Thursday, October 18, 2007

Benazir Survives Suicide Attacks - Pakistan in Deep Trouble



Homecoming Benazir Bhutto survives bomb attack
News.com.au: October 19, 2007

FORMER Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto has survived an apparent assassination attempt after a car bomb detonated near the motorcade carrying her through the streets of Karachi today.

The bomb exploded as a modified truck carrying Bhutto drove along Airport Rd in Karachi where hundreds of thousands of supporters had turned out to welcome her back to Pakistan after eight years of self-imposed exile.

At least 34 people were killed but unofficial reports claim 45 are dead.

Police and officials said Bhutto is safe.

"There was a huge car bomb very close to Benazir Bhutto's truck and 34 people were killed and over 50 injured," a senior police official said.

Interior ministry spokesman Javed Cheema said: "There was a massive explosion in the procession and there are many casualties including policemen and PPP workers", a referrence to the Pakistan People's Party.

"Benazir Bhutto is safe."

More than 20 bodies lay on the ground and body parts were scattered around the scene close to a burning car, a Reuters correspondent said.

Homecoming

Bhutto was making an historic return to Pakistan after her years in exile and had earlier shrugged off police warnings she would be targeted for assassination by Al-Qaeda or Taliban militants, in revenge for her pledges to crack down on extremism in the nuclear-armed nation of 160 million people.

Hours before the blasts Bhutto sobbed as she descended from her plane in Karachi, Pakistan's biggest city, to launch a spectacular comeback bid for the second time in her storied political career.

The 54-year-old flew in from Dubai vowing to lead her party in elections aimed at restoring Pakistan to civilian rule, and avoided all talk of a mooted power-sharing deal with embattled military president Pervez Musharraf.

"It's a historic and very emotional moment for me, I am overwhelmed,'' said Bhutto, the first woman ever to lead an Islamic nation.

"I have learned a lot over the last 20 years but we are still fighting a dictatorship, we want to isolate extremists and build a better Pakistan,'' she said.

Bhutto fled Pakistan in 1999 to avoid corruption charges arising from her two previous terms in power, but they were quashed by key US ally Musharraf this month in a gesture of reconciliation.

Dressed in a traditional green tunic, white trousers and headscarf that matched the Pakistani flag, Bhutto wept as she paused on the last step from the aircraft before finally planting her foot on her home soil.

She kissed a Koran and raised her hands to the sky.

Bhutto later embarked on a procession atop a specially modified lorry, eschewing its bullet-proof screens and waving to supporters from her Pakistan People's Party as they chanted ``Long live Bhutto.''

After five hours her cavalcade had moved about two miles (1.6 kilometre) due to the weight of the crowd. Huge billboards with her picture lined the route from the airport to the mausoleum of Pakistan's founding father.

"Our great leader has come home. It's the first step to democracy,'' labourer Waqar Shah said as Bhutto's parade passed.

Security

Pakistani police said more than 250,000 people had jammed the streets. Her loyalists put the teeming crowd, many of whom were dancing to a frenzy of pounding drums, at more than one million.

More than 20,000 police and troops, backed up by bomb squads with sniffer dogs, patrolled the road and snipers manned surrounding rooftops.

The two-time prime minister's brother was shot dead in Karachi in 1996 and her father was hanged in 1979 by military dictator Zia-ul-Haq.

The Oxford-educated Bhutto has pledged to contest general elections in January and win a third term in power, although she needs Musharraf's help to overturn a constitutional bar on premiers serving three times.

Musharraf, who seized power in a coup in 1999, has meanwhile sought to win over his fellow liberal after his own support plunged in recent months.

