Friday, December 28, 2007

MORE PICS & Video – Benazir Bhutto - Final Moments Before Being Gunned down & expired 6.16 pm Dec 27 07; Father Hanged; 2 Brothers Mysterious deaths

ABOVE: This Powerpresent Blog Post was linked to Wall Street Journal H E R E
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Dec 29, 2007

Pakistan's Bhutto was shot in head: aide

KARACHI - BENAZIR Bhutto was shot in the head, a close aide who prepared her body for burial said on Saturday, dismissing as 'ludicrous' a government theory that she died after hitting her head on a sunroof during the suicide attack.

ABOVE: Sherry Rehman was in the car behind Ms Bhutto Benazir when Bhutto was shot. Ms Rehman did not see the attacker.

Ms Sherry Rehman a spokesman for Ms Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party and close aide, was in the car behind her at the end of a political rally when an attacker fired shots at the opposition leader and then blew himself up. Security officials said after the assassination on Thursday that Ms Bhutto had been shot in the neck and head. But on Friday, the government said she died when the force of the blast smashed her head on a sunroof lever. 'She has a bullet wound at the back of her head on the left side. It came out the other. That was a very large wound, and she bled profusely through that,' said Ms Rehman, who suffered a severe whiplash and leg injuries as the blast threw her out of her car.

'She was even bleeding while we were bathing her for the burial,' she added. 'The government is now trying to say she concussed herself, which is ludicrous. It is really dangerous nonsense.' Ms Rehman said the government had denied Ms Bhutto the security measures she had been asking for. 'It's sad, but it looks like an attempt at either at a cover up or absolving themselves from responsibility, or both,' she said. Ms Rehman did not see the attacker, and was looking the other way just prior to the attack as she and a colleague suddenly noticed they were surrounded by unfamiliar faces. 'We were seeing people who were unfamiliar suddenly wearing Bhutto badges,' she said. – REUTERS

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UPDATE: Dec 29, 2007 - a new twist in the explanation for her death, no gunshot wounds?

Bhutto killing blamed on al-Qaeda
ISLAMABAD (Pakistan) - PAKISTAN accused an Islamic extremist linked to al-Qaeda on Friday of assassinating Benazir Bhutto and sent the army into the streets to quell a frenzy of violence by her furious supporters that left 33 people dead. The interior ministry also said that Ms Bhutto was killed after smashing her head on her car's sunroof while trying to duck, and that no bullet or shrapnel was found inside her. While many grieving Pakistanis turned to violence, hundreds of thousands of others paid their last respects to the popular opposition leader as she was laid to rest beside her father in her family's marble mausoleum. 'I don't know what will happen to the country now,' said mourner Nazakat Soomro, 32

Ms Bhutto's death and the ensuing violence raised concerns that this nuclear-armed nation, plagued by chaos and the growing threat from Islamic militants even before the killing, was in danger of spinning out of control. The government blamed Ms Bhutto's killing on al-Qaida militants operating with increasing impunity in the lawless tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan and said it would hunt down those responsible for her death. 'They will definitely be brought to justice,' Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema said.

The government released a transcript on Friday of a purported conversation between militant leader Baitullah Mehsud and another militant. 'It was a spectacular job. They were very brave boys who killed her,' Mehsud said, according to the transcript. Mr Cheema described Mehsud as an al-Qaeda leader who was also behind the Karachi bomb blast in October against Ms Bhutto that killed more than 140 people and most other recent terrorist attacks in Pakistan. Mehsud is thought to be the commander of pro-Taleban forces in the tribal region of South Waziristan, where al-Qaeda fighters are also active. In the transcript, Mehsud gives his location as Makin, a town in South Waziristan. This fall, he was quoted in a Pakistani newspaper as saying that he would welcome Ms Bhutto's return from exile with suicide bombers. Mehsud later denied that in statements to local television and newspaper reporters.

