Friday, December 28, 2007

Bhutto wrote in October: "I survived an assassination attempt...."

The Wall Street Journal republished a piece by Benazir Bhutto that was written in October. She knew the danger and understood the threat she presented to terrorists and others in the Pakistani government.

The piece, reprinted in yesterday's paper, begins:
(Editor's note: This article appeared in The Wall Street Journal on Oct. 23. Benazir Bhutto was assassinated today in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.)

I survived an assassination attempt last week, but 140 of my supporters and security didn't.

This mass murder was particularly sinister, since it targeted not just me and my party leadership, but the hundreds of thousands (some estimate up to three million) of our citizens who came out to welcome me and demonstrate their support for democracy and the democratic process. Their deaths weigh heavily on my heart.
Stating that she knew the risks because they had received credible evidence that an attack may take place, she continued:
We had tried to take precautions. We requested permission to import a bulletproof vehicle. We asked to be provided technology that would detect and disarm IEDs. We had demanded that I receive the level of security to which I'm entitled as a former prime minister.

Now, after the carnage, the fact that the street lights around the assassination site--Shahra e Faisal--had been turned off, allowing the suicide bombers to gain access near to my truck, is very suspicious. I am so discomfited that the bomb investigation has been assigned to Deputy Inspector General Manzoor Mughal, who was present when my husband was almost murdered under torture some years back.
And yet she persevered in her sense of duty to lead the Pakistan Peoples Party to try and preserve democracy in that part of the Middle East.

She ended the piece with this:
The sanctity of the political process must not be allowed to be destroyed by the terrorists. Democracy and moderation must be restored to Pakistan, and the way to do that is through free and fair elections establishing a legitimate government with a popular mandate--leaders supported by the people. Intimidation by murdering cowards will not be allowed to derail Pakistan's transition to democracy. [my emphasis]
I admire that she knew the risks but felt a pull and love of her country that made her move forward anyway ... and she may have been betrayed by some closest to her.

How sad for Pakistan and the world....

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