Aaron Doncaster: Who Killed Bhutto?


Richard Moore

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Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2007 11:14:13 -0400 (EST)
Subject: [mgp] Who killed Bhutto?
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Feel free to distribute whereever
                            Aaron Doncaster

                         Who Killed Bhutto?

The year was 1988, and Pakistan was holding its fist democratic election in over
a decade. Benazir Bhutto, daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was running in the 
elections for the PPP (Pakistan Peoples¹ Party).

Zulfikar founded the PPP in the midst of a clash of ideologies. Ayub Khan Was 
dictator of Pakistan and the working class was gathering strength and protesting
against the government. Something had to be done to avoid a working class 
revolution. In 1967,with Ayub Khan losing much popularity, the PPP was  formed 
and Zulfikar, Ayub Khan¹s former foreign minister, became chairperson of the 
party. The Pro democracy movement in Pakistan forced Ayub Khan to resign but 
before he did, he handed power to the  Commander-in-Chief of the Army, General 
Agha Mohammed Yahya Khan.

General elections were held in 1970 but there was no clear winner.

Coalition talks between the Awami league and the PPP broke down, East Pakistan 
became Bangladesh, Yahya Kan resigned and Zalfikar became president of a much 
smaller Pakistan. Once in power he nationalised industries and the banks and 
instituted agrarian reforms. By 1977, it appeared that Bhutto lost sight of the 
ideology of his party ( Islam is our faith, democracy is our policy, socialism 
is our economy. All power to the people) and when he declared his party 
victorious in the 1977 elections, his opponents protested and declared the 
elections fraudulent. Fearing a movement against him, Bhutto arrested leaders of
the opposition. Muhammad Zia ul-Haq came to power in a coup in the summer of 
1977 and arrested Bhutto, released him, arrested him again, charged him with 
corruption, and hung him.

Zia ul-Haq  stayed in power for over 10 years despite a large opposition 
movement against his dictatorship Zia ul-Haq not only instituted a 
fundamentalist interpretation of Islamic laws, replacing the moderate Islam of 
Bhutto‘s government, he also worked with the CIA to Create Taliban fighters to 
fight the Russians in Afghanistan. Zia ul-Haq not only Funnelled weapons to the 
Taliban fighters, he set up scores of Madrasas that brought a bastardized and 
extremist version of Islam to Pakistan. The Taliban fighters also doubled as a 
counterweight to the working class militancy that was seen at the time in the 
late 1970¹s. like the famous Spanish anarchist once said, ³No government fights 
fascism to destroy it. When the bourgeoisie sees that power is slipping out of 
its hands, it brings up fascism to hold onto their privileges."

In 1988, Zia ul-Haq  was on a plane with 2 American diplomats and 28 Pakistani 
military officers when it crashed, killing all on board. Ghulam Ishaq Khan 
became Acting President and declared that the November elections would go ahead 
as scheduled. This is where Benazir comes in. As Leader of the PPP She formed a 
government, with the PPP winning 94 of 207 possible seats. By 1990 the PPP and 
Benazir in particular were caught in a web of corruption which brought forth a 
government led by Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.

During this time, many of the nationalised industries were privatized and 
deregulation along with free market policies were put into effect.

In 1993 after members of the government started infighting, both the president 
and prime minister resigned and a former World Bank vice president put together 
an interim government. The PPP won elections again in 1993. By 1996 the 
government was disbanded, again with corruption charges. Once again, Nawaz 
Sharif formed a government after elections in 1997. Sharif became very 
nepotistic and heavy hand appointing friends to different positions, restricting
freedom of the press,etc, but when he tried to remove Chief of Army Staff 
General Pervez Musharraf on October 12, 1999, The Army overthrew the Sharif 

Musharraf has been in power ever since and has continued the economic reforms of
the Sharif government. Over the last few years, The working class of Pakistan 
has started to flex their muscle, determined that they have been squeezed for 
too long,they were ready to go on the offensive. Remember the Durruti quote? Do 
you think it is a coincidence that while the Working class was getting stronger,
the extremists in the north were also getting stronger? Much to the chagrin of  
the U.S., Musarraf gave the extremists in the north an easy ride and allowed 
them to become stronger. Musarraf knew that the extremists that he was giving 
safe haven to, were Killing U.S soldiers, which could jeopardize the billions of
American aid money flowing in, but Musarraf also knew if he did not have a 
counterweight to the working class militancy, he could have a revolution on his 
hands. Apparently, the counterweight wasn¹t enough, and this is why Musarraf 
Brought in martial law a month or so back. He claimed it was to fight the 
Taliban and extremists in the north but he was arresting PPP members in the 
hundreds while the extremists in the north were left alone. The Americans sat by
and did nothing because they did not want to see a revolution in Pakistan and 
here again is where Benazir comes in. The reason why the U.S was keen on seeing 
a Musarraf/Bhutto political marriage is because it would slow down the growing 
working class militancy while forcing Musarraf to take action against the 
Taliban and their allies in the north. Such a political marriage would have been
beneficial to all those involved in the courtship. Mussaraf was to continue as 
president, Bhutto would become prime Minister and Bhutto would help control the 
fighters in the north, one thing the Americans desperately wanted. Bhutto 
mentioned before she died that either the government had a deal with the 
militants that gave the militants control of the north, or that President 
Musharraf¹s Was ineffective when dealing with the problem of the fighters in the

Blaming Al-Qaeda for Bhutto¹s death seems to be popular in America and inside 
the Pakistani government. It is possible that Al-Qaeda saw this as an 
opportunity to strike at the Americans via their proxy agent in Pakistan, but it
is also possible that the Americans wanted Al-Qaeda to take the blame for the 
assassination of Bhutto in order for the U.S to justify a military incursion 
into Pakistan to fight the Taliban where they are organising.

Aside from an Al-Qaeda phone call that allegedly was intercepted by the Pakistan
military that  mentioned the assassination, there has been no legitimate claim 
of responsibility. All the websites that usually air Al- Qaeda claims of 
responsibility are silent on the Bhutto assassination. Could the Government of  
Pakistan have been involved in the assassination? Let¹s not forget that over the
past few years, Pakistan¹s working class has become more organised and more of a
threat to the status quo. The traditional line of dealing with radical movements
by the capitalists is by controlling their leaders, not killing them. Don¹t 
mourn, organize; this is a common mantra within radical working class movements,
so unless Mussaraf knows that the radical working class movement is incapable of
organizing any better then they are at present, then it is unlikely that the 
government played a role in the assassination of Bhutto. If not Al-Qaeda or the 
Musarraf regime, then who? I am inclined to believe it was the Americans but in 
an area of the world where there is a lot of political violence and where many 
factions weather they be Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, secular, etc, partake in political
violence; we may never know who killed Bhutto.

         Aaron Doncaster

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