Two inquiries

Mr Cheema announced the formation of two inquiries into Ms Bhutto's death, one to be carried out by a high court judge and another by security forces. She was killed on Thursday evening when a suicide attacker shot at her and then blew himself up as she left a rally in the garrison city of Rawalpindi near Islamabad. Authorities initially said she died from bullet wounds, and a surgeon who treated her said the impact from shrapnel on her skull killed her.
Killed by blast

But Mr Cheema said she was killed when she tried to duck back into the armoured vehicle during the attack, and the shock waves from the blast smashed her head into a lever attached to the sunroof, fracturing her skull, he said. He showed reporters a videotape of the attack, which showed Ms Bhutto waving, smiling and chatting with supporters from the sunroof as her vehicle sat unmoving on the street outside the rally. Three gunshots rang out, the camera appeared to fall and the video, which Mr Cheema said was filmed by authorities, then stopped. Denying charges the government failed to give her adequate security protection, Mr Cheema said it was Ms Bhutto who made herself vulnerable and pointed out that the other passengers inside Ms Bhutto's bombproof vehicle were fine. 'I wish she had not come out of the rooftop of her vehicle,' he said.
Turmoil

Ms Bhutto's death plunged the nation deep into turmoil less than two weeks before parliamentary elections and sparked deadly rioting that killed at least 33 people, according to an Interior Ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media. Rioters in the southern city of Karachi torched 500 vehicles, 13 banks, seven gas stations and two police stations, police chief Azhar Farooqi said. The violence killed 13 people, including five people who were burned to death when the garment factory they work in was set ablaze, police said.

A shootout between rioters and police wounded three officers, police said. Another six people suffocated to death in Mirpurkhas, about 300 kilometres northeast of Karachi, when the bank building they were in was set on fire, said Ghulam Mohammed Mohtaram, Sindh's top civilian security official. About 7,000 people in the central city of Multan ransacked seven banks and a gas station and threw stones at police, who responded with tear gas. Media reports said a total of 200 banks were attacked nationwide. Vandals also burned 10 railway stations and several trains across Ms Bhutto's southern Sindh province, forcing the suspension of all train service between Karachi and the eastern Punjab province, said Mir Mohammed Khaskheli, a senior railroad official.

Troops sent into streets

Desperate to quell the violence, the government sent 16,000 troops into the streets of Hyderabad, Karachi and other areas in Sindh.

In Hyderabad, the soldiers refused to let people out of their homes, witnesses said. The army prepositioned 20 battalions of troops for deployment across Sindh if they were needed to stop the violence, according to a military statement. 'We will sternly deal with those who are trying to create disorder,' Mr Cheema said. Paramilitary rangers were also given the authority to use live fire to stop rioters from damaging property in the region, said Major Asad Ali, the rangers' spokesman.

'We have orders to shoot on sight,' he said. Many cities were nearly deserted as businesses closed and public transportation came to a halt at the start of three days of national mourning for Ms Bhutto. Prime Minister Mohammedmian Soomro said the government had no immediate plans to postpone Jan 8 parliamentary elections, despite the violence and the decision by Nawaz Sharif, another opposition leader, to boycott the poll. 'Right now the elections stand where they were,' he told a news conference. The United States, which sees Pakistan as a crucial ally in the war on terror, was counting on President Pervez Musharraf to proceed with the vote in the hope it will cement steps toward restoring democracy after the six week state of emergency he declared last month. Keeping the election on track was the biggest immediate concern in sustaining an American policy of promoting stability, moderation and democracy in Pakistan, US officials said on Friday. Ms Bhutto's death left her populist party without a clear successor. Her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, who was freed in December 2004 after eight years in detention on graft charges, is one contender to head the party although he lacks the cachet of being a blood relative from the Ms Bhutto clan's political dynasty. -- AP, AFP

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UPDATE: Dec 28, 2007

Slain Bhutto laid to rest in family tomb

ABOVE: Thousands of mourners surround the ambulance bearing Benazir Bhutto to the family's ancestral village in Ghari Khuda Baksh, Larkana district

BELOW: The coffin being taken in

GHARI KHUDA BAKHSH (Pakistan) - PAKISTAN'S assassinated former premier Benazir Bhutto was laid to rest in her family's ancestral grave on Friday amid the wails and tears of hundreds of thousands of mourners.


ABOVE: Husband in Cap with the aid of her son lower the coffin into the grave and BELOW: spreading scented Rose petals

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ABOVE: Onlookers from the Balcony above;BELOW: Consoling the son after the ceremony

Her husband Asif Zardari wept as her coffin was lowered into the tomb at the white, three-domed mausoleum (BELOW) deep in Pakistan's rural south.

