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Thoughts on Bhutto’s Assassination

Benazir Bhutto— opposition leader of the Pakistan People's Party and the first woman elected Prime Minister in Pakistan– was assassinated Thursday after a rally for the Jan. 8th elections. Literally within hours of the news breaking she was being touted as both a “martyr” and a “hero for Democracy?” Many blame President Musharraf himself:

“It's quite clear that Musharraf does not want an election – you can quote me – he is the one who has constantly wanted anybody who can threaten him or his power, out.”

said Hussain Haqqani, a former aid to Bhutto, who feels that the U.S. is complicit in Bhutto's murder by counting Musharraf as an ally. The New York Times reported

“that Al Qaeda was claiming responsibility for the attack, and that the plot was orchestrated by Ayman al-Zawahri, the group’s second-ranking official.”

citing a report fromn the Federal Bureau of Investigations though U.S. officials said nothing was confirmed. 150 were killed during a previous attempt on her life just after her homecoming in October following 8 years of house arrest stemming from charges of corruption while she was Prime Minister.

There are even some who speculate about what Bhutto's assination would mean to the possibility of a Presidency for Hillary Clinton, as if her gender was Bhutto's downfall (“There is no sin worse than being a woman,” Quentin Crisp once said).

Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post has written one of the most moving tributes to Bhutto, allowing (as it should be) the woman herself to have the final word:

“I long ago realized that my personal life was to be subjugated to my political responsibilities. When my democratically elected father, Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was arrested in 1977 and subsequently murdered, the mantle of leadership of the Pakistan Peoples Party, our nation's largest, nationwide grassroots political structure, was suddenly thrust upon me. It was not the life I planned, but it is the life I have. My husband and children accept and understand that my political responsibilities to the people of Pakistan come first, as painful as that personally is to all of us. I would like to be planning my son's move to his first year at college later this month, but instead I am planning my return to Pakistan and my party's parliamentary election campaign.

I didn't choose this life. It chose me.”

John Moore has also done a great piece of photojournalism for the New York Times.

And, of course, the latest reports implicate Al-Quaida and the Taliban and that Bhutto died from a skull fracture and not a bullet as had been previously reported by doctors who treated her. Mourners have taken to the streets in protests.

“As long as the moon and sun are alive, so is the name of Bhutto”

“Bhutto was alive yesterday, Bhutto is alive today.”

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