I knew this would happen. The Economist reports:
Horrifying millions of frightened Pakistanis, Benazir Bhutto, the leader of the country’s biggest political party, was assassinated on Thursday December 27th. Her attacker fired gunshots into her car as she was leaving a political rally in Rawalpindi, then exploded a suicide bomb. At least 15 of Miss Bhutto’s followers were also killed.Former Premier Bhutto arrived in Karachi two months ago "with the aim of returning to power and 'restoring democracy,'" after eight years in exile. She was greeted by thousands of supporters in a homecoming parade in Karachi, marked by "a suicide bomb attack ... which killed over 140 people. Islamists terrorists, fighting an insurgency in north-western Pakistan, had previously threatened to kill Miss Bhutto. They are probably behind her murder."
Bhutto returned to Pakistan in October after the United States and Great Britain pressured General Pervez Musharraf to share power with her. I believed then that this was ultimately an empty bargain for Musharraf to make, knowing the likelihood that Bhutto wouldn't survive long after her return, despite any security provided to her.
Around 20,000 security personnel have been deployed to provide protection against threatened attacks by militants.Now that she's dead, the election set for January 8th which her party was predicted to fare well in has been postponed. Given the circumstances of her murder, one wonders if this is what Musharraf had planned all along.
Intelligence reports suggested at least three jihadi groups linked to al-Qa'eda and the Taliban were plotting suicide attacks, according to a provincial official.
"She has an agreement with America. We will carry out attacks on Benazir Bhutto as we did on General Pervez Musharraf," said Haji Omar, a Taliban commander in the Waziristan tribal region on the Afghan border.
Her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan's first popularly elected prime minister, was overthrown and hanged, while her two brothers were killed in mysterious circumstances, one shot in Karachi, the other found dead in a French Riviera hotel.
Miss Bhutto blamed senior army officers with Jihadist sympathies for that (previous) attack.
Alas, her supporters are now likely to blame her killing on the same shadowy army elite. And with stronger possible justification: Miss Bhutto’s killer is alleged to have approached to within 20 yards of her car, carrying a gun, dressed in a police uniform. At the least, such a lapse in the security afforded to Mr Musharraf and his supporters would be unimaginable.