Her son Bilawal appeared in a state of shock as a mullah led the throng in prayers and chants of 'Allahu Akhbar' (God is Greater). Those outside beat their chest in grief, while many shouted slogans blaming President Pervez Musharraf over her death in a suicide attack on Thursday as she left a campaign rally in the northern city of Rawalpindi. A huge roar had greeted her coffin, wrapped in the black, green and red of her Pakistan People's Party, as it was driven toward the Bhutto mausoleum in a white vehicle. It took more than two hours to crawl the five kilometres from her family's home in Naudero to the private mausoleum in the village of Ghari Khuda Baksh where Mrs Bhutto's father and two brothers are also buried. We will take revenge for her death, we believe Musharraf was responsible,' said one mourner, Mohabbat Ali. 'It was tyrannical to kill her,' railed another, Ghulam Nabi, adding, 'She was innocent, she was the nation's leader and admired all over the world.'

ABOVE: Hundreds of thousands came to the funeral

As authorities struggled to keep a lid on the violence that erupted across the country, the government pointed a finger at Al-Qaeda for her slaying. The scale of the unrest has effectively paralysed this nuclear-armed Muslim nation, triggering alarm bells around the world and throwing scheduled Jan 8 elections into disarray. Interior ministry spokesman Brigadier Javed Cheema said Bhutto had been on an Al-Qaeda hit-list and it was likely the Islamic extremist network played a role in Thursday's suicide attack that killed her and around 20 others.

'Benazir has been on the hit-list of Al-Qaeda,' he told AFP. 'Now there is every possibility that Al-Qaeda is behind this tragic attack to undermine the security of Pakistan.' Officials ordered paramilitary forces in Karachi, a Bhutto stronghold, to shoot rioters on sight and sent troops into several other cities in the south.

ABOVE & BELOW: Overnight, sporadic riots errupted with burning of vehicles

At least 19 people have been killed in violence since Mrs Bhutto's death, and there have been angry demonstrations in several cities, with mobs ransacking offices and torching buildings and vehicles. Police fired tear gas at protesters in Rawalpindi and a crowd of some 1,500 stormed the office of a pro-government party in Peshawar. The two-time former premier was interred next to her father, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, also a prime minister, who was executed by the military in 1979 after he was ousted from power. Mrs Bhutto, 54, was leaving a rally where she had been campaigning for the vote when a suicide bomber shot her in the neck before blowing himself up. US President George W. Bush described the killing as a 'cowardly act' and telephoned Mr Musharraf - a crucial ally in the US-led 'war on terror' against Islamic extremism - to urge Pakistan to stay on the path of democracy. The assassination also thrust US security concerns back into the spotlight on the political front, less than a week before first voting in the Democratic and Republican nominating contests.

Analysts agonised over the future of Pakistan, beset by chronic instability and extremist violence. Mrs Bhutto's death, said Britain's Financial Times, 'leaves a hole in national politics and adds a vicious extra dimension of disintegration to a country that is already falling apart after decades of civilian and military misrule'. World stock markets slipped amid concerns over global stability, and crude oil futures climbed back toward US$100 (S$145) a barrel. The Jan 8 elections appear increasingly in doubt, with Pakistan's other major opposition figure, Nawaz Sharif, pulling his party out. 'For now, the elections stand as they were announced. We'll take the next step after consulting political parties,' interim prime minister Mohammedmian Soomro said. Mr Sharif warned that going ahead with the polls would 'destroy the country', and reiterated his demand that Mr Musharraf step down.

'They are not going to be credible,' he said of the vote. 'We believe that Musharraf has no intention of holding free and fair elections, and yesterday was proof of that.' Mrs Bhutto became the first elected female leader of a Muslim country when she took the helm in 1988. She was deposed in 1990 amid corruption allegations but was premier again from 1993 to 1996. She was an outspoken critic of Al-Qaeda-linked militants blamed for scores of bombings in Pakistan and had received death threats. She had also accused elements from the intelligence services of involvement in a suicide attack at an October rally. She narrowly escaped, but the attack killed 139 people. Britain, among several countries, strengthened its travel advice and warned against all but essential travel to Pakistan. -- AFP= == = == = == = =

Dec 28, 2007
Bhutto's body arrives at family home for burial

PAKISTAN - THOUSANDS of mourners thronged to assassinated Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto's ancestral home on Friday ahead of her burial in her family graveyard alongside her father. Ms Bhutto, a two-time prime minister hoping to win power again in a Jan 8 election, was killed by a suicide bomber on Thursday after addressing a rally in the city of Rawalpindi, near the capital, Islamabad.

