Background On Pakistan: “Why Bhutto and the Elites Hate Musharaf”
1. As prime minister of Pakistan, Ms. Bhutto proved to be one of the most incompetent leaders in the history of South Asia and was dismissed in November 1996 by Pakistan’s president for what he called her regime’s “nepotism, corruption” and “mismanagement.” During her chaotic administration in the mid-1990s scores of people were being murdered in the streets of Karachi every day.
2. Her return to power, or that of her Pakistani People’s Party, would almost certainly trigger a return to anarchy and open the door to a Taliban-style fundamentalist coup. Ms. Bhutto dismisses this possibility as “nonsense,” asserting that “more than two-thirds of Pakistanis are distinctly moderate” in their religious views.
Bhutto embodied the flaws in Pakistan’s political system, not its potential salvation.
The attack yesterday at Rawalpindi bore the hallmarks of a sophisticated military operation. At first, Bhutto’s rally was hit by a suicide bomb that turned out to be a decoy. According to press reports and a situation report of the incident relayed to The New York Sun by an American intelligence officer, Bhutto’s armored limousine was shot by multiple snipers whose armor-piercing bullets penetrated the vehicle, hitting the former premier five times in the head, chest, and neck. Two of the snipers then detonated themselves shortly after the shooting, according to the situation report, while being pursued by local police.
A separate attack was thwarted at the local hospital where Bhutto possibly would have been revived had she survived the initial shooting. Also attacked yesterday was a rival politician, Nawaz Sharif, another former prime minister who took power after Bhutto lost power in 1996.
Ali Eteraz writes on Pakistan Renewal in the Wake of Bhutto Killing
More on Bhutto this morning.