Benazir Bhutto Assassinated

Posted on December 27, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, People, Politics
352 Comments
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Adil Najam

News is just breaking that former Prime Minister and head of the Pakistan People’s Party, Benazir Bhutto was killed in Rawalpindi in a terrorist attack.

She was gunned down by an assassin who then blew himself up in a suicide attack. This happened at the end of her rally in Liaquat Bagh, Rawalpindi; the same place where Liaqat Ali Khan, Pakistan’s first Prime Minister was assassinated. Major news networks are now reporting that following bomb blasts at Benazir Bhutto’s rally in Rawalpindi, shots were fired directly targeting her. Her husband, Asif Ali Zardari says that one of these shots hit her in the neck and killed her.

According to early BBC reports:

Assassinated Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto

Pakistani former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has been killed in a presumed suicide attack, a military spokesman has announced on TV. Earlier reports said Ms Bhutto had only been injured and taken to hospital.

Ms Bhutto had just addressed a pre-election rally in the town of Rawalpindi when the bomb went off. At least 15 other people are reported killed in the attack and several more were injured. Ms Bhutto had twice been the country’s prime minister. She was campaigning ahead of elections due in January.

‘She expired’

The explosion occurred close to an entrance gate of the park in Rawalpindi where Ms Bhutto had been speaking. Benazir Bhutto had been addressing rallies in many parts of Pakistan
PPP spokesman Farhatullah Babar initially said that Ms Bhutto was safe. But later he told the BBC that Ms Bhutto had died. Another member of the PPP, Wasif Ali Khan, told the Associated Press news agency from the Rawalpindi General Hospital: “At 6:16 pm (1316 GMT) she expired.”

I, like most Pakistanis, am still too numb with shock and grief to think coherently about what has happened or what the implications of this are for the country and for the world. But this I know, whether you agreed with her political positions or not you cannot but be in shock. Even as I type these lines I am literally shaking. Hers was a tragic life story. So tragic that had it not been real no one would have believed it.

Assassinated Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto

At this point all sorts of thoughts float through the politics of this. Why did this happen? Why was it not stopped? What could have been done to stop this senseless murder? Maybe she should not have come back? Who did this? What will this mean for the elections? What will this mean for the PPP? What will this mean for Gen. Musharraf? What will this mean for Pakistan? But all of these are paled by thoughts about Benazir as a person. The woman. The wife. The mother. The human being. What about her?

I have not always agreed with her politically but there was always a respect for her political courage. I had met her many times, first as a journalist covering her when she had just returned to Pakistan in the Zia era and before she became Prime Minister. Later a number of times in her two stints as Prime Minister and thena few times during her exile. In that last period she toll to referring to me as “Professor sahib” and some of our exchanges were more candid (at least on my part) than they had been earlier.

At a human level this is a tragedy like no other. Only a few days ago I was mentioning to someone that the single most tragic person in all of Pakistan – maybe all the world – is Nusrat Bhutto. Benazir’s mother. Think about it. Her husband, killed. One son alledgedly poisoned. Another son assassinated. Daughter rises to be Prime Minister twice, but jailed, exiled, and finally gunned down.

Today, in shock, I can think only of Benazir Bhutto the human being. Tomorrow, maybe, I will think of politics.

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352 responses to “Benazir Bhutto Assassinated”

  1. Irfan Johri says:

    WHAT’S WRONG WITH PAKISTANI SYSTEM, A LEADER WAS MURDERED AND TILL TO DATE NO CASE REGISTERED, NO INQUIRY HELD EVEN THE GOVERNMENT POSITIONS ARE HELD BY PPP, MAY BE PEOPLE IN POWER ARE INVOLVED. I FEEL SORRY FOR PAKISTANI PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO ONE TO LISTEN EXCEPT ALLAH.

  2. July 06, 2009, Monday

    PML-Q would soon be merged with PML-N

    Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-Azam (PML-Q) group is nowadays in crisis. Before October 12, 1999, all the present leaders of PML-Q were with the former Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif and were the key leaders of PML-N. Now without merging to each other the both political parties PML-Q and PML-N are working as the provincial parties of Punjab Province. Both parties have lost their majority in all the four provinces and in Azad Kashmir too. In this situation, the parliament has no balanced opposition in National Assembly and in the Senate of Pakistan. It is why that there is a slow process of law making in the parliament’s both houses. Strong opposition always makes strong policies and laws. So it is my personal opinion that soon both major groups of Pakistan Muslim League would think to emerge again for the restoration of original and actual democracy in Pakistan. The name of PML-N and PML-Q should also be changed to Muttahida Muslim League (MML) so that the other all groups of PML would be able to join this MML to strengthen Muslim League.