Ms Bhutto's body, accompanied by her husband, Mr Asif Ali Zardari, and their three children, was flown in a military aircraft to her home province of Sindh in the south of the country hours after she was killed. People started crying and wailing as Ms Bhutto's coffin was brought to her family home in an ambulance. 'Show patience. Give us courage to bear this loss,' Mr Zardari urged the mourners as the coffin was carried into the house. President Pervez Musharraf, for years a rival of Ms Bhutto, condemned the killing and announced three days of mourning.
= == = == = == = == = ==December 28, 2007 11:33 AM - another example of Islamic extremists Violence - AL-QAEDA is the chief suspect according to US Analayst

Abdullah Condemns Killing Of Benazir Bhutto

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 28 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Friday expressed shock over the assassination of former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto and strongly condemned the act which has killed many innocent people. "It is indeed very sad that such a tragedy has taken place." "The resort to extremism and violence is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated anywhere at any time. The perpetrators must be brought to justice," he said in a statement. Abdullah, who is also chairman of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), extended his deepest condolences to the families of Bhutto and the others who were killed. "I hope the people in Pakistan will remain calm and I pray that the situation in Pakistan will soon stabilise," he added.

Bhutto, 54, leader of the opposition Pakistan People's Party (PPP), was killed in a suicide attack in Rawalpindi Thursday evening which also took the lives of at least 20 others. Reports from Pakistan and India said Bhutto was attending a rally in the city when she was hit by a bomber and was critically injured, along with 15 other party workers and her political secretary. Bhutto, who returned to Pakistan in October after a long exile to avoid corruption charges, was said to have finished addressing a political rally in Rawalpindi when the incident occurred. Both Bhutto and the PPP are currently campaigning ahead of the national elections slated for January 8 next year. On the day of her arrival in Pakistan last October, Bhutto narrowly escaped a double suicide attack when she was travelling in an open motorcade but nearly 140 people were killed in the carnage.

ABOVE: Supporters carrying her Coffin out of the Hospital in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on Thursday. The body has since been flown to her ancestral home for burial.

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Al-Qaeda leads suspect list in Bhutto killing

WASHINGTON - AL-QAEDA is the chief suspect in the murder of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, standing to gain by preserving its remote stronghold, undermining President Pervez Musharraf and destabilising the country, United States government and private analysts said. The militant group, which has rebuilt its command structure on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, was blamed for a previous attempt on Ms Bhutto and it has denounced her as an instrument of US policy in Pakistan. Bush administration officials said it was too early to identify a clear suspect in Thursday's assassination. But one US official said: 'There are a number of extremist groups within Pakistan that could have carried out the attack. ... Al-Qaeda has got to be one of the groups at the top of this list.' Al-Qaeda's Taleban ally, which has publicly threatened Ms Bhutto, was another potential suspect, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.One private analyst said Al-Qaeda supporters in Pakistan's security services may have also played a role, but it was unlikely Mr Musharraf himself was involved.

Killing Ms Bhutto undermines Mr Musharraf, viewed by the United States as an essential ally against terrorism, by eliminating the prospect of a power-sharing agreement between the two that could shore up his deteriorating political standing and stabilise the country, the analysts said. That in turn reduces chances Mr Musharraf can revive efforts to drive Al-Qaeda and the Taleban out of the remote Waziristan tribal areas. It also fans popular suspicions against Mr Musharraf and sows general confusion. 'Their (Al-Qaeda's) motivation for doing this is entirely clear,' said Mr David Gartenstein-Ross of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. 'They have the most to gain.' Shortly before Mr Bhutto's return in October, Taleban commander Haji Omar pledged to attack her. Pakistan's investigation of the killing will be a major test of Mr Musharraf's credibility, said Mr PJ Crowley, a former National Security Council official. In particular, he said, the probe must make a thorough effort to identify any elements in the government who may be complicit in the attack.

