The news of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto's death sent shockwaves throughout the Kashmir Valley. As news of her murder spread, people came out of their houses in shock and disbelief. All shops lowered their shutters and people left their office as a period of mourning began. Thousands of Kashmiris sat in front of their TV sets, sobbing while watching the developments in Pakistan. Kashmiris took it with a mixture of shock, disbelief and confusion. Unlike some groups, they viewed BB as a 'Daughter of the East' and a friend of the Kashmiris. They believed she alone had the capacity of effectively dealing with New Delhi and Washington and, thus, settling the Kashmir crisis. The next day the crowds were out on the streets on rampage. Dozens of police fired tear gas at hundreds of stone-throwing Kashmiris protesting on Friday the assassination of Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, witnesses said. Police were deployed around the main mosque area of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir, as authorities feared more protests after Friday prayers. Protesters chanted 'Long Live Pakistan' and 'Long Live Bhutto'.
The fact is that the Bhuttos have been considered friends of Kashmir. The hanging of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto by Pakistani dictator Zia ul Haq had led to widespread protests in Kashmir. The people of Kashmir want democracy in Pakistan and feel a democratic Pakistan can best meet the aspiration of that country's people. The Jamait e Islami has however been traditionally wary of the Bhuttos and democracy in general. They have favoured military rulers and the rise of the Hizbul Mujahideen can be directly attributed to the Jamait's closeness with the military regime in Pakistan. At any rate, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto's killing has shown that terrorists are not only against peace in Kashmir but also wish to reduce Pakistan to an anarchy like in Afghanistan. The protests and mourning in Kashmir should serve as a reminder to all right thinking persons that nothing can be changed by the terrorist or the assassin's bullet.
Reaction within Pakistan on Benazir's Assassination:
On December 27, the former Pakaistani Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated by a suicide bomber in an election rally at Rawalpindi, giving a serious blow to the stability and re-emergence of democracy in Pakistan. The attack took place minutes after she addressed at a crowded election rally in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, near the capital, Islamabad. A suicide bomber, claimed to have been an Al-quaeda terrorist, shot her and blew himself up, killing another 20 people attending the rally. The grief-stricken supporters of the PPPP as a reaction to the assassination, burned down many vehicles,buildings, blocked roads and shouted slogans abusing President Pervez Musharraf as the perpetrator behind the killing. Sources revealed that some protesters also fired shots into the air, while others shouted slogans including 'Musharraf is a dog.' The law and order siuations acros the country periled and the army has to call off to control the situation. Around 3,800 army personnel were deployed only in Sukkur and Khairpur districts to control the rioters. While army was also have been reportedly deployed in Rohri, Pano Akil, Kandhkot, Gambat and others areas. The curfew was also slammed reportedly in Jaccobabad, Kashmore, Sukkur and other areas. The angry protesters also blocked rail links, even the reports of scuffle with the law enforcements agencies were also reported from various places across the country. According to the Interior ministry spokesman, Javed Cheema, 10 people have died in the riot, in which four of them died in Karachi, four in rural Sindh province and two in Lahore. Some reports also revealed that the riot has cost around PKR-300 billion.
