The assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto killed the Bush administration’s last hope that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf could simultaneously defeat al Qaida and the Taliban and return his country to democratic rule.
Now, Pakistani experts said, the administration faces a tough choice: Press its unpopular and isolated ally to resign or share the blame as Musharraf drags his nation toward a violent implosion that could give Islamic extremists a more extensive haven in western Pakistan than the one they already have.
“Musharraf has become a symbol of everything that is wrong,” said Ijaz Khan, a Peshawar University professor of international relations. “He can no longer be part of the solution. This is what Washington must understand. [complete article]
Within her own party, she declared herself the president for life and controlled all decisions. She rejected her brother Murtaza’s bid to challenge her for its leadership and when he persisted, he was shot dead in highly suspicious circumstances during a police ambush outside the Bhutto family home.
Benazir Bhutto was certainly a brave and secular-minded woman. But the obituaries painting her as dying to save democracy distort history. Instead, she was a natural autocrat who did little for human rights, a calculating politician who was complicit in Pakistan’s becoming the region’s principal jihadi paymaster while she also ramped up an insurgency in Kashmir that has brought two nuclear powers to the brink of war. [complete article]
Scotland Yard’s investigators may not have much to work with in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan, leading to an inquiry that raises more questions than answers, analysts say.
They say the arrival from London of one of the world’s most famous police squads is likely to make little difference in a country with a long tradition of political murders and an equally long tradition of failing to solve them. [complete article]
Hassan Abbas, a research fellow at the Belfer Center’s Project on Managing the Atom and International Security Program, Harvard University, and a former Pakistani government official who served in the administrations of prime minister Benazir Bhutto and President Pervez Musharraf, shares his thoughts with Kaveh Afrasiabi on how the general elections on February 18 will pan out. [complete article]