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Another reason to postpone that trip to Karachi, if you needed one

December 27, 2007

Former Pakistani Prime Minster Benazir Bhutto was assassinated today while campaigning ahead of elections that were supposed to be held early January. More than twenty other people were also killed in the attack, and many more in the riots in Pakistan following the announcement of her death. My knowledge of Pakistani politics is limited to what I read on BBC and the Economist, so I have very little to add to the discussion beyond the obvious “Wow, Pakistan is a terrible place to be right now.”

The bombing/shooting was almost certainly carried out by radical Muslims who did not like that Bhutto was (1) pro-western and anti-Taliban and (2) a modern woman in a position of power. These groups are looking to influence the election, and Bhutto’s relative moderation was a threat to their ascent. Bhutto and her husband have long been suspected of taking millions of dollars from the Pakistani government during her two previous stints as PM. However, given the choice, I’d choose the suspected embezzeler over the person who assassinates their opposition (in the name of a peaceful God no less) every time.

Also remember this story next time people start to complain about the political process in the US. It may not be perfect but at least you don’t have to worry about getting blown up attending a Rudy Guliani fund raiser in Des Moines.

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