland
#1
In the U.S., a tense looking President Bush strongly condemned the attack "by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan's democracy." White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said Bush spoke briefly by phone with Musharraf.

Musharraf convened an emergency meeting with his senior staff, where they were expected to discuss whether to postpone the elections, an official at the Interior Ministry said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks.

Nawaz Sharif, another former prime minister and leader of a rival opposition party, demanded Musharraf resign immediately and announced his party would boycott the upcoming election.

The attacker struck just minutes after Bhutto addressed thousands of supporters in the Rawalpindi, a city 8 miles south of Islamabad where the army is headquartered. She was shot in the neck and chest by the attacker, who then blew himself up, said Rehman Malik, Bhutto's security adviser.

Sardar Qamar Hayyat, a leader from Bhutto's party, said at the time of the attack he was standing about 10 yards away from her vehicle _ a white, bulletproof SUV with a sunroof.

"She was inside the vehicle and was coming out from the gate after addressing the rally when some of the youths started chanting slogans in her favor. Then I saw a smiling Bhutto emerging from the vehicle's roof and responding to their slogans," he said.

"Then I saw a thin, young man jumping toward her vehicle from the back and opening fire. Moments later, I saw her speeding vehicle going away," he added.

Mangled bodies lay in a pool of blood and pieces of clothing and shoes were scattered on the road. The clothing of some victims was shredded and people covered their bodies with party flags.

There was an acrid smell of explosive fumes in the air.

Police cordoned off the street and rescuers rushed to put victims in ambulances as onlookers wailed nearby.

Bhutto was rushed to the hospital and taken into emergency surgery. She died about an hour after the attack.

Hours later, her body was carried out of the hospital in a plain wooden coffin by a crowd of supporters. Her body was expected to be transferred to an air base and brought to her hometown of Larkana.

A doctor on the team that treated her said she had a bullet in the back of the neck that damaged her spinal cord before exiting from the side of her head. Another bullet pierced the back of her shoulder and came out through her chest.

She was given open heart massage, but the main cause of death was damage to her spinal cord, he said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

"At 6:16 p.m., she expired," said Wasif Ali Khan, a member of Bhutto's party who was at Rawalpindi General Hospital.

"The surgeons confirmed that she has been martyred," Bhutto's lawyer Babar Awan said.

Bhutto's supporters at the hospital exploded in anger, smashing the glass door at the main entrance of the emergency unit. Others burst into tears. One man with a flag of Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party tied around his head was beating his chest.

"I saw her with my own eyes sitting in a vehicle after addressing the rally. Then, I heard an explosion," Tahir Mahmood, 55, said sobbing. "I am in shock. I cannot believe that she is dead."

Many chanted slogans against Musharraf, accusing him of complicity in her killing.

"We repeatedly informed the government to provide her proper security and appropriate equipment including jammers, but they paid no heed to our requests," said Malik, the security adviser.

As news of her death spread, angry supporters took to the streets.

In Karachi, shop owners quickly closed their businesses as protesters set tires on fire on the roads, torched several vehicles and burned a gas station, said Fayyaz Leghri, a local police official. Gunmen shot and wounded two police officers, he said.

One man was killed in a shootout between police and protesters in Tando Allahyar, a town 120 miles north of Karachi, said Mayor Kanwar Naveed. In the town of Tando Jam, protesters forced passengers to get out of a train and then set it on fire.

Violence also broke out in Lahore, Multan, Peshawar and many other parts of Pakistan, where Bhutto's supporters burned banks, state-run grocery stores and private shops. Some set fire to election offices for the ruling party, according to Pakistani media.

Akhtar Zamin, home minister for the southern Sindh province, said authorities would deploy troops to stop violence if needed.

Musharraf, who announced three days of mourning for Bhutto, urged calm.

"I want to appeal to the nation to remain peaceful and exercise restraint," he said.

Sharif arrived at the hospital and sat silently next to Bhutto's body.

"Benazir Bhutto was also my sister, and I will be with you to take the revenge for her death," he said. "Don't feel alone. I am with you. We will take the revenge on the rulers."

He rebutted suggestions that he could gain political capital from her demise, announcing his Muslim League-N party would boycott the elections and demanding that Musharraf resign.

"The holding of fair and free elections is not possible in the presence of Pervez Musharraf," he said. "Musharraf is the cause of all the problems. The federation of Pakistan cannot remain intact in the presence of President Musharraf," he told a news conference.

"After the killing of Benazir Bhutto, I announce that the Pakistan Muslim League-N will boycott the elections," Sharif said. "I demand that Musharraf should quit immediately."

Hours earlier, four people were killed at a rally for Sharif when his supporters clashed with backers of Musharraf near Rawalpindi.

Bhutto's death will leave a void at the top of her party, the largest political group in the country, as it heads into the elections.

Pakistan is considered a vital U.S. ally in the fight against al-Qaida and other Islamic extremists including the Taliban. Osama bin Laden and his inner circle are believed to be hiding in lawless northwest Pakistan along the border with Afghanistan.

