On This Day — Benazir Bhutto Is Assassinated (December 27 2007) [2020]

“The people of Pakistan had rejected bigotry and prejudice in electing a woman Prime Minister. It was an enormous honor, and an equally enormous responsibility… I had not asked for this role; I had not asked for this mantle. But the forces of destiny and the forces of history had thrust me forward, and I felt privileged and awed.”

Benazir Bhutto — Autobiography 

Benazir Bhutto takes her oath in 1988 as the first Muslim Woman Prime Minister of any Muslim State.

December 27 2020 — Benazir Bhutto, twice Prime Minister of Pakistan (1988–1990 & 1993–1996) and then-leader of the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party, had been campaigning ahead of elections scheduled for January 2008. Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on December 27 2007 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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“The brutal assassination of Benazir Bhutto thirteen years ago was for resisting the agenda of terrorists and making Pakistan a moderate state. She waged valiant struggle against all the dictators and faced all hardships in political life with extraordinary courage.”

Huzaima Bukhari & Dr. Ikramul Haq (Dec. 26 2020)

UPDATE (December 27 2020) — Dr. Ikramul Haq and Huzaima Bukhari just penned an interesting analysis: Remembering Benazir Bhutto.

It is an established fact that neither PPP nor PMLN, even PTI, made any efforts to trace and punish the real hidden hands behind the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

The verdict announced by an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Benazir Bhutto murder case after about ten years of her assassination on August 30, 2017 acquitted five TTP suspects (Aitzaz Shah, Sher Zaman, Abdul Rasheed, Rafaqat Hussain and Hasnain Gul) and announced 17-year imprisonment for two police officials (CPO Rawalpindi Saud Aziz and SP Khurram Shahzad Haider) who later were granted bails.

The Judge of ATC, in his 34-page long detailed verdict mentioned that the two senior police officers showed “criminal negligence” by removing Bhutto’s security, destroying key evidence, and allowing the crime scene to be washed merely hours after the deadly attack.

(…)

Heraldo Munoz, the lead United Nations (UN) investigator, assigned probe into Benazir’s assassination, in his book ‘Getting Away with Murder: Benazir Bhutto’s Assassination and the Politics of Pakistan’, doubts that the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) independently carried out the attack. He does not discount suspicions about involvement of intelligence operatives in her murder and later covering up of evidence. He expresses fears that the murder would remain unsolved because of absence of both capacity and willingness of the government and courts to solve the case.

“In Bhutto’s case, it would seem that the village assassinated her: Al-Qaeda gave the order; the Pakistani Taliban executed the attack, possibly backed or at least encouraged by elements of the establishment; the Musharraf government facilitated the crime through its negligence; local senior policemen attempted a cover-up; Bhutto’s lead security team failed to properly safeguard her; and most Pakistani political actors would rather turn the page than continue investigating who was behind her assassination,” Munoz observes.

END of UPDATE

In May 2007, Bhutto had asked for additional protection from foreign contracting agencies Blackwater and the British firm ArmorGroup.

The United Nations’ investigation of the incident revealed that, “Ms. Bhutto’s assassination could have been prevented if adequate security measures had been taken.”

On February 8 2008, investigators from Scotland Yard concluded that Benazir Bhutto died after hitting her head as she was tossed by the force of a suicide blast, not from an assassin’s bullet.

However, as quoted in an article in The New York Times:

“It is unclear how the Scotland Yard investigators reached such conclusive findings absent autopsy results or other potentially important evidence that was washed away by cleanup crews in the immediate aftermath of the blast.”

Bhutto anticipated that three senior allies of President Musharraf were out to kill her in a secret email to Foreign Secretary David Miliband written weeks before her death.

On December 30 2007, Scotland on Sunday quoted MI5 sources saying that factions of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence may be responsible for the assassination

On January 18 2008, CIA Director Michael Hayden claimed that Baitullah Mehsud — a tribal leader in north-western Pakistan — and his network  was responsible.

On August 20 2013 ex-President Pervez Musharraf, was indicted on three chargers for murder, conspiracy to murder, and facilitation of murder in connection with his alleged failure to provide adequate security for Bhutto.

On August 31 2017, a Pakistani anti-terrorism court declared Musharraf a fugitive in Bhutto’s murder.

The court also acquitted five suspected Pakistani Taliban of conspiracy to murder for lack of evidence and two high-ranking police officers who had been sentenced to 17 years in prison.

On December 16 2019, Musharraf, in exile for hospitalization in Dubai, was sentenced to death in Pakistan in absentia for high treason.

Who assassinated ex-Pakistan leader Benazir Bhutto?

REFERENCES

Benazir Bhutto — Wikipedia

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On This Day — Benazir Bhutto Is Assassinated (December 27 2007)

On This Day — Benazir Bhutto Is Assassinated (December 27 2007) [2019]

On This Day — Benazir Bhutto Is Assassinated (December 27 2007) [2020]

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