- With AFP and Reuters

Also See related items in Bloomberg story, Telegraph

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another Bad Nazeer, What did she or her family did for Pakistan? other than bringing misery to the People of Pakistan. Its a shame most of the people who got killed was bussed to Karachi from interior Sind, most of them most probable poor of the poorest hari's who were bussed into the city on the orders or vadera's like Zardari (her Mr 10% husband.).
If she cannot save her terrorist brother during her Primemistership, how the hell she can save poor Pakistani.
Like her father Zulfi The Top Dog of West Pakistan, who nationalize every thing except Bhutto’s personal property. BadNazeer’s slogan is Roti, Kapra (makan khaa gaayeen).
Where was democracy during her tenure? It was kleptocraxy at its zenith.
How stupid Pakistani’s can be to re-elect such a liar and kleptomaniac.

nota said...

"Benazir Survives Suicide Attacks - Pakistan in Deep Trouble"

Oh please! Or do you mean her survival is putting Pakistan in deep trouble? Then you might have had a point...

Anonymous said...

WHat the Hell she was trying to prove? Yes she survived. Good for her. But what about those innocent hundreds who was killed for nothing. Stupid Pinky B.

Anonymous said...

Who who will benefit most by demolishing pro-democracy elements and derailing the democratic process in Pakistan? Not the disenfranchised tribesmen in the far flunged frontier areas but the dictators with demonic dispossesion.

Whenever moblization of masses is poised to pick up some momentum, use of force, violence and intimidation attempts to cow down the people in to passivity. Does someone care about the consequential complications? By tomorrow, the media will leave this sad episode behind.

Instead of tolerating the right to assemble, authorities resorted to the might to disperse. What kind of accomodation such blantant display of heavy-handedness is supposed to Pakistan to?

The 18 October blasts in Karachi are aimed to punish the hundreds and thousands of people who voted with their feet for a change. But this is not an isolated incident.

Earlier a series of mishaps from 9 March (Chief Justice's dismissal) to 12 May (12 killed in Karachi) and 10 September( Nawaz Sharif's forced deportation) to 29 September(brutal beating of lawyers and journalists) suggest that there are some perennially disposed to display power rather than flexibility and accomodation that steer Pakistan to tolerance and peaceful plural co-existence.

Anonymous said...

What Pakistan needs at this critical hour in its history is a leader, who is widely perceived as independent and not an American stooge. Neither Musharraf nor Mrs. Benazir is such a leader. Mr. Nawaz Sharif, if he is able to come back to power, could turn out to be such a leader. He has maintained a distance from the US. He does not fawn on the US like Mrs. Benazir does. Pakistan needs Mr. Nawaz Sharif more than it needs Musharraf or Benazir.
--- B .RAMAN

Anonymous said...

Benazir and Musharraf have many things in common. One of them is an inability to keep their mouth shut. The second is a weakness for the TV cameras. The third is an eagerness to be liked by the Americans. The result: All anti-American groups in Pakistan were waiting for an opportunity to kill her.

Haris said...

i am disgusted at the transformation of the entire pakistani media in bb's favor. the lady was considered as one of the corrupt politician in pakistan is being portrayed as a hero.

i wonder why media people have believed that all those people came because they wanted to welcome bb. why are they not report it as a rent a crowd like they on 12th may? why were they so quiet when nawaz sharif was coming and even a blind can see the difference between the popularity of sharif and bb.

since when she became so famous in pakistan? since when pakistanis became this much interested in politics? where are the news of deals?

Pakistani politics is shit, all politicians are lotas, the courts are dummy even the CJ is helping mushi (may Allah's curse be on him). i am sick of everything.

Anonymous said...

Pinky B survived, I feel extreamly sorry for the the poor soul bussed all the way from the interior Sind on the command of thei Vadera's one like PB and her Vedara husband. It has always been 30 years promissing "Roti Kapra" may be Sukhi rooti aur lunda bazar ka kapra. Its this silent majority who is suffering one in the hands of Piny B and the other in the hands of religous Munafiq mulla's who initiate ignorant poor souls as suiside bombers for the so called "Jannat".
Is ko kehte heen. Na khudda hi mila na wisal e sanam.