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Murdered by extremists she helped to create Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Kamyar Icon

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 09:27 AM

Murdered by extremists she helped to create

By Ahmed Rashid in Lahore

Last Updated: 2:56am GMT 29/12/2007
http://www.telegraph.../wbhutto329.xml

The Pakistan government's belief that al-Qa'eda was responsible for the attack on Benazir Bhutto comes as little surprise given her public commitment to root out Islamist extremists if elected prime minister.

Those who carried out the attack were likely to have been volunteers with groups linked to the so-called Pakistani Taliban, who were trained by elements of al-Qa'eda.

But the expanding network of al-Qa'eda and associated groups in Pakistan owes much to the contradictory policies of successive governments which have favoured some terrorists while hunting down others.

Even Miss Bhutto allowed extremist groups to flourish during her last stint as prime minister in the 1990s. The Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan received support from her government, while Pakistani Islamist fighters were given backing as they tried to wrest control of the divided region of Kashmir from India.

However, it is President Pervez Musharraf who has done most to undermine efforts to combat terrorism and turned Pakistan into the epicentre for al-Qa'eda, the Taliban and other groups.
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Today, Islamist extremists in Pakistan - rather than in Iraq or Afghanistan - are the main threat to global stability. Since 2004 every fatal or foiled terrorist plot in Europe and elsewhere, has had its origins in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

The al-Qa'eda campaign in Pakistan is being spearheaded by the Pakistani Taliban, who in recent months have captured large tracts of territory in the Pashtun tribal belt in the north-west.

Lately, they have occupied the Swat valley, just over 60 miles from Islamabad and the centre of the country's tourist trade.

The Pakistani Taliban are now a major force in every city in the North West Frontier Province.

They are led by Baitullah Mehsud, who warned in October that his suicide bombers were waiting to kill Miss Bhutto when she returned home from exile.

The Pakistani interior ministry has released the transcript of what it claimed to be a telephone conversation between Mehsud and another militant, in which he congratulated a "tremendous effort" by "really brave boys" in the assassination of Miss Bhutto.

The inside of Benazir Bhutto's vehicle after her death
Benazir Bhutto's shoes lie on the floor of her vehicle's bloodstained interior

The Pakistani Taliban are mostly Pashtun tribesmen who were influenced by al-Qa'eda after they helped its leaders seek refuge following September 11, 2001.

At the behest of the US, Pakistan's army conducted a policy of capturing or killing Arab members of al-Qa'eda. However, it left the Afghan Taliban alone, as it distrusted the regime of President Hamid Karzai, which it accused of being pro-Indian.

The military wanted to keep the Afghan Taliban as a potential proxy force. And after 2004 the army even gave up the chase against al-Qa'eda, once it realised that the US focus was on Iraq rather than on Afghanistan.

The Pakistani Taliban became more dangerous after they began to train militants from Islamist extremist groups in the nation's cities. It is these educated urban militants who, it is believed, exploded the bombs that killed 134 in Karachi as Miss Bhutto returned home from exile in October.

The Pakistani Taliban has also used the Pashtun tribal network to develop well-placed supporters inside the army and the Pakistani intelligence services.

Several recent suicide bombings which have killed hundreds of army personnel in barracks within Pakistan's cities could only have taken place with inside knowledge.

The US has given Pakistan
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#2 User is offline   Afrasiab Icon

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 08:52 AM

It is not good to be pleased because of death of the person, especially women, but Pakistan always was the enemy of Tajiks of Afghanistan. I personally think, that Bhutto's death - a good news for us Tajiks because it is a superfluous problem for Pakistan - our enemy. But short of the politician it is a pity, that she was killed.
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