The United States offered FBI assistance in investigating Ms Bhutto's assassination, but Pakistan has not yet made a request, FBI spokesman Stephen Kodak said.

Ms Bhutto, in an October letter (ABOVE) to an acquaintance read on CNN on Thursday, said she would hold Mr Musharraf responsible if she were killed , for a failure to authorise adequate security. Rawalpindi, where Ms Bhutto was killed, is a garrison town where Pakistan's army has its strongest grip, said RAND Corp analyst Christine Fair. 'There will be those who hold him accountable even if he and his services are innocent.' US State Department spokesman Tom Casey said: 'It is clear that whoever is responsible is someone who opposes peaceful, democratic development and change in Pakistan.' -- REUTERS= = == == = =Original Post Below

MORE PICS & Video – Benazir Bhutto - Final Moments Before Being Gunned down & expired 6.16 pm Dec 27 07; Father Hanged; 2 Brothers Mysterious deaths

1972: Benazir Bhutto was part of a political dynasty. She met India's foreign minister in 1972 in Simla, where her father, President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, met India's Indira Gandhi.
1977: Ms Bhutto in 1977, shortly after completing her education at Oxford University. Born in 1953 in the province of Sindh, she also attended Harvard.

1988-1990: Ms Bhutto was Pakistan's prime minister twice. The first term of office between 1988 and 1990 coincided with the latter years of UK PM Margaret Thatcher's rule During both her stints in power, the role of Ms Bhutto's husband, Asif Zardari, proved highly controversial as he was accused of stealing state funds - charges he denied.

1991: Benazir Bhutto in 1991 during the rule of arch-rival Nawaz Sharif. She had been dismissed in 1990 on charges of corruption but was never tried.

1993-1996: Ms Bhutto was re-elected in 1993 and served as prime minister until 1996, again being dismissed for alleged corruption.

1999: She remained in Pakistan until 1999 but then left to live abroad as questions remained about her and her husband's wealth.

2006: Ms Bhutto lived in self-imposed exile after Pervez Musharraf assumed power in 1999. But she always planned to return - meeting Nawaz Sharif in London in 2006.

Oct 2007: Finally, in October 2007, she boarded a flight from Dubai (BELOW, Her Home in Dubai) to Pakistan to take on the presidency of General Musharraf.

Shortly after, she survived bomb attacks on her convoy in the southern city of Karachi that killed more than 100 people.

ABOVE: But Ms Bhutto said she would not be cowed and continued to campaign for the restoration of democracy and, some say, a third term as prime minister.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto assassinated
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday in the wake of a suicide bombing that killed at least 14 of her supporters, doctors, a spokesman for her party and other officials said. Bhutto suffered bullet wounds in the aftermath of the bomb attack, TV networks were reporting. Police warned citizens to stay home as they expected rioting to break out in city streets as a shocked
Pakistan absorbed the news of Bhutto's assassination. Video of the scene just moments before the explosion showed Bhutto stepping into a heavily-guarded vehicle to leave the rally. (BELOW)

Bhutto was rushed to Rawalpindi General Hospital -- less than two miles from the bombing scene -- where doctors pronounced her dead. Former Pakistan government spokesman Tariq Azim Khan said while it appeared Bhutto was shot, it was unclear if the bullet wounds to her head and neck were caused by a shooting or if it was shrapnel from the bomb.

ABOVE: She Left the stage and BELOW: went to her car and had her final acknowledgment from the crowd

The bomber detonated (BELOW) as he tried to enter the rally where thousands of people gathered to hear Bhutto speak, police said.

The number of wounded was not immediately known. However, video of the scene showed ambulances lined up to take many to hospitals.

ABOVE: The location of the Site of the attack

The attack came just hours after four supporters of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif died when members of another political party opened fire on them at a rally near the Islamabad airport Thursday,

ABOVE & BELOW: The carnage at the scene after the the dusts settled

Pakistan police said. Several other members of Sharif's party were wounded, police said. Bhutto, who led Paksitan from 1988 to 1990 and was the first female prime minister of any Islamic nation, was participating in the parliamentary election set for January 8, hoping for a third term.A terror attack targeting her motorcade in Karachi killed 136 people on the day she returned to Pakistan after eight years of self-imposed exile. CNN's Mohsin Naqvi, who was at the scene of both bombings, said Thursday's blast was not as powerful as that October attack.

