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And, yes, I DO take it personally: This will not be good for PK, but, of course, the U.S. simply MUST blame it on al Qaeda
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Thursday, December 27, 2007

This will not be good for PK, but, of course, the U.S. simply MUST blame it on al Qaeda

as i've posted previously, benazir bhutto was far from the ideal person to save pakistan from the power lust of musharraf, but having her killed off could very well plunge the country - a country with a nuclear weapons stockpile - into violent chaos... this does not bode well...

from the wapo...

Bhutto Assassinated at Rally
Thursday, December 27, 2007; 9:19 AM

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan, Dec. 27 -- Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday at a political rally, two months after she returned from eight years of exile to attempt a political comeback, officials said.

Bhutto, 54, was shot at close range as she was leaving the rally in this garrison city south of Islamabad, aides said. Immediately after the shooting, a suicide bomber detonated explosives near Bhutto's car, killing at least 15 other people.

Bhutto was rushed to a hospital with extensive wounds to her torso, her supporters said. Shortly after she arrived at the hospital, an official came out of the building and told a crowd of supporters Bhutto was dead.

Also Thursday, a rooftop sniper opened fire on supporters of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif at a different pre-election rally in Rawalpindi, leaving four dead and at least five injured.

Bhutto's death is a devastating development, coming 12 days before Pakistanis are set to vote in national parliamentary elections already marked by enormous political turmoil. President Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency in November -- a move which he said was to combat terrorism, but which was widely perceived as an effort to stave off legal challenges to his authority. U.S. military officials said last week that the terrorist group al-Qaeda increasingly is focusing its efforts in Pakistan.

Bhutto, who returned to Pakistan in October, had been running for parliament. Her People's Party was expected to win enough seats for her to become prime minister. A daughter of a Pakistani political royalty, she was the most popular candidate running, and had fared very well in recent polls.


At the Sharif rally, party spokesman Ahsan Iqbal said supporters were fired upon while waiting to welcome the former prime minister. He called the attack unprovoked, and said it was carried out by Musharraf supporters. Musharraf's party is "panicked by the astounding reception Mr. Sharif is getting," Iqbal said. "They're trying to use violence as an excuse to postpone the elections."

this item from the associated press wasn't mentioned in the wapo story...
[Bhutto's] supporters at the hospital began chanting "Dog, Musharraf, dog," referring to Pakistan's president Pervez Musharraf.

the fact that a sharif rally was also targeted is a very strong indication to me that the violence is government-backed... that the u.s. is seizing the opportunity to blame the whole thing on al qaeda, to me, points to that even more strongly...

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