The Pakistani Society and the world leader vehemently condemned the assassination and the political parties including the international community urged the pakistani government for a neutral investigation into the murder. The former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, held President Pervez Musharraf 'responsible' for the assassination and urged for an enquiry which to be constituted only after Musharaf steps down as President. Sharif said, "Pervez Musharraf is responsible and accountable for the assassination. I hold his policies responsible for landing this country into the terrible mess." Nobody has confidence in Musharraf. Everybody wants him to step down and hold the inquiry (into Benazir's death).' he added. Though Sharif was rivals of Bhutto he maintained a good rapport. In a statement, the former interior Minister, Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, said that the Dec 27 is a dark day for democracy in pakistan. Mr. Sherapao, who happened to be a close associate of Benazir Bhutto added that the death of the leader is a tragedy as the country lost a democratic leader. According to him she was an international leader and a two times woman prime minister of an Islamic country. He also added by saying that she was a brilliant, brave and rare leaders having a great knowledge of politics. The assassination of the former leader of PPPP is a turmoil for the country as well as tragic for the nation as a whole. Again, the Caretaker Information Minister Nisar A. Memon too strongly condemned the assassination and said that its a national tragedy. According to him the terrorism that spread throughout the country for the past few years being condemned as well as being combated, claimed the life of a national leader. The brutal forces have succeeded to inflict harm to country and in the prevailing conditions and there are no words to express grief over this tragic incident and urged the people to enhance national unity within all segments of society to combat the menace of terrorism effectively. Expressing shock over the assassination, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, said, "It is indeed very sad that such a tragedy has taken place. The resort to extremism and violence is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated anywhere at any time. The perpetrators must be brought to justice.' Abdullah, who is also chairman of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), extended his deepest condolences to the families of Bhutto.
The APP Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan, ex-President-Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir and Supreme Head of ruling Muslim Conference in AJK strongly condemned the assassination, calling it as an act of worst violence needing vehement national condemnation. In a statement, he said that Bhutto was a respected leader throughout the country as she represented the country twice as Prime Minister. “Her tragic death has shocked me most. Her demise is an irreparable loss. She ranked high among the democratic politicians and intellectuals”. The President Pakistan Muslim League, Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain said that the assassination is a national tragedy and entire nation is grieved over this incident. The PML President said that BB was a committed leader and she worked hard for the cause of democracy in Pakistan. The veteran politician said that her death will create a leadership gap in country. The PML leadership also urged the political parties to unite together to fight the menace of terrorism. The Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan has announced 3-day mourning throughout Sindh Province on the martyrdom of PPP Chairperson. According to the announcement all offices and educational institutions will remain closed. Rahul Baksh Rais, a political scientist at Lahore's University of Management Sciences said that 'This assassination is the most serious setback for democracy in Pakistan and it reveals the extremists strength to disrupt the democratic process in the country. The Former federal ministers Malik Naseem Ahmed Aheer and Sumera Malik have strongly condemned the assassination and said that it was a great loss for the nation as she greatly contributed to strengthening democracy and played her positive role in the country’s politics. He also said that it is a matter of deep concern for everyone that anti-state elements are trying to sabotage the country’s political system by hatching conspiracies against political figures. The Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Tariq Majid termed the assassination as a heinous crime and an assault to the stability of the country and urged the people to show restraint and maintain peace. Expressing his deep sense of grief, he said the nation has lost a progressive, moderate and bold leader. He clearly said that Bhutto was assassinated by the forces inimical to the country and urged the nation to unite to eliminate such elements. The Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani expressed deep shock and grief over the tragic death of the leader. General Kayani said, “We all have been saddened by the assassination of a national leader.”The PML-N Vice President Begum Tehmina Daultana said, “it is a plot to weaken the federation of Pakistan. It is a huge national loss and would have a bad impact on the future of the motherland”. Mainstream politicians also expressed their shock. PDP patron and former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed said the terrible disaster has not only struck the Bhutto family but all peace-loving people of South Asia. “The heinous murder has not only added another tragic victim to the family, but also left the people of the sub-continent in great shock and agony.” Sayeed said the people of India must reach out to their brethren in Pakistan in this moment of grief to strengthen the forces of peace. “For the first time since it came into being, Pakistan is facing an existential threat from within, and New Delhi must respond to the emerging situation by offering greater cooperation,” he said.
The Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq in his statement said that Bhutto was a great leader and her death was a loss not only for Pakistan, but also in South Asia. According to him, “Bhutto was a staunch supporter of the Kashmir cause and worked for its settlement on flexible and pragmatic lines and said that the design behind her assassination was to lead Pakistan towards an anarchical state. We think the Pakistani people and the Government should work together to defeat such forces and create a vibrant and strong Pakistan.” He also added that a strong Pakistan was essential for the settlement of the Kashmir issue. The other hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani also condemned the assassination by saying, “It’s an inhuman act which has put a cloud on Pakistan’s future,” he said, adding that it’s a time when the people of Pakistan should stand united.
The US President George Bush strongly condemned the assassination, calling it a “cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan’s democracy” and expressing United States’ solidarity with the Pakistani people in their struggle against terrorism. In his statement, “The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan’s democracy.Those who committed this crime must be brought to justice. We stand with the people of Pakistan in their struggle against the forces of terror and extremism. We urge them to honor Benazir Bhutto’s memory by continuing with the democratic process for which she so bravely gave her life.” Analysts revealed that her death poses a dilemma for the Bush administration, which had pressured Musharraf to let Bhutto end eight years of exile and return to Pakistan in October, 2007, as part of an effort to restore civilian democracy and some degree of stability. Despite two tenures as prime minister that ended prematurely amid allegations of corruption, Bhutto offered a unique, perhaps irreplaceable mix. She was a popular, charismatic speaker capable of charming the Western world, and she had vowed to crack down on the Islamist militants that Washington sees a threat in neighboring Afghanistan and elsewhere in the region. Stephen Cohen, the Brookings Institution scholar, in his statement said that her murder removes not only a glamorous and popular personality, the loss is a blow to the idea of a liberal, moderate Pakistan. The assassination also thrust terrorism back into the spotlight of the U.S. presidential campaign and prompted the condemnation of governments around the world. The Russian President Vladimir Putin, reacting to the assassination urged the Pakistani government to punished the perpetrators. 'Forces of terrorism are challenging not only Pakistan, but the international community. We hope that the organizers of this crime will be found and appropriately punished,' Putin said in a statement addressed to the Pakistan leader, Pervez Musharraf.
The United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon termed the assassination as a 'heinous crime,' and the UN Security Council condemned the 'terrorist suicide attack' after meeting in emergency session. 'Her death in such a manner – when the government had taken responsibility for her security – tells a lot about the situation in Pakistan,' says Hassan Abbas, a Pakistan expert at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. 'Benazir Bhutto may have been killed by terrorists, but the terrorists must not be allowed to kill democracy in Pakistan,' British Prime Minister Gordon Brown quoted in his statement. The United Nations Security Council, in an emergency meeting in New York, also condemned the assassination and the Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon said her slaying was an attack on democracy. The 15-member Security Council agreed unanimously on a statement that 'condemns in the strongest terms the suicide attack by extremists.' Italy, which holds the rotating presidency of the council in December, urges the Pakistani poeple to reaffirms that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security' and says 'any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable.' Ban said, 'I am shocked and outraged. This represents an assault on stability in Pakistan and its democratic process. I strongly condemn this heinous crime and call for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.' The UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyangovernment, condemned the assassination said, “The UAE is appalled by this great loss, which is not only a tragic loss for the people of Pakistan but also for the people of the UAE. I can’t find words to express our condemnation for this criminal and cowardly act. The late Benazir Bhutto was a great friend of the UAE and had long relations with this country.” He called upon the Pakistani people to brush aside their differences and solidify their unity in the face of their enemies who, he said, are bent on destablising the country.
The Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee in a statement said that he heard with shock and horror of the death of Banazir Bhutto. “Ms. Bhutto was a brave and outstanding woman leader of the sub-continent. That she should fall to a barbarous terrorist attack is particularly tragic, and should strengthen our resolve to fight this scourge.” he said. He further said that Ms. Bhutto’s contributions to democracy, to the improvement of India-Pakistan relations, and to the restoration of normalcy with Pakistan will be an inspiration. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chaired a top cabinet panel meeting to consider the security fallout of Bhutto's murder even as the government announced it was suspending all train and bus services to Pakistan, except for the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus between the two parts of Kashmir. Sources also said that the India is concerned about the activities of the jehadis (in Pakistan) to and urged the pakistani government to ensure that they don't attempt to foment trouble here. It was also stressed during the meeting that India's interests should be maintained in Pakistan in the otherwise volatile situation exacerbated by Bhutto's slaying Thursday. The Chief Advisor of the Government of Bangladesh, Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed has also condemned in strongest terms the cowardly terrorist act, which led to the assassination of Ms. Benazir Bhutto. He said it was an unpardonable crime that has shocked the world. “The government and people of Bangladesh mourned this tragedy with their Pakistani brethren.” The Egyptian Foreign Minister, Ahmed Abou El Gheit, in a statement conveyed deep condolences to the bereaved family of Benazir Bhutto, her party workers, government and people of Pakistan. According to him, operations recall the necessity of all Pakistani political parties and groups to overcome their differences in this critical phase to maintain security and stability of a friendly country Pakistan. He emphasized the importance of the political forces to get together to confront extremism and terrorism which aiming to destabilize not only Pakistan but the whole region at large. The Afghanistan Prime Minister Karzai Condemns 'Immense Brutality' Her potential for helping to overcome tensions between Islamabad and Kabul was widely recognized. 'We in Afghanistan condemn this act of cowardice and immense brutality in the strongest possible terms,' Correspondent Ayaz Khan says Bhutto's shared view of the common terrorist threat - along with her public statements of 'wholehearted support for the internationally backed peace process in Afghanistan and what NATO and international forces had done' - made her a possible uniter in dealings between Islamabad and Kabul, a position that he says ultimately 'made her a prime target for terrorists.'The Government of Sri Lanka condemns in the strongest terms of the assassination, a great South Asian leader who successfully stood up for democracy. The ugly head of terrorism, has raised itself once again, in claiming the life of Ms. Bhutto. This brutal assassination, underlines the need for the absolute commitment to fight against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, in order to make it unacceptable in civilized society. Citizens, expatriates and government officials across Saudi Arabia also condemned the assassination and described it as shocking, sad and tragic. In Riyadh, people from all walks of life condemned the assassination of Benazir and said Pakistan would be plunged again into a period of political uncertainty which could lead to the postponement of elections scheduled next month. The head of the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) also condemned in strongest terms the outrageous and brutal murder of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. In a statement, OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu offered his heartfelt condolences to the family members of Benazir and other victims, the members of her PPP party and the people of Pakistan. He characterized the blatant crime, which has preceded the Jan. 8 parliamentary elections as an attack on the stability and peace in Pakistan. “It is an open provocation aiming at derailing the efforts of unity, reconciliation and democratic process,” he said.
The Canadian government also expressed shock over the assassination and sees the potentiality that can cause enough political chaos and the Canadian military supply lines from Pakistan into Afghanistan might get closed. 'Canada's obvious concern is stability in Pakistan. Without proper supply lines through Pakistan we don't know what will happen with the already difficult mission in Afghanistan,' said Robert Bothwell, a political scientist in international relations at the University of Toronto. 'Pakistan is one of three ways for the military to access Afghanistan. The other two are from Russia or Iran and NATO isn't on good terms with either of them.' Since Bhutto was shot to death by two bullets yesterday, it's not likely that the Pakistani election set for Jan. 8 will take place, Canadian Maj-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie said. 'The obvious response that comes to mind is that there will be emergency measures, military control established, to clamp down on security and protests,' MacKenzie said. 'Whether the election proceeds is doubtful. Bhutto had 62% support. Even though she has a controversial (allegedly corrupt) past, she was the best of a bunch of bad possibilities.' MacKenzie had a run-in with Bhutto during the conflict in Sarajevo in the early '90s when he was head of the United Nations Protection Force. 'Against my direction she was smuggling children out,' MacKenzie said. The Federal Opposition Leader of Australia, Dr. Brendan Nelson said, 'I'm shocked and saddened at the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Every Australian should be very concerned that this woman of remarkable courage and who had gone back to Pakistan to stand in the democratic elections, which we hope will still proceed (at) some time early next year, that this woman has been assassinated. 'Every Australian looking for inspiration in 2008 need look no further than this woman's life. She knew that her life was at risk but she believed very much in democracy in Pakistan.' He also said that the assassination has the potential to impact on Australian soldiers in neighbouring Afghanistan. 'Australians need to understand that our generation is engaged in fighting the resurgence of totalitarianism throughout the world. The struggle in Afghanistan will rely as much on what happens in Pakistan as it does in Afghanistan itself.' Dr Nelson said. He also submitted a security from the Rudd Government on the assassination to try and assess what impact it would have on Australia's fight in Afghanistan.
