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Old 12-30-2007   #21
Mike in Hilo
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Default Rex--Islamic Law in Pakistan

Yes re Hudood. Nevertheless, the last night you could drink a legal beer in the Pindi Club was during Zulf Bhutto's reign...
Cheers,
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Old 12-31-2007   #22
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Originally Posted by Mike in Hilo View Post
Yes re Hudood. Nevertheless, the last night you could drink a legal beer in the Pindi Club was during Zulf Bhutto's reign...
Cheers,
Mike.
But makes it rather fun to drink the "special tea" in the Chinese restaurants.

Cheers,
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Old 12-31-2007   #23
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It pays to remember who sponsored Lashkar e-Toiba, Jaish al-Muhammad, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal which even prior to the Lal Masjid incident was "Talibanizing" the NWFP as well as Balochistan, and of course our good friends the Taliban. It certainly was not any of the civilian rulers of Pakistan, whether Nawaz Sharif or Benazir Bhutto. It was the Pakistani military who funded, sponsored, recruited, trained, and armed the militant groups which now wage war upon it and their own country.
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Old 12-31-2007   #24
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I have been out surfing political side of the blogesphere and I was amazed to see some of the stuff that has been written about this woman. Over at HuffPo she has all but been canonized. She apparently was a brave martyr who gave her life for freedom, I'm not really sure whose freedom; Bush and Cheney somehow figure prominently in her death though it is unclear how or even why. I had no idea. Has anyone called Rome yet?

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Last edited by Uboat509; 12-31-2007 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 12-31-2007   #25
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Originally Posted by Uboat509 View Post
I have been out surfing political side of the blogesphere and I was amazed to see some of the stuff that has been written about this woman. Over at HuffPo she has all but been canonized. She apparently was a brave martyr who gave her life for freedom, I'm not really sure whose freedom; Bush and Cheney somehow figure prominently in her death though it is unclear how or even why. I had no idea. Has anyone called Rome yet?

SFC W
Regardless of what the libs at Huffington Post are saying, I would not view responses to Bhutto's assassination in solely partisan terms here. Liberal interventionists on the left and neoconservatives on the right are hard to distinguish between on this matter. The policies of actively interfering in the workings of other nations for the purpose of imposing democracy - policies promoted by both camps – have a direct connection to the assassination of Ms. Bhutto.

U.S. Brokered Bhutto's Return to Pakistan, By Robin Wright and Glenn Kessler. The Washington Post, December 28, 2007.
Quote:
The turning point to get Musharraf on board was a September trip by Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte to Islamabad. "He basically delivered a message to Musharraf that we would stand by him, but he needed a democratic facade on the government, and we thought Benazir was the right choice for that face," said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer and National Security Council staff member now at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy.

"Musharraf still detested her, and he came around reluctantly as he began to recognize this fall that his position was untenable," Riedel said. The Pakistani leader had two choices: Bhutto or former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, whom Musharraf had overthrown in a 1999 military coup. "Musharraf took what he thought was the lesser of two evils," Riedel said.
The return of Bhutto may have been more window dressing then substantive, but this window dressing would be necessary to remain congruent with our policies of spreading freedom and democracy.

The Realist persuasion, though less frequently heard from, offers an viable alternative to these policies. Here are two realist perspectives on the Bhutto matter worthreading:

Enough with Democracy!, By Robert Baer. Time, Dec. 27, 2007.
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The common denominator between Pakistan, Gaza, Lebanon and Iraq is an ongoing war, wars without end, wars that poison democracy. The Bush Administration is particularly culpable in creating the chaos in Pakistan because it forced a premature reconciliation between President Musharraf and Bhutto; it forced Musharraf to lift martial law; it showered money on Musharraf to fight a war that was never popular in Pakistan. The Administration could not understand that it can't have both in Pakistan — a democracy and a war on terrorism.

The immediate reaction in the United Sates will be visceral: al-Qaeda killed Bhutto because she was too secular and too close to the United States, an agent of American imperialism. It will be of some comfort that the front lines of terrorism are thousands of miles away; that we are fighting "them" there rather than in lower Manhattan; that there are heroes like Bhutto ready to fight and die for democracy, moderation and rationality.