Thursday's attacks come less than two weeks after Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf lifted an emergency declaration he said was necessary to secure his country from terrorists. CNN's Mohsin Naqvi contributes to this report

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Last Updated:
Thursday, 27 December 2007, 16:26 GMT
Benazir Bhutto killed in attack
Pakistani former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated in a suicide attack. Ms Bhutto had just addressed an election rally in
Rawalpindi when she was shot in the neck by a gunman who then set off a bomb. At least 16 other people died in the attack and several more were injured. President Pervez Musharraf condemned the killing and urged people to remain calm so that the "nefarious designs of terrorists can be defeated." There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack. Ms Bhutto, leader of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), had twice been the country's prime minister and had been campaigning ahead of elections due in January. It was the second suicide attack against her in recent months and came amid a wave of bombings targeting security and government officials. Nawaz Sharif, also a former prime minister and a political rival, said her death was a tragedy for "the entire nation". "It is not a sad day, it is [the] darkest, gloomiest day in the history of this country," he said, speaking at the hospital where she was taken. The United Nations Security Council is to meet for emergency consultations shortly to discuss the situation in Pakistan after the killing.

Scene of grief
The attack occurred close to an entrance gate of the park in Rawalpindi where Ms Bhutto had been speaking Police confirmed reports Ms Bhutto had been shot in the neck and chest before the gunman blew himself up. She died at 1816 (1316 GMT), said Wasif Ali Khan, a member of the PPP who was at Rawalpindi General Hospital. Some supporters at the hospital wept while others broke into anger, throwing stones at cars and breaking windows. Police in the north-western city of Peshawar are reported to have used tear gas and batons to break up a demonstration by angry Bhutto supporters and there were also protests in other cities. Mr Sharif said there had been a "serious lapse in security" by the government. But an old friend of Ms Bhutto, Salman Tassir, told the BBC World Service he did not think criticism should be directed at the government. "There have been suicide attacks on Gen Musharraf also," he told Newshour.
"... I mean it is extremism and the fanatics who are to blame." Earlier on Thursday, at least four people were killed ahead of an election rally Mr Sharif had been preparing to attend close to
Rawalpindi. Ms Bhutto's death has plunged the PPP into confusion and raises questions about whether January elections will go ahead as planned, the BBC's Barbara Plett in Islamabad says.

'Cowardly act'

The killing was condemned by India, the US, the UK and others. “The subcontinent has lost an outstanding leader who worked for democracy and reconciliation in her country," said Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

US President George W Bush condemned a "cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan's democracy". UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband said "extremist groups... [could] not and must not succeed". Ms Bhutto returned from self-imposed exile in October after years out of Pakistan where she had faced corruption charges. Her return was the result of a power-sharing agreement with President Musharraf in which he granted an amnesty that covered the court cases she was facing. But relations with Mr Musharraf soon broke down.

ABOVE & BELOW: On the day of her arrival, she had led a motor cavalcade through the city of Karachi. It was hit by a double suicide attack that left some 130 dead.

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Obituary: Benazir Bhutto
Ms Bhutto had a volatile political career; BBC interviews Bhutto
Benazir Bhutto followed her father into politics, and both of them died because of it - he was executed in 1979, she fell victim to an apparent suicide bomb attack.

Her two brothers also suffered violent deaths. Like the Nehru-Gandhi family in India, the Bhuttos of Pakistan are one of the world's most famous political dynasties. Benazir's father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was prime minister of Pakistan in the early 1970s. His government was one of the few in the 30 years following independence that was not run by the army. Born in 1953 in the province of Sindh and educated at Harvard and Oxford, Ms Bhutto gained credibility from her father's high profile, even though she was a reluctant convert to politics. She was twice prime minister of Pakistan, from 1988 to 1990, and from 1993 to 1996.
Stubbornness
On both occasions she was dismissed from office by the president for alleged corruption. The dismissals typified her volatile political career, which was characterised by numerous peaks and troughs. At the height of her popularity - shortly after her first election - she was one of the most high-profile women leaders in the world. Young and glamorous, she successfully portrayed herself as a refreshing contrast to the overwhelmingly male-dominated political establishment. But after her second fall from power, her name came to be seen by some as synonymous with corruption and bad governance.
Asif Zardari going to court