Killing Condemned in J&K
Cutting across party lines, politicians of all hues in Jammu and Kashmir have condemned the assassination of Pakistan's former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, terming it as a great loss to entire subcontinent with some describing it as a blow to Indo-Pakistan peace efforts. The assassination of Benazir Bhutto is an act of terrorism aimed at destabilizing Pakistan and denting the efforts to restore a genuine democracy in that country, was a common refrain. While pro-India politicians were unanimous in reading in her assassination a move by terrorists to snuff out moderate voice of Pakistan, Hurriyat Conference and other anti-India groups saw in it a clear attempt to destabilise Pakistan and to defeat efforts by President Musharraf to reach to a solution of Kashmir dispute with India.
Expressing shock over the incident, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "The killing of Benazir was not assassination of an individual but of democracy in Pakistan which would impact the politics of the sub-continent." He described Bhutto as an outstanding leader.
Former Chief Minister and the Peoples Democratic Party patron, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, in his reaction said, "It is a shattering moment of great loss and mourning for the people of the region," He said and added that the time has come for all the right-thinking people in the region to take a fresh stock of the situation and work together for uprooting the scourge of violence and senseless blood- letting from the region. He said since it came into being, Pakistan is, for the first time facing an existential threat from within, and New Delhi must respond to the emerging situation by making offering greater cooperation to strengthen the forces of peace in that country. "With Afghanistan already on the boil, destabilization and worsening of the security situation in Pakistan would only breed new alarming dangers in the region," he said.
Another former chief minister of the state and patron of the National Conference Farooq Abdullah said, "The dangers are too obvious and the time has come when all the people and leaders in Pakistan should launch a united fight against terrorists. This is the only way out adding he was in favour of a national government in Pakistan comprising of army as it was impossible to fight the threat without them."
Chairman of the hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani condemned the assassination as a 'dastardly act'. Geelani, who is presently in the winter capital Jammu said this was an act of the forces working to 'destabilise Pakistan '.
[Report courtesy IRNA]
Reactions to Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto's Assassination
"In her death, the subcontinent has lost an outstanding leader who worked for democracy and reconciliation in her country", Dr Manmohan Singh
Goa, 28 December 2007
Indian leaders led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed shock and outrage at assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto on Thursday, saying her slaying by a suspected suicide bomber in Rawalpindi was a reminder of the dangers stalking the subcontinent. “I was deeply shocked and horrified to hear of the heinous assassination of Ms Benazir Bhutto,” the prime minister said in a statement from Goa. “Ms Bhutto was no ordinary political leader, but one who left a deep imprint on her time and age. Her contributions to a previous moment of hope in India-Pakistan relations, and her intent to break India-Pakistan relations out of the sterile patterns of the past, were exemplary. In her death, the subcontinent has lost an outstanding leader who worked for democracy and reconciliation in her country,” Dr Singh said. He added that the “manner of her going is a reminder of the common dangers that our region faces from cowardly acts of terrorism and of the need to eradicate this dangerous threat.”