    By Masood Ahmed Bazmi Malik Qadri,
    M.A Economics, B.Sc, B.Ed, LLB-I, Associate Engineer in Electrical, Postgraduate Degrees holder in Islamic Law, Islamic Jurisprudence, Hadith and Tafseer Quran.
    ?A Free Lance Web (Internet) Journalist from House No.2107/59, Budhal Shah Colony, Taluka Nawabshah, Shaheed Benazeerabad District, Province of Sindh, Pakistan.

  3. June 8, 2009, Monday
    26 political workers have been killed during last 48 hours in Karachi and other parts of Sindh. 7 were from MQM Altaf Hussain’s group. Prime Minister Pakistan has taken serious notice. List of 10 terrorists and extremists have been handed over to the security agencies to arrest them alive or killed.

  4. June 5, 2009, Friday

    Extremism in Pakistan and India

    Pakistan and India both have been facing the terrorism and extremism from their first day of the Independence. Mahatma Gandhi was slain after one year of the existence of India. The extremism activities after 9/11 open another chapter of the world history. But the first Prime Minister Pakistan Liaqat Ali Khan was also martyred at the same Liaqat Park Islamabad before 9/11 2001, where the former Prime Minister and Chairperson Pakistan Peoples Party Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. Indian Prime Ministers Indra Gandhi and Rajev Gandhi were also slain before 9/11 incident. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, his sons Murtaza Bhutto and Shahnawaz Bhutto were also slain before 9/11. Muslims were started to be blamed as terrorists and extremists globally after September 11, 2001. Pakistan is very much determined to nip the evil of extremism and terrorism from the bud and taking keen interest. In the start, Pakistan was agreed to provide help to the invading coalition forces in Afghanistan to get rid of Taliban government from Afghanistan. Taliban government was removed from Afghanistan and Hamid Karzai was elected as the President. Karzai has completed his first tenure and is now ready to be elected again in upcoming Afghan elections in August 2009. Pakistan government even after completing its 16 months continued the Military operations in NWFP province and Tribal areas. Millions of refugees internally displaced their homes and were shifted to refugee camps as a result of fight between extremists and army. Hundreds of militants and dozens of army officials have lost their lives in this fight. Washington strongly supported the military action in Pakistan. Many Islamic extremist organizations were banned in Pakistan during a few last years. Jamat-u-Dawah was banned by Pakistan government on the request of UNO. Operation Ghazi was carried out against the Islamic extremists and militants in Lal Masjid and Jamea-Hifsa in Islamabad. The officials of rangers, police and army were killed while on the other side 94 Islamic extremists were killed including Ghazi Abdul Rasheed and his family. Today’s latest news is the arrest of Sufi Muhammad with his two sons. I salute Pakistan Army and wish that it will be succeeded to maintain peace and eliminate extremist militants from Pakistan this year. I pray, may God bless Pakistan Army His support!

    By Masood Ahmed Bazmi Malik Qadri,
    M.A Economics, B.Sc, B.Ed, LLB-I, Associate Engineer in Electrical, Postgraduate Degrees holder in Islamic Law, Islamic Jurisprudence, Hadith and Tafseer Quran.
    ?A free lance web journalist from House No.2107/59, Budhal Shah Colony, Taluka Nawabshah, Shaheed Benazeerabad District, Province of Sindh, Pakistan.

  5. Indian President’s Address to Parliament

    Indian President Pratibha Patil offered to reshape ties with Pakistan. She decided this at very right time and replied to the Pakistani Foreign Minister to hold talks again with India. Pakistan also wishes to establish peace in the region and is taking action against the militants and extremists in Pakistan. Indian President addressing to the joint sitting of the parliament’s two houses etched out a plan to improve connectivity between Kashmir and rest of India. She offered to hold talks with any group in Kashmir. She also said, “India has a vital interest in the stability and prosperity of our neighbors.” She said, “The highest priority will be accorded to working with our friends in SAARC to promote stability, development and prosperity in the region. Government will sincerely work with our neighbors to ensure that outstanding issues are addressed and the full potential of our region is realized.” Indian President is looking serious in solving Kashmir problem with Pakistan. Pakistan should get benefit of her these words said in the joint parliament sitting of the newly established Indian government.

    By Masood Ahmed Bazmi Malik Qadri,
    M.A Economics, B.Sc, B.Ed, LLB-I, Associate Engineer in Electrical, Postgraduate Degrees holder in Islamic Law, Islamic Jurisprudence, Hadith and Tafseer Quran.
    ?A free lance web journalist from House No.2107/59, Budhal Shah Colony, Taluka Nawabshah, Shaheed Benazeerabad District, Province of Sindh, Pakistan.

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