Benazir Bhutto Killed

The crisis deepens

Pakistani former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has been killed in a presumed suicide attack, a spokesman for the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) says. [BBC]

As the Offstumped blogger said in an SMS, “this is more macabre than (even) we comforted ourselves with”.

Update: Does the United States have a Plan B? 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.

2. The United States signals that it wants the elections to go on as scheduled. (via Jagadish)

18 thoughts on “Benazir Bhutto Killed”

  1. Having witnessed India convulse after Mrs Gandhi’s murder, one can only shudder to imagine what’s in store for Pakistan. The unravelling of the Islamic state has likely now begun.

    I’ve been puzzled over the last few days on why National Security Advisor M K Naryanan spoke out publicly against Mrs. Bhutto. In a cynical reading, he may have been anticipating this unfortunate outcome and pre-signalling India’s ongoing support for General Musharraf if this were to occur.

    Not clear what the General can accomplish now, having been a complete failure for now almost a decade.

  2. Despite the fact that Benazir’s government birthed the Taliban and has also been responsible for lighting the flame of jihadist insurgency in J&K, I couldn’t help feel a little sad for the way she had to go.

    More loose nuke tension in world markets now, oil has risen 2/3rds of a dollar in the last hour, I see….

  3. looks like being in pakistan is like being in a pirates of the caribbean plot. Always full of parleys and treaties, you never know who will betray you at what moment.

  4. What we know about the assassination:

    1. Najam Sethi said on TV that she was shot at “point blank” range by a policeman.
    2. A PPP security adviser said she was shot in the neck before the explosion
    3. An explosion killed many people. They believe that this was the same guy who shot her.
    4. After the incident the mob was setting fire to the railings of the public park where she was killed. This was followed by the fire brigade’s arrival, which went about hosing down the whole place.

    It’s shaping to be a veritable whodunit.

  5. The loony liberals who think Democracy, Secularism, free speech etc are more important than security and development should stop and take notice. A terribly tragedy this.

  6. Nitin,

    At least thinking logically, it doesnt appear that Mush stands to benefit from this act. After all, with the US backing a tacit Bhutto-Mush alliance, which could have attained power after the elections, he could have only improved his credibility.

    What could have been strengthened, however, is the control that US could exercise on the Pak establishment thru Benazir. And probably this is what the powers in the Al-Qaeda- ISI-army might have not wanted to happen.

    Mush might have lost control over the actual powers, just like Benazir herself had when she was in power and her brother was killed in cold blood.

    Any ideas on how Mush would take things forward from now on?

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