"We in Afghanistan condemn this act of cowardice and immense brutality", Hamid Karzai
Kabul, 27 December 2007
'We in Afghanistan condemn this act of cowardice and immense brutality in the strongest possible terms,' Karzai told a news briefing called in reaction to the assassination. 'I am deeply sorry, deeply pained that this brave sister of us, this great daughter of the Muslim world is no longer with us. She sacrificed her life for the sake of Pakistan and for the sake of the region. I found her to be a very, very brave woman with a clear vision for her own country, for Afghanistan and for the region, a vision of democracy and prosperity and peace. She had shown a desire for peace in Afghanistan and good relations between the neighbours. This is a big loss for all of us.'
Bhutto Killed By 'cowards', UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown
London, 27 December 2007
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Benazir Bhutto was killed by 'cowards afraid of democracy' Thursday as he led tributes to the slain politician in Britain, where she studied and spent part of her exile. Brown said Bhutto's death was 'a sad day for democracy' and 'a tragic hour for Pakistan'. He said Bhutto was a 'woman of immense personal courage and bravery'. 'She risked everything in her attempt to win democracy in Pakistan and she has been assassinated by cowards afraid of democracy,' Brown said. 'This atrocity strengthens our resolve that terrorists will not win there, here or anywhere in the world.'
Australian PM Condemns Assassination Of Bhutto
Canberra, 27 December 2007
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has condemned the assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, saying 'the extremists behind this attack cannot be allowed to succeed.' He made the remarks in a statement on Friday after the Pakistan' s former prime minister was shot in an election gathering in Rawalpindi on Thursday. 'Despite a previous attempt to assassinate her on her return to Pakistan in October and the shocking loss of over a hundred lives in that attempt, Benazir Bhutto refused to bow to intimidation and the continuing threat to her life,' Rudd said. 'Throughout her life, Benazir Bhutto showed great courage and defiance in her resistance to extremism,' he said. 'I urge all parties in Pakistan to act with restraint and to work for a return to a peaceful democratic process,' he said.
S Korea Strongly Condemns Terrorist Attack On Bhutto
Seoul, 27 December 2007
South Korean government on Friday strongly condemned a terrorist attack that killed former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto and other peoples in Pakistan. 'The Government of the Republic of Korea is deeply shocked by the fact that Ms. Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, was assassinated by a terrorist attack during a rally on December 27, and would like to express its deepest condolences to the victims who were killed in this tragic event and their bereaved families,' the statement said. The South Korean government strongly condemns terrorism in all forms, it said. The South Korean government hopes that Pakistan would achieve stability through a peaceful process, it said.
Malaysia's Abdullah Condemns Killing Of Benazir Bhutto
Kuala Lumpur, 27 December 2007
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Friday expressed shock over the assassination of former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto and strongly condemned the act which has killed many innocent people. 'It is indeed very sad that such a tragedy has taken place.' 'The resort to extremism and violence is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated anywhere at any time. The perpetrators must be brought to justice,' he said in a statement. Abdullah, who is also chairman of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), extended his deepest condolences to the families of Bhutto and the others who were killed. 'I hope the people in Pakistan will remain calm and I pray that the situation in Pakistan will soon stabilise,' he added.
French President Condemns Death Of Benazir Bhutto In Terrorist Attack
Islamabad, 28 December 2007
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has condemned in the strongest possible terms the heinous act of terrorism that killed former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. The French President, in a message to President Pervez Musharraf said, the terror and violence have no role to play in the democratic debate and in the struggle for one’s convictions and political programs. In his message he said, “I have just received with emotion and indignation, the news of Mrs Benazir Bhutto’s death in an attack.” He said the former Prime Minister, Chairperson of the Pakistan People’s Party, Benazir Bhutto came back to her country to participate in the political campaign for the January 8th general elections. “She pays today by the price of her life her commitment at the service of her fellow citizens and of the Pakistani political life,” he added. The French President said, “I offer you, as well as Benazir Bhutto’s family, the families of the other victims of the attack and to the Pakistani people, my sincere condolences.” He said France, as well as the European Union, is particularly attached to the stability and democracy in Pakistan. “It is more than ever necessary for the January 8th general elections to be prepared and to take place in conditions of pluralism and security that will allow the Pakistani People to express themselves and to choose freely their elected representatives, “ he added.
