Who killed Benazir Bhutto? The main suspects

2007-12-29

Richard Moore

Original source URL:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7687


Who killed Benazir Bhutto? The main suspects

By Jeremy Page

Global Research, December 27, 2007
The Times

The main suspects in Benazir Bhutto¹s assassination are the Pakistani and 
foreign Islamist militants who saw her as a heretic and an American stooge and 
had repeatedly threatened to kill her.

But fingers will also be pointed at Inter-Services Intelligence, the agency that
has had close ties to the Islamists since the 1970s and has been used by 
successive Pakistani leaders to suppress political opposition.

Ms Bhutto narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in October, when a suicide 
bomber killed about 140 people at a rally in the port city of Karachi to welcome
her back from eight years in exile.

Earlier that month, two militant warlords based in Pakistan's lawless 
northwestern areas, near the border with Afghanistan, had threatened to kill her
on her return.

One was Baitullah Mehsud, a top commander fighting the Pakistani army in the 
tribal region of South Waziristan. He has close ties to al Qaeda and the Afghan 
Taleban.

The other was Haji Omar, the ³amir² or leader of the Pakistani Taleban, who is 
also from South Waziristan and fought against the Soviets with the Mujahideen in
Afghanistan.

After that attack Ms Bhutto revealed that she had received a letter signed by a 
person who claimed to be a friend of al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden threatening to
slaughter her like a goat.

She accused Pakistani authorities of not providing her with sufficient security 
and hinted that they may have been complicit in the bomb attack. Asif Ali 
Zardari, her husband, directly accused the ISI of being involved in that attempt
on her life.

Mrs Bhutto stopped short of blaming the Government directly, saying that she had
more to fear from unidentified members of a power structure that she described 
as allies of the ³forces of militancy².

Analysts say that President Musharraf himself is unlikely to have ordered her 
assassination, but that elements of the army and intelligence service would have
stood to lose money and power if she had become Prime Minister.

The ISI, in particular, includes some Islamists who became radicalised while 
running the American-funded campaign against the Soviets in Afghanistan and 
remained fiercely opposed to Ms Bhutto on principle.

Saudi Arabia, which has strong influence in Pakistan, is also thought to frown 
on Ms Bhutto as being too secular and Westernised and to favour Nawaz Sharif, 
another former Prime Minister.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of 
the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Centre for Research on 
Globalization.

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© Copyright Jeremy Page, The Times, 2007
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