But this misses the point. The real problem in Pakistan undermining democracy is that it is a deeply divided, artificial country, created by the British for their expediency rather than for the Pakistanis. Independent Pakistan has always been dominated by a strong military. And democracy will only be nurtured when the wars on its border come to an end, whether in Afghanistan or Kashmir, and the need for the military to meddle in politics is removed. And never before.

Bush's best-laid plans: The Bhutto assassination demonstrates anew the folly of the administration's efforts to manage history, By Andrew J. Bacevich. The Los Angeles Times, December 30, 2007.
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At the beginning of his second term, Bush spoke confidently of the United States sponsoring a global democratic revolution "with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world." Ever since that hopeful moment, developments across the greater Middle East -- above all, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and on the West Bank -- have exposed the very real limits of U.S. wisdom and power.

Now the virtual impotence of the U.S. in the face of the crisis enveloping Pakistan -- along with its complicity in creating that crisis -- ought to discredit once and for all any notions of America fixing the world's ills.

Bush dreamed of managing history. It turns out that he cannot even manage Pakistan. Thus does the Author of Liberty mock the pretensions of those who presume to understand his intentions and to interpret his will.
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Old 12-31-2007   #26
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Originally Posted by Uboat509 View Post
.... Over at HuffPo she has all but been canonized. She apparently was a brave martyr who gave her life for freedom, I'm not really sure whose freedom....

I was on huffington post last week and I was afraid they were going to take away my conservative curmudgeons card.
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Old 01-04-2008   #27
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The Economist, 3 Jan 08: Pakistan: A Country on the Brink
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....It is Pakistan's particular misfortune that its progress tends to be measured against exaggerated doomsday prophecies. Three are most popular. The first, which is as old as Pakistan itself, decrees that the place will fragment (history is not encouraging: born of partition in 1947, the country lost its eastern component in 1971). The other two are more recent. One is that Pakistan, like neighbouring Iran, will fall to Islamists—perhaps even of Mr Mehsud's vicious kind. A related fear is that terrorists will get hold of the country's nuclear arsenal. All three nightmares are very unlikely in the short term, but may be increasingly possible.

To be clear, Pakistan is bitterly divided. Punjab dominates the economy and the army. In other parts of the country military rule—which Pakistanis have known for over half their history—is considered Punjabi rule. Every decade or so, in Sindh, Baluchistan and North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), Punjabi troops are dispatched to quash an insurgency. The army is currently attempting this task in both Baluchistan and NWFP, on several fronts. NWFP has always been so rebellious that no Pakistani government has dared to call it by its logical name, Pushtunistan, for fear of rallying the Pushtun tribesmen who live there. But the army is still quite strong enough to prevent any chunk of Pakistan from splitting off.

The other prophecies are more sobering—given the current security crisis on the Afghan frontier, and a history of institutional Islamism within the army itself. The American-backed campaign in north-western Pakistan has gone badly. It has almost certainly spawned much more radicalism and terror than it has ended. Baker Atyani, head of the al-Arabiya television office in Islamabad, says he receives two or three videotapes every week from local and foreign jihadist groups along the frontier—many more than he can broadcast. Clearly, Pakistan has a long-term problem with militancy. And the prevalence of jihadist sympathies within the army also remains a concern. For whatever reason, many soldiers on the frontier are demoralised: at least several hundred have surrendered to untrained bandits. Nonetheless, despite these concerns, a strong majority of Pakistanis remain moderate.....
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Old 01-04-2008   #28
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Default UK offers help for investigation

Been off-line for three days and have picked up that Pakistan has accepted an offer from the UK, for the Metropolitan Police to assist the investigation. The Met often get such calls, in terrorism and other cases. One piece of BBC film footage showed the actual scene had been washed clean, with a firehose, which led President Musharraf to comment it was not what he had ordered.

Scene management is one of the standard investigation tactics, which the Met has great experience of - so that is probably lost. Second comes acquiring all possible still & video footage (including un-broadcast) and that will take time. The comes interviewing all possible witnesses, preferably id'd at the time by those attending the scene - unlikely I fear.

The UK has just upgraded the post of a CTLO in Islamabad (Counter-Terrorist Liasion Officer), one hopes his advice has already been given to the Pakistani authorities and he is ex-Met.

From this armchair a very long uphill struggle and then there's the politics!

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Old 01-13-2008   #29
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Default Scotland Yard to the rescue?

