Benazir Bhutto killed
The former Pakistani Prime
Minister assassinated in a suicide attack in Rawalpindi after a political
rally held at Liaqut Bagh park
Added on January 2, 2008 at 13:15 Swiss time
Today, the elections have
officially been postponed from January 8 to February 18, 2008.
Added on December 28, 2007 at 18:15 Swiss time
According to a press conference
by the Pakistani Ministry of Interior, Benazir Bhutto did not die from
gunshots, but from a head wound she suffered after hitting her car's sunroof
after the suicide bomb blast. The Interior Ministry blamed al-Qaeda and the
Taliban for her death, referring to an intercepted al-Qaeda phone call.
Article added on December 27, 2007 at 16:50 Swiss time, updated at 18:35 Swiss
The presidential hopeful and
former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was killed in Rawalpindi
after a political rally held at Liaqut Bagh park on December 27, 2007.
According to eye-witness reports, the suicide attacker shot her in the head
and later blew himself up. Benazir Bhutto died at 6:16 p.m. local time at
Rawalpindi General Hospital because of her head wounds. At least a dozen
other people are said to have been killed in the attack at the rally.
On October 18, 2007, on the day she had returned from almost a decade of
self-imposed exile in Dubai (since 1998), Benazir Bhutto was almost killed
in a suicide attack which killed 134 people in Karachi. She blamed extremist
Islamic groups for the attack, who don't won't democracy to flourish in
Pakistan and who do not want a woman to lead the country. General Musharraf
warned her several times that he could not insure her security. At the same
time, he did not seem to much preoccupied by security measures for her.
However, in a political understanding, Musharraf granted amnesty to Benazir
Bhutto and all corruption charges against her were withdrawn.
Benazir Bhutto (1953 - 2007) was born in Karachi, Pakistan. She pursued her
university studies in the United States. From 1969 to 1973, she attended
Radcliffe College and subsequently obtained a B.A. in comparative government
at Harvard, where she was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa student honor
society. From 1973 to 1977, she studied philosophy, politics and economics
at Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford, England. During the same time at Oxford,
she finished a course in international law and diplomacy. At the end of
1976, she was elected president of the Oxford Union debating society.
Benazir Bhutto was the daughter of Pakistani Prime Minister Zulifkar Ali
Bhutto (1928 - 1979), the founder of the Pakistan People's Party, Pakistani
President from 1971 to 1973 and Prime Minister from 1973 to 1977. He was
hanged after a political trial in 1979, inspired by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq,
who had ousted him in a military coup.
Benazir Bhutto served twice as Pakistan's Prime Minister. In the first free
elections after the coup against her father, the PPP became the country's
largest party. Benazir Bhutto was sworn in as prime minister of a coalition
government on November 16, 1988. Following charges of corruption, for which
she was never tried, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan dismissed Benazir Bhutto in
She initiated an anti-corruption campaign and was re-elected in 1993. She was dismissed again in 1996
by the new president in the context of a
series of corruption scandals. Then president Farooq Leghari, who
dissolved the parliament, accused her of mismanagement. The Supreme Court upheld President Leghari's
dismissal by a 6 to 1 ruling. According to IRNA, in her second term as prime
minister, Benazir Bhutto had tried to modernize Pakistan by bringing
electricity to the countryside and by building schools.
[Added on January 2, 2008 at 20:35 Swiss time: in 1998, Bhutto and Zardari were each sentenced
to five years in jail and fined $8.6 million for accepting kickbacks.
Benazir Bhutto was abroad at the time of her conviction and decided not to
return to Pakistan, whereas Zardari finished behind bars].
Benazir had been estranged from her brother Mir Murtaza. When he returned
from abroad, he leveled corruption charges against Benazir's husband Zardari.
Mir Murtaza died in a gunfight involving his bodyguard and the police in
In 1997, a re-election bid by Benazir Bhutto failed. The next government was
overthrown by the military.
On December 18, 1987 Benazir Bhutto married Asif Ali Zardari in Karachi, a
wealthy businessman commonly known as
Mr Ten-Percent because of alleged extortion of 10% from businesses and
industries during the PPP's reign in Pakistan. He served as minister of
investment in his wife's second government. He spent about a decade in jail,
without ever being convicted. Incidentally, the Bhutto-Zardari marriage was
arranged by [corrected on Dec. 28, 2007:] her mother. The couple has three children.
Although Benazir Bhutto was involved in too many cases of corruption
(corruption cases in Pakistan, Switzerland, Spain and Britain) and cronyism,
because of her father and because of her studies in the United States and
England, she was considered one of the last hopes for democracy and the rule
of law in Pakistan. She was one of the favorites in the Pakistani
presidential election scheduled for January 2008. Benazir Bhutto was backed
by Washington and London as a possible democratic and female Muslim leader.
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