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Pakistani Opposition Leader Bhutto's Assassination


Statement on the assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Rawalpindi on 27 December 2007 is a serious blow to the re-emergence of democracy in Pakistan and the country's return to stability. The leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party and former prime minister died alongside her colleagues and supporters campaigning in elections. The international community must now come together to push for a full investigation into the murders.

"Our condolences go to her family and to the people of Pakistan," said Gareth Evans, President and CEO of the International Crisis Group. "Since the 1980s, she had been a vital and often under-estimated political force. Prospects for democracy and stability in Pakistan are much dimmer without her."

Pakistan's military-backed interim government is not in a position to carry out a fair investigation into the assassination. The United Nations Security Council should meet urgently to establish an international commission of enquiry to determine who ordered and carried out the killings. Given the long-standing connections between the Pakistani military and jihadi groups, this would be the only way to carry out an impartial and credible investigation.

ENDS

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