Bhutto Killing: Deadly Blow to Pakistan Stability

Musharraf blames terrorists for assassination
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2007 1:51 PM CST
Pakistani former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto waves to her supporter during an election campaign in Mirpurkhas, Pakistan on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2007. Bhutto sharply criticized the rule of Musharraf, who...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The assassination of Benazir Bhutto deals a devastating setback to hopes for political stability in Pakistan. The death today of the nation's most charismatic opposition leader is likely to trigger an outpouring of anti-government sentiment, political analysts tell the Wall Street Journal, and force postponement of next month's scheduled elections. It raises fears that unrest will trigger declaration of military rule.

President Pervez Musharraf called for unity, describing Bhutto as a fighter against extremism: "The biggest threat to Pakistan and this nation is from these terrorists," he said, declaring 3 days of mourning. The assassination also puts the US strategy for the war on terror in disarray, as only a strong government can curb the Taliban resurgence in northern Pakistan that is supplying troops and arms to Afghanistan, reports the BBC.