The Sunday Times (London) under the title 'Scotland Yard believes Al-Qaeda assassinated Benazir Bhutto' is an odd story reporting Scotland Yard have provided Pakistan with an initial report on Ms Bhutto's murder:

Link: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle3177691.ece

I note the Bhutto family and the PPP reject this report and still advocate a UN investigation. Just a little too much "spin" at play here.

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Old 02-02-2008   #30
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USIP, 1 Feb 08: A Toxic Cocktail: Pakistan's Growing Instability
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Pakistan, a nuclear-armed, predominantly Muslim nation of 165 million, has experienced a dramatic rise in political turmoil and violence in the last year. Following the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on December 27, 2007, analysts have raised serious concerns about Pakistan's stability and the possibility of a collapse of the federation.

With elections scheduled for February 18, 2008, amidst political turmoil, a succession of suicide bombings in major cities, and open warfare between state security forces and Islamist militants in the tribal areas, further shocks to the system could ignite broader conflict in Pakistan. The nation must overcome a confluence of serious challenges in the coming months to move back toward stability, including: holding legitimate national elections and restoring democratic rule; confronting the increasing power of militant Islamist groups; and assuaging widespread minority grievances fueling separatist movements.

How many more shocks to the system can Pakistan bear? Does the situation in Pakistan indeed "pose a potential threat to the federation of Pakistan"? What are the dangers of schisms within the military and security forces, and the implications for state integrity and nuclear security? As turmoil continues, is consolidation of militant control over the border areas with Afghanistan inevitable? What is the likely impact on Afghan stability? A group of veteran Pakistan watchers and policymakers gathered at USIP on January 14, 2008, to discuss the potential for worsening conflict in Pakistan, and the prospects for stability. Participants included: General David Barno (Ret.), Lisa Curtis, Christine Fair, Col. John Gill (Ret.), Qamar-ul Huda, Minister Ali Jalali, Daniel Markey, Barmak Pazhwak, Bruce Riedel, Larry Robinson, Ambassador Howard Schaffer, Col. David Smith, and Marvin Weinbaum. The views presented in this report do not necessarily represent the views of these participants.....
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Old 02-02-2008   #31
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Default Link to report not working

Tried the link and by going to USIP website - does not work. The links to the authors do. Perhaps too many are reading it?

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Old 02-07-2008   #32
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Default Pakistan arrests two 'terrorists' over Bhutto killing

GARHI KHUDA BAKHSH, Pakistan (AFP) — Pakistani officials said they arrested two "terrorists" Thursday over the slaying of Benazir Bhutto...

Quote:
With pressure growing on the government to solve her murder, investigators said they had seized two "very important alleged terrorists" in Rawalpindi on Thursday morning in connection with the attack.

A statement by a Pakistani investigation team probing the attack said it had "arrested two very important alleged terrorists, Hasnain and Rafaqat, this morning from Rawalpindi with the help of Rawalpindi police."

"They are being interrogated," it added.

Both men had "tentacles from the tribal region and Baitullah Mehsud," a senior security official said, referring to an Al-Qaeda-linked militant commander based in the restive border region of South Waziristan.

Last month police arrested a 15-year-old boy who allegedly confessed to being part of a back-up squad of suicide bombers tasked by Mehsud to target Bhutto if the initial attack failed.

Thursday's arrests also coincided with the return to Pakistan of a Scotland Yard team invited by President Pervez Musharraf to help probe Bhutto's murder, although officials said there was no link with the new arrests.

The British detectives are due to present their report on the killing to the Pakistani government on Friday.
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Old 02-08-2008   #33
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British High Commission Press Release, 8 Feb 08:

Scotland Yard Report Into Assassination of Benazir Bhutto Released
Quote:
In his report Dr Cary states:
• “the only tenable cause for the rapidly fatal head injury in this case is that it occurred as the result of impact due to the effects of the bomb-blast.”

• “in my opinion Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto died as a result of a severe head injury sustained as a consequence of the bomb-blast and due to head impact somewhere in the escape hatch of the vehicle.”
Given the severity of the injury to Ms Bhutto’s head, the prospect that she inadvertently hit her head whilst ducking down into the vehicle can be excluded as a reasonable possibility.

