Benazir Bhutto was killed at a PPP rally in Rawalpindi. At least 15 other are being reported dead in the attack. The election rally, with “foolproof security”, was held at Liaqut Bagh – a site which had already seen the assassination of another Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaqut Ali Khan.
There were earlier reports of security threats on her rally – similar reports were issued before the suicide attack on her in October.
In the nation whose history is dotted by military coups, assassinations and hangings of public figures, this is surely the bloodiest stain. She titled her autobiography, the Daughter of Destiny – but surely she deserved a fate other than the destiny of her father and Liaqut Ali Khan. It is truly a tragedy and a revelation of the chaos gripping the nation.
aftermath: Riots are being reported in various cities. Rawalpindi is in chaos. Cable and cell phone services has been suspended in most of the country. Rumors are flying of curfews. No word from Musharraf, yet. Getty Images’ collection of photos taken at the rally by Aamir Qureshi.
– A rather disturbingly condescending obituary from the NYT. She had “grand ambition”, “considerable charm”, and engaged in a “dance of veils”. How Salomé of her. I also like how she is humanized for the American readers by a scant connection to an American diplomat.
Update from lapata: A really excellent photo album of Benazir here.
Strange: NYT has changed their Obit – Benazir Bhutto, 54, Weathered Political Storm, by John Burns. But get this, the earlier obit that I linked to above, has been amended to remove references to “veils” and “world’s first prime leader” to “first female leader”. How odd. You can still read the older, reflexively paternalistic and orientalist reading, written by Jane Perlez and Victoria Burnett, here.