The U.S. has invested significant diplomatic capital in promoting reconciliation between Musharraf and the opposition, particularly Bhutto, who was seen as having a wide base of support in Pakistan. Her party had been widely expected to do well in next month's elections.

Had the PPP either won a majority of seats or enough to put together a majority coalition, Bhutto could have recaptured the job of prime minister.

Bush, speaking briefly to reporters at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, demanded that those responsible for the killing be brought to justice.

"The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan's democracy," said Bush, who looked tense and took no questions.

The assassination and concerns of further international instability were cited as one reason for a fall in U.S. stock prices and a rise in oil prices Thursday. In afternoon trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average of blue chip stocks was down more than 140 points or more than 1 percent.

The U.N. Security Council also condemned the assassination.

Pakistan was just emerging from another crisis after Musharraf declared a state of emergency on Nov. 3, and used sweeping powers to round up thousands of his opponents and fire Supreme Court justices. He ended emergency rule Dec. 15 and subsequently relinquished his role as army chief, a key opposition demand. Bhutto had been an outspoken critic of Musharraf's imposition of emergency rule.

Educated at Harvard and Oxford universities, Bhutto served twice as Pakistan's prime minister between 1988 and 1996.

Her father was Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, scion of a wealthy landowning family in southern Pakistan and founder of the populist Pakistan People's Party. The elder Bhutto was president and then prime minister of Pakistan before his ouster in a 1977 military coup. Two years later, he was executed by the government of Gen. Zia-ul Haq after being convicted of engineering the murder of a political opponent.

Bhutto had returned to Pakistan from an eight-year exile on Oct. 18. On the same day, she narrowly escaped injury when her homecoming parade in Karachi was targeted in a suicide attack that killed more than 140 people.

Islamic militants linked to al-Qaida and the Taliban hated Bhutto for her close ties to the Americans and support for the war on terrorism. A local Taliban leader reportedly threatened to greet Bhutto's return to the country with suicide bombings.

Hundreds of riot police had manned security checkpoints around the rally venue Thursday, Bhutto's first public meeting in Rawalpindi since she came back to the country.

In recent weeks, suicide bombers have repeatedly targeted security forces in Rawalpindi.

In November, Bhutto had also planned a rally in the city, but Musharraf forced her to cancel it, citing security fears.
Pakistan Opposition Leader Bhutto Killed - World on The Huffington Post

What's this spell for Pakistani democracy?
 

pikatore

Registered Member
#2
Pakistan has so much corruption and militant elements that I think that Bhutto would not be able to touch them. So me, and obviously to Pakistan, she has been iconic, a beacon of democracy, the embattled underdog taking on the tyrannical government. Unfortunately, that's all I think she would ever be able to do on her own. The PPP and those similarly aligned won't be able to topple Musharraf's regime, be it diplomatic or otherwise, and while extremists are in the woodwork, with things like religious schools, where people like them are churned out yearly, even Musharraf won't be able to retain control of the country. I believe Pakistan was dealt its deathblow long before this assassination, and I believe it should have gotten a lot more help from outside forces beforehand.

Perhaps India can send some of it's forces in to help?
 

RichardJ

Registered Member
#3
What would a multiculturist say?

I don't mean to seem uncaring about Benazir Bhutto. Most Americans could take a lesson from her regarding political activism.

My comment, rather, is about the culture that says a legitimate form of political strategy is to send a homicide bomber to kill your opponent. Here at home we Americans have made a grand production of being tolerant of all sorts of different cultures. We print our voting forms in more languages than I can count. We give different cultures all forms of sanctions and approvals to show that we are a "tolerant" society.

We have never learned to say no to a cultural characteristic we don't approve of. We just ignore it and hope it won't interfere with our warm hugs and money give-aways. For example, we don't make an issue of the treatment of women in Muslim cultures. We don't make an issue of how the Chinese crack down on religious dissidents.

Yesterday we saw how certain religious leaders deal with their political opposition in Pakistan. Life to them is rather cheap. Human rights are secondary to religious acquiescence. Infidels are relegated to second class citizenship. How do the multiculturists deal with the problem of a culture that does not respect our traditions of equality? When does tolerance stop and our values begin? Do we have the moral courage to face the zealots down and say there is line we will not cross? If we do, I haven't seen it.

RichardJ
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
#4
Richard, I don't believe that it's "tolerance" that keeps us from interfering with the cultural practices of other countries. In fact the only time the US gets involved in the political affairs of other countries is when our own political and/or financial interests are at stake.

Back to the topic at hand, this saddens me no end. I really admired her. I can't believe they killed her. :sigh:
 

Kazmarov

For a Free Scotland
#5
Perhaps India can send some of it's forces in to help?
Pakistani-Indian relations suck out loud. They fought a war about ten years ago, and two before that.

My comment, rather, is about the culture that says a legitimate form of political strategy is to send a homicide bomber to kill your opponent.
Nobody said this was okay, there have been fierce riots and protests against the act, the terrorists that are allegedly behind it, and the current government. Pakistan most definitely does not have a culture in which this is an accepted strategy. If we had Pakistan's security and instability, we'd have candidates killed just as often.