High explosives of the type typically used in this sort of device, detonate at a velocity between 6000 and 9000 metres per second. This means that when considering the explosive quantities and distances involved, such an explosion would generate significantly more force than would be necessary to provoke the consequences as occurred in this case......
and:
Quote:
There has been speculation that two individuals were directly involved in the attack. The suggestion has been that one suspect fired shots, and a second detonated the bomb. All the available evidence points toward the person who fired shots and the person who detonated the explosives being one and the same person.
• Body parts from only one individual remain unidentified. Expert opinion provides strong evidence that they originate from the suicide bomber.

• Analysis of the media footage places the gunman at the rear of the vehicle and looking down immediately before the explosion. The footage does not show the presence of any other potential bomber.

• This footage when considered alongside the findings of the forensic explosive expert, that the bombing suspect was within 1 to 2 metres of the vehicle towards it rear and with no person or other obstruction between him and the vehicle, strongly suggests that the bomber and gunman were at the same position. It is virtually inconceivable that anyone who was where the gunman can clearly be seen on the media footage, could have survived the blast and escaped.
The inevitable conclusion is that there was one attacker in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle in which Ms Bhutto was travelling.
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Old 02-08-2008   #34
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Is Bhutto's family and party still clamoring for the UN investigation because they think Musharraf and Co are responsible? I can't imagine that a UN investigation would give them anything Scotland Yard couldn't.

However, in yet more proof that perception really can be more important than reality, the possibility of a Musharraf hand in her death would seem to be a major weapon against the Musharraf government and a potential flashpoint for political conflict unless its finally disproven. I say give 'em the UN investigation.

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Old 04-16-2010   #35
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Default The UN reports on the attack

Long awaited and expected by some to have an impact in Pakistan - the report on Ms Bhutto's murder by the UN:
Quote:
A United Nations investigation into the assassination of the former opposition leader Benazir Bhutto has concluded that the failure of Pakistani authorities to effectively investigate the killing was “deliberate,” saying that the country’s powerful intelligence agency “severely hampered” local authorities.

The 65-page report, issued in New York on Thursday, did not answer the question of who killed Ms. Bhutto, or even give the precise cause of death. It was concerned instead with looking into the facts and circumstances surrounding her death in a suicide bombing and gun attack at a political rally in December 2007.
From:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/16/wo.../16bhutto.html

Link to report:http://www.un.org/News/dh/infocus/Pa...5April2010.pdf

Might read the UN report and update another day.
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Old 12-23-2010   #36
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Default Two police officials arrested in Bhutto assassination

Thanks to FP Blog mailing, which has picked up on a CNN report:
Quote:
Pakistan arrested two senior police officials Wednesday in connection with the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto..... Aziz was the police chief in the Rawalpindi district at the time of Bhutto's assassination while Shehzad was the head of her security team.

The two have been accused of security breaches, covering up evidence by hosing down the crime scene and failing to conduct a post-mortem examination on Bhutto.
Link:http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/as..._igoogle_world
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Old 12-30-2010   #37
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Default Three Years After Benazir's Murder...

http://ramanstrategicanalysis.blogsp...der-cover.html
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Old 11-06-2011   #38
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Default Bhutto murder: Pakistan police and Taliban charged

An update on what happened to the investigation:
Quote:
An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan has charged two senior police officers over the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. They were charged with security breaches and failure to protect her, prosecutors said.

Five alleged Taliban militants have also been charged with criminal conspiracy over Bhutto's death.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-15605565
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Old 11-06-2011   #39
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Maybe - just maybe - the thread title is ripe for a modification due to obsolescence?
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Old 11-28-2012   #40
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Default Questions Concerning the Murder of Benazir Bhutto

An in-depth article by Owen Bennett-Jones, ex BBC World Service and now at an American university, in 'The London Review of Books':http://www.lrb.co.uk/v34/n23/owen-be...benazir-bhutto

It has everything you'd ever want in a straight forward, simple TV crime documentary. No, it does not. Owen draws together a complex, bewildering set of facts, the weirdness - to outsiders - of Pakistani politics, the "dark arts" of power and violence. Plus that favourite device, the revolving door of being in state custody; not to overlook fire hoses. One hell of a read.

His last phrase is an indictment not only of the Pakistani state, its politicians and those who watch with a Nelson eye:
Quote:
there isn’t the slightest reason to believe that the people who tasked the Taliban with Bhutto’s murder will ever face justice.
No wonder the millions of good people in Pakistan stay silent.

There is a historical thread on Ms Bhutto's murder, for those who need some background reading:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=4601
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