Asif Zardari has faced numerous corruption charges. The determination and stubbornness for which Ms Bhutto was renowned was first seen after her father (BELOW) was imprisoned and charged with murder by Gen Zia ul-Haq in 1977, following a military coup. Two years later he was executed.
Ms Bhutto was imprisoned just before her father's death and spent most of her five-year jail term in solitary confinement. She described the conditions as extremely hard. During stints out of prison for medical treatment, Ms Bhutto set up a Pakistan People's Party office in London, and began a campaign against General Zia. She returned to Pakistan in 1986, attracting huge crowds to political rallies. After Gen Zia died in an explosion on board his aircraft in 1988, she became one of the first democratically elected female prime ministers in an Islamic country.
Corruption charges
During both her stints in power, the role of Ms Bhutto's husband, Asif Zardari, proved highly controversial. He played a prominent role in both her administrations, and has been accused by various Pakistani governments of stealing millions of dollars from state coffers - charges he denies, as did Ms Bhutto herself. Many commentators argued that the downfall of Ms Bhutto's government was accelerated by the alleged greed of her husband. None of about 18 corruption and criminal cases against Mr Zardari has been proved in court after 10 years. But he served at least eight years in jail. He was freed on bail in 2004, amid accusations that the charges against him were weak and going nowhere. Ms Bhutto also steadfastly denied all the corruption charges against her, which she said were politically motivated. She faced corruption charges in at least five cases, all without a conviction, until amnestied in October 2007.

General Musharraf

President Pervez Musharraf granted Ms Bhutto and others an amnesty. She was convicted in 1999 for failing to appear in court, but the Supreme Court later overturned that judgment. Soon after the conviction, audiotapes of conversations between the judge and some top aides of then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif were discovered that showed that the judge had been under pressure to convict. Ms Bhutto left Pakistan in 1999 to live abroad, but questions about her and her husband's wealth continued to dog her. She appealed against a conviction in the Swiss courts for money-laundering. During her years outside Pakistan, Ms Bhutto lived with her three children in Dubai, where she was joined by her husband after he was freed in 2004. She was a regular visitor to Western capitals, delivering lectures at universities and think-tanks and meeting government officials.
Army mistrust
Ms Bhutto returned to
Pakistan on 18 October 2007 after President Musharraf signed into law an ordinance granting her and others an amnesty from corruption charges. Observers said the military regime saw her as a natural ally in its efforts to isolate religious forces and their surrogate militants. She declined a government offer to let her party head the national government after the 2002 elections, in which the party received the largest number of votes. In the months before her death, she had emerged again as a strong contender for power. Some in Pakistan believe her secret talks with the military regime amounted to betrayal of democratic forces as these talks shored up President Musharraf's grip on the country. Others said such talks indicated that the military might at long last be getting over its decades-old mistrust of Ms Bhutto and her party, and interpreted it as a good omen for democracy. Western powers saw in her a popular leader with liberal leanings who could bring much needed legitimacy to Mr Musharraf's role in the "war against terror".

Unhappy Condemned family
Benazir Bhutto was the last remaining bearer of her late father's political legacy. Her brother, Murtaza - who was once expected to play the role of party leader - fled to the then-communist Afghanistan after his father's fall. From there, and various Middle Eastern capitals, he mounted a campaign against Pakistan's military government with a militant group called al-Zulfikar. He won elections from exile in 1993 and became a provincial legislator, returning home soon afterwards, only to be shot dead under mysterious circumstances in 1996. Benazir's other brother, Shahnawaz - also politically active but in less violent ways than Murtaza - was found dead in his French Riviera apartment in 1985

== = == =Watch the Video Clip (4min 58s) of the Moments before the Attack and the scene of the Carnage after plus glimpses of her Earlier Years as PM for two sessions

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2 Comments:

Blogger Maverick SM said...

I don't understand why Al Qaeda wants to kill her; she's not their enemy. In fact Musharaff wasn giving info of Al Qaeda's whereabout to US Intelligence.

10:07 PM  
Blogger Newedge CS said...

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