Life to them is rather cheap. Human rights are secondary to religious acquiescence.
In July Pakistan surrounded the Red Mosque and killed close to 100 fundamentalist students because they were kidnapping women who dressed liberally and storeowners that stocked supposedly inappropriate DVDs. Pakistan as a whole most definitely places human rights above religion, minus a fringe element that we ourselves have in the forum of Christian Identity members, white supremacists, and the Fred Phelps' of our nation.

How do the multiculturists deal with the problem of a culture that does not respect our traditions of equality?
A women was a former prime minister and a leading opposition figure. We can't even boast that. I think their culture does and increasingly so respects equality.

When does tolerance stop and our values begin? Do we have the moral courage to face the zealots down and say there is line we will not cross?
It's not our duty to make the world abide by our moral compass. If we tried to, we'd just radicalize more people.
 

pikatore

Registered Member
#6
Re: What would a multiculturist say?

Do we have the moral courage to face the zealots down and say there is line we will not cross?
RichardJ
When it comes to drawing lots of lines for other countries and organisations, I think America has done quite enough.

There are a hundred and one ways to deal with an organisation hell bent on destroying infidels (this ideology has it's origins). Bombing the crap out of them is but one of those ways.
 

RichardJ

Registered Member
#7
Kaz,
You make a some good points. But I hear an amateur lawyer trying to explain away the forest one tree at a time. I'm not advocating trying to change anyone. My point is very simply we shouldn't accept a foreign culture just because it's a "foreign culture". We have every right to accept or reject cultural standards based on behavior.

Nobody said this was okay, there have been fierce riots and protests against the act, the terrorists that are allegedly behind it, and the current government. Pakistan most definitely does not have a culture in which this is an accepted strategy. If we had Pakistan's security and instability, we'd have candidates killed just as often.
Security and instability don't murder political candidates, people do. And I beg to differ. At least one person said murdering a political opponent was ok, but he blew himself up. So we can't ask him how many like minded friends helped him. But I suspect there was more than one.

In July Pakistan surrounded the Red Mosque and killed close to 100 fundamentalist students because they were kidnapping women who dressed liberally and storeowners that stocked supposedly inappropriate DVDs. Pakistan as a whole most definitely places human rights above religion, minus a fringe element that we ourselves have in the forum of Christian Identity members, white supremacists, and the Fred Phelps' of our nation.
I have never been to Pakistan and I suspect neither have you. So I doubt you can say they "most definitely" put human rights above religion. We can only make our judgments from the Pakistanis' own actions. The Red Mosque is a religious icon in Islamabad. Thousands of students attend their religious training. What does it say about Islam that a famous mosque in a nation's capital kidnaps people for religious crimes? You might have a point if the mosque had been in some remote region.

A women was a former prime minister and a leading opposition figure. We can't even boast that. I think their culture does and increasingly so respects equality.
Who is Nancy Pelosi?

It's not our duty to make the world abide by our moral compass. If we tried to, we'd just radicalize more people.
Of course it isn't our duty to convert the world to our culture. Neither is it our duty to blindly accept any culture and its values. I feel it is perfectly acceptable to impose a litmus test on anyone coming from a Muslim area or who practices Islam. We don't have to assume these people are fair minded and law abiding. It's only common sense to see that Muslim countries produce some of the most violent religious zealots in the world. Why not put restrictions on their involvement in our society until they can prove they don't harbor violent attitudes against us?

The Mormons and Scientologists have been very calm and law abiding for the past few decades. But if they did start murdering presidential candidates I don't see why we shouldn't put restrictions on them also. That goes for Christians, Jews, Texans, and left handed midgets as well.

RichardJ
 

Colt

Registered Member
#8
She was very corrupt like her father and most if not all political leaders there.
Her father was hung in 1979 and she was jailed at the same time while she was running for parliament. She was considered by those in the Sindh province as a great envisioner. She was twice prime minister and justifiably was under suspicion of financial corruption and incompetence. She spent alot of years in exile in London. After returning this past October her promises of democracy were shunned by many as they have heard her words before. She is said by many to believe she was above all others and simply deserved more than all others. I heard one authority say she now felt she was "God-like" and could not be killed. Perhaps that is the reason she decided to stand up in the bullet proof car exposing herself. Ironic because even the Pope drives around fully surrouned by bullet proof glass. I guess you could say he is a tad bit smarter and more humble than Bhutto was.
 

pikatore

Registered Member
#9
She was an icon of democracy in a primitive, almost tribalised society, and was also a beacon of modernity, showing that a Muslim girl CAN be a giant in a chosen field. Despite all the flaws she may have, let us remember that.
 

mermaidboy

Registered Member
#10
I cannot help but feel Bhutto was at fault in her own demise. She was a very courageous in being outspoken about democracy in a tightly controlled regime; perhaps foolishly so. Her outspokenness and frequent public appearances made her a prime and easy target.
With the recent news that Bhutto's 19-year-old son is to be her successor and new head of her party, I fear that democracy may be put on hold should he run in elections, since Bhutto's son is young and may be considered inexperienced. I did, however, see him speak on CNN and he is quite eloquent.