Benazir Bhutto killed: last days of a bloody year for Pakistan (updated with videos and images)

This year has been a bloody one for Pakistan (link, link, link, link, link, link) . The society has received one shock after another. But this one perhaps hurts the most, and will probably hurt for a long while to come. Today, at an election campaign rally in Rawalpindi, in the same park where the first prime minister of Pakistan was assassinated, Benazir Bhutto was killed with gunshot wounds and a bomb blast. Several other people were also killed.

This is the 4th tragedy to hit the Bhutto family. Zulfiqar Bhutto, an extremely popular prime minister was first hanged by a military government, then her brother Shahnawaz Bhutto was poisoned, her brother Murtaza Bhutto was killed in a police gunfire, and now Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated.

I have no idea what this means for Pakistan. I am in a state of shock and horror. My family is staying put at home. Cousins are scattered across the city of Karachi and are finding refuge at friends’ and relatives’ homes. There are reports of severe rioting on streets across the country, cars and buses are being burnt, and Bhutto’s supporters are overcome with grief and anger, which is resulting in violence on the streets. There is chaos and panic widespread in the communities. Chances are high that the military will be called in to try and restore order in the major cities. Who knows how long will this process of healing take?

This tragedy is a big blow to Pakistan’s stability and unity. I disagreed with her on many issues (link), but she was a politician nonetheless, and her biggest contribution to Pakistan was to keep the idea of democracy and liberalism alive. Her days were counted as ruthless militants and extremists had already called her a marked person for their terrorism. Time will perhaps tell us who was responsible for her killing, but right now the nation must weep for a loss – not just of her as a person, but of a leading figure that spoke openly and defiantly of democracy and tolerance.

I am too shocked to think of what the ramifications of this tragedy will be for Pakistani politics, President Musharraf, the federation’s unity (this can spark a fire in the Sindhi-Punjabi debate again), and the rise of extremist powers in Pakistan. Today I am thinking of her, her children, her ailing mother, and those workers from her party who believed in her and their struggle for justice through her politics. I hope and pray for the safety of all Pakistanis.

1. Watch an amateur video of the blast here.

2. According to reports, Benazir was killed by a bullet that hit her spinal cord. She had just lifted herself through the car roof to say goodbye to her supporters. She fell back inside, bleeding. The bullet proof car carrying her sped away and the bomb detonated behind her. According to some reports, Al Qaeda has taken the responsibility for her killing.

3. From ATP: John Moore, a photographer for Getty Images, said Bhutto was standing through the sunroof of her vehicle, waving to supporters, when shots were fired at her. The image below was taken by Moore “one second” before she was hit by the fatal shot. Here is a photo-essay with his voice over: http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/world/20071227_BHUTTO_FEATURE/index.html

4. Here is a video that supposedly shows the killer of Bhutto on screen with a pistol.

5. A photo of Benazir Butto’s husband Asif ali Zardari (center), and her son Bilawal Zardari (left), at the burial ceremony.

6. Some images immediately preceding and after the shots sent by Teeth Maestro. The commentary is by the photographer (and not TM). click on images to make them larger.

7. Here is the destruction so far in the aftermath of Benazir Bhutto’s killing

  • 173 bank torched completely
  • 26 bank damaged
  • 158 office torched and burnt completely
  • 23 office damaged
  • 24 petrol pump burnt
  • 2 petrol pump damaged
  • 370 cars completely burnt
  • 61 cars damaged
  • 72 trains coaches torched completely
  • 18 railway station burnt completely
  • 4 station damaged
  • 765 shops burnt completely
  • 19 offices/shops damaged partially
  • 38 people killed
  • 53 people injured

8. A photo-collage/video tribute to Benazir Bhutto

9. Another image showing a man with a gun near Bhutto’s car (Source: Dawn News)

10. Another new video that clearly shows Bhutto being shot and hit. Now the government version of her cause of death is starting to look really strange.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/asiapcf/12/31/bhutto.evidence/index.html#cnnSTCVideo

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19 Responses to Benazir Bhutto killed: last days of a bloody year for Pakistan (updated with videos and images)

  1. Bok says:

    Sad, sad, sad news indeed.
    Let pray and for the safety of all Pakistanis!

  2. msharma says:

    It is indeed very sad. She was an inspiration not only to islamic women but to women everywhere! May her sould rest in peace!

  3. changi says:

    Let’s face these powerless eunuques extremists. These weak people who shoot a brave woman representing modernity.
    Let’s stand against infamy, against hate and madhrasas !

  4. Catherine says:

    Such a shame, she had that very rare gift of a good leader and compassion.

    Pakistan could have really use a leader with her qualities right now.

    I hope that the party continues and not let her ideals slip into the background.

    Strange really, here I sit in Australia not of from a Pakistani back ground and even from here I can sense the loss of a good leader.

  5. ed says:

    I can’t imagine living like that. Afraid in your own home…

  6. […] Benazir Bhutto killed: last days of a bloody year for Pakistan […]

  7. Sorabh says:

    Tragic,Sad and condemnable incident not for a nation or people but for humanity and civilized society.

    Mrs.Bhutto & her families sacrifice for her nation and humanity is unforgettable. May God
    rest her soul.

  8. colleencarole says:

    The world appears to be held captive by fundalism or the belief that there is only one truth and anything outside of this truth is an enemy. There is sanction for the murder of those who reach out in peace. I pray that Bhutto’s sacrifice will give courage and voice of protest for tolerance and peace.

    Being from the west I can only express my sorrow and apologize for the western footprints of greed and ignorance.

    Colleencarole

  9. Tina Thomsen says:

    Tragic – the world have lost a true beliver that were willing to fight for her values and what she belived in.

    http://www.tinathomsen.wordpress.com

  10. Chad Jarbern says:

    Oh my god… I am literally shocked to hear this. Her fight to re-democratize Pakistan is something that made me identify with her halfway around the world.

  11. Nels' says:

    My heart goes out to Pakistan. This is gutting state of affairs. Feel free to check my opinions on my site.

  12. HAMMER says:

    The bravest lady I have ever seen.

    God bless you and your family.

  13. sarfaraj nawaj says:

    she was realy a good lady. But no pakistan learn that in islam mening of islam is peace not murder nor bomb blast. our flag color is white it means symbol of peace.my coomments only to whole muslim community that the came on right way which was proposed byAllah rubbli almin through prophet of mohammad sallallh aliawassallam that is the way of pece and honest. and one thing i say here jehad means first u should correct ur iman then any comment or sppech. ok bye i request to this pulisher that this message pulished in whole world for peace i am a young boy from india and i only belived in p[ece that is the way of humanity. terror4is is the not way of jehad. i advised all muslim first they should be read quran with their meaning then know the meaning of islam ok khuda haffiz to every perso who will read it either he belong to any coomunity.

  14. aranthia says:

    may god rest her soul and punish the people who dis this.. to a human

  15. […] now she is no more. The Boston Pakistani community came together yesterday to grieve and pray for her soul at a […]

  16. supporter says:

    she was an inspiration..may her soul rest in peace n may Allah grant her Jennah..ameen…
    she was one of a superior kind..we r proud of her n hope dat if bilawal takes over he completes his mothers dream and all dat we hear abt him(negative) r lies…bt he or his father may still not b the correct choice …she was the best…

  17. Asad says:

    ZARDARI KILLED HER

  18. zebby says:

    im soo shocked about this i wish she dint go 2 p.k da muda fukaz killed her i hate em all now. benazir we all love u 4 eva r.i.p

  19. hum ap ko hamasha yad rakhan ga

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