Iran Condemns Pakistan Killing
Moscow, 27 December 2007
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini 'strongly' condemned in Tehran on 27 December the murder earlier that day of leading Pakistani politician Bhutto, IRNA reported. Bhutto was killed in a suicide attack at a campaign rally in Rawalpindi; 20 others also died in the attack. Hosseini said 'this terrorist act' had no other purpose but to disrupt peace in Pakistan, and he expressed the hope that the Pakistani government's efforts to find the culprits will restore peace in Pakistan. Iran's ambassador in Pakistan, Mashallah Shakeri, phoned Bhutto's husband, Asif Ali Zardari, on December 28 to convey his personal condolences and a similar message from Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki.
Pope sends message of ‘deep sympathy’
Vatican City, 28 December 2007
Pope Benedict said on Friday he was praying for an end to further violence in Pakistan after the “brutal terrorist attack” that killed opposition leader Benazir Bhutto. The Pope sent his “deep sympathy” to Bhuttos family and “the entire Pakistani nation” in a message to the head of the Catholic Church in Pakistan, Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha, released by the Vatican. “Following the brutal terrorist attack in which Ms Benazir Bhutto was fatally wounded, the Holy Father expresses sentiments of deep sympathy and spiritual closeness to the members of her family and to the entire Pakistani nation,” it said.
Benazir's Assassination was aimed at creating Anarchy, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq
Srinagar, 27 December 2007
Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq said Bhutto was a great leader and her death was a loss not only for Pakistan, but also South Asia. “Bhutto was a staunch supporter of the Kashmir cause and worked for its settlement on flexible and pragmatic lines,” he said, adding that the design behind her assassination was to lead Pakistan towards anarchy. “We think the Pakistani people and the Government should work together to defeat such forces and create a vibrant and strong Pakistan,” he said, adding that a strong Pakistan was essential for the settlement of the Kashmir issue. Terming Bhutto’s death a personal loss, Mirwaiz said “I met her several times over the years and she always spoke for the people of Kashmir. We are holding special prayers at Jamia mosque on Friday,” he said.
"A life that indulges in terrorism is not worth living.", Ghulam Nabi Fai
Washington, D.C. December 28, 2007.
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Executive Director of the Kashmiri American Council/Kashmir Center harshly condemned the cowardly contemptible assassination yesterday of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, the Chairperson of Pakistan Peoples Party & former Prime Minister of Pakistan. Ms. Bhutto was killed during an election rally at Rawalpindi, Pakistan by an unidentified terrorist. Dr. Fai expressed his sympathy and condolences with the Bhutto family as well as the people of Pakistan. He urged an immediate effort to investigate the terrorist crime and to capture the perpetrators. The punishment, he believes, should be unforgiving and sufficient to deter would-be imitators. Terrorism of this sort is, unfortunately, no novelty. A life that indulges in terrorism is not worth living. That must be our shining creed for today, tomorrow, and forever. Can anyone think of anything more ennobling? Dr. Fai recalled, within her a selfless desire to help settle the long-standing issue of Kashmir. The people of Kashmir will never forget the selfless contribution and the tireless efforts of Ms. Bhutto in internationalizing the Kashmir issue. Her efforts will remain forever a milestone in the history of the freedom struggle of Kashmir. Ms. Bhutto was a compendium of greatness. Not only was she a master orator but also an enlightened politician. Certainly, Pakistan has lost a great statesman. We can best honor her legacy by continuing to carry the path of freedom and democracy without fear and fatigue.