Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Did Musharraf Assassinate Bhutto?

Increasingly the answer looks like at least a partial "yes." Juan Cole yesterday provided a summary of unpleasant evidence: officials washing off the murder site immediately, physicians complaining through lawyers of pressure to cover up evidence that she actually was shot rather than broke her neck on the sunroof lever, and the demand by Batibullah Mahsud for a full investigation internationally organized, he being the Taliban-linked individual currently being blamed by the Musharraf regime, along with some other pieces of evidence. While the US thought Bhutto and Musharraf would work together (and refused her request for the US to provide protection for her), Bhutto denounced Musharraf's firing of the Supreme Court and made it clear she wanted to replace him democratically, sufficient for a power hungry dictator like him to do her in.

While he thinks it was more likely an al Qaeda operation, albeit possibly with the connivance of ISI or other elements of the Musharraf regime, one can find a very thoughtful and informative background piece by Barnett Rubin on Informed Comment: Global Affairs.

3 comments:

Ken Houghton said...

"While the US thought Bhutto and Musharraf would work together..."

What's the evidence for this? No one in their right mind would come to such a conclusion based on their histories and personalities.

rosserjb@jmu.edu said...

Ken,

What do you mean by "this," (not to sound too BillClintonian)? Many commentators have suggested that the Bush administration believed this, and indeed there were apparently negotiations between the two at various points. That those negotiations (fatally) broke down, is indeed evidence that the administration's hopes in this regard were not well founded.

Barkley

Jack said...

Is it too far fetched to think that the Administration may have had some draconian plan afoot when it encouraged Bhutto to return to Pakistan and challenge Musharraf? It certainly seems too far fetched to believe that any one could believe that Musharraf was inclined to welcome Bhutto back with open arms, other than to wrap them firmly around her neck.