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Old 12-28-2007, 07:39 PM   #76
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Another bizarre twist - she states in a recent interview that Osama Bin Laden was murdered. Not sure if she misspoke.

Around 6:10 in this video:

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Old 12-28-2007, 08:21 PM   #77
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Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
The whole thing is very fishy. Either they don't want AQ to have the satisfaction of thinking they actually killed her, or something far more sinister than that is going on.

Even Anderson Cooper, who was reporting from Pakistan said this.
At this point AQ WANTS! the blame even if they didn't do it.

The Pakistani govt should have done an autospy.
Or maybe they did.. In any case it leads to exactly what is going on, speculation.
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Old 12-29-2007, 09:09 AM   #78
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Terrible.
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Old 12-29-2007, 04:41 PM   #79
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On reports I saw on CNN yesterday they had accounts by witnesses saying that they saw the attacker run up and shoot her.
Definitely points to a lapse in security--the very fact that someone could approach so nonchalantly is a huge issue. It's absolutely horrible that she's gone...whether you admired her, or not, is really secondary to the way in which she was eliminated. It's really a kick in the gut of the democratic process, the election, and whatever advancements the country was reaching for. Bhutto was a divisive figure, yes. However, with her gone, the potential fallout--nuclear, and all--is extremely frightening for the entire planet.

Interesting in this story how she once said if something like this were to happen to her, Musharraf should be held responsible.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNew...hub=TopStories
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Old 12-29-2007, 05:13 PM   #80
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this is far bigger news that most people realize.
exactly WHY i half-freaked out las nite!
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Old 12-30-2007, 12:29 AM   #81
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Wow. Bhutto's 19-year-old son is to take over . . .


A Bhutto Successor?
By Simon Robinson/Islamabad

A senior official of Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP) told TIME late Saturday that the slain former prime minister's 19-year-old son, Bilawal, will likely be named as her political heir and the new party leader on Sunday. PPP members are due to meet to discuss the party's future and to give Bilawal, a student at Oxford, a chance to read his mother's last will and testament.

A Pakistani television news channel also carried reports that Bilawal will be made the new leader, which the channel said accorded with Benazir Bhutto's wishes. If confirmed, the teenager will become the third leader of the 40-year-old center-left party, one of Pakistan's most powerful. Bilawal will follow his grandfather, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who founded the PPP in 1967, led Pakistan as Prime Minister for four years in the mid 1970s and was hanged in 1979 by a military government, and Benazir, who took over from her father and was killed in a shooting and suicide bomb attack two days ago.

The quick anointment of a Bhutto to head the PPP will help rally party members devastated by the assassination of their tough but beloved leader. The party hopes to ride a wave of sympathy in parliamentary elections that are set for Jan. 8 but may yet be postponed in the face of widespread violence around the country. Rival opposition parties have called for a boycott of the polls but PPP officials say their party intends to participate.

Bilawal was born in September 1988, nearly three months before his mother was elected Prime Minister for the first time. After Benazir and her children went into self-imposed exile in the late 1990s, the family split their time between London and Dubai, where Bilawal attended the Rashid School for Boys, serving as vice president of the school's student council. In Fall 2007 he enrolled at Oxford, where both his grandfather and his mother studied. A 2004 profile of Bilawal in the respected Pakistani daily newspaper Dawn said the teenager liked target-shooting, swimming, horseback riding and squash, and regretted being away from Pakistan in part because it meant he played less cricket. His grandfather, he said, "was a very courageous man and I consider myself very lucky because I have three powerful role models that will obviously influence my career choices when I am older."

As PPP members have begun to contemplate who should take over as party leader, a consensus has emerged that the person needs to be a Bhutto, a name that retains incredible power and vote-winning influence in secular Pakistan despite — or perhaps because of — the tragedies and controversies the family has faced. It is not the first time a young Bhutto has taken over from a dead parent. "This was also the situation when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was murdered," says Babar Awan, a PPP Senator and close ally of Benazir. "Benazir was a teenager, she was a student at Harvard in 1979 [when Zulfikar Ali was hanged]. It is basically the hard core of the PPP that rallies around their great hope and that they attach to the House of Bhutto."

Many people had tipped Benazir's husband Asif Ali Zardari for the top spot, and in the unpredictable world of Pakistani politics that could still happen. An experienced politician, Zardari served as Environment Minister in his wife's second administration. But he is also a controversial figure in Pakistan, and has spent a total of 11 years in prison on various charges including blackmail and corruption, for which he earned the nickname "Mr. 10%." Supporters dismiss these charges, most of which have been thrown out of Pakistani courts (a few are still pending), as politically related mischief. "He's a strong man," says PPP Senator Awan. "All of us are controversial. Wasn't Benazir Bhutto? Wasn't Zulfikar Ali Bhutto? All those who don't accept the military role in politics are controversial. The charges are 100% unfounded and fake."

Other possible runners include Benazir's sister Sanam, though she seems incredibly reluctant to join the family firm, or Fatima Bhutto, the daughter of Zulfikar Ali's eldest son Murtaza. Fatima, however, had split with her aunt Benazir, whom she once described as "the most dangerous woman in Pakistan." The decision to go with Bilawal appears to have come after his father turned down the job in deference to the slain Benazir's expressed wishes. The senior PPP official, who requested anonymity to allow him to speak more openly, told TIME that Bilawal will head the party, and that the party's deputy leader and longtime Benazir loyalist, Mukhdoom Amin Fahim, is likely to become the prime minister, assuming the party wins a majority in parliament. Bilawal would take over as the parliamentary leader once he finishes his studies and once he has more experience, the official said. Earlier in the day PPP Senator Awan told TIME that Bilawal was a natural future leader. "Yes, of course," he said. "he has to be groomed and trained but that will happen."

The young Bhutto, Benazir's only son, knows the dangers of the job he might be about to take on. Last year Benazir told a reporter that she hoped her three children would choose a different career. "My children have told me they are very worried about my safety," she said. "I understand those fears. But they are Bhuttos and we have to face the future with courage, whatever it brings."

—With reporting by Jumana Farouky/London and Khuda Yar Khan/Islamabad
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Old 12-30-2007, 12:52 AM   #82
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^Wow. Can you imagine becoming the leader of one of your nation's political parties at the age of 19!
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Old 12-30-2007, 12:53 AM   #83
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Nope. Especially after the previous leader of the party is your mother, who was assassinated two days ago.
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Old 12-30-2007, 12:57 AM   #84
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Check out this picture of him and his father that ran with the article. I think it says it all . . . (He looks a lot like her, too.)



Bilawal Bhutto, 19-year-old son of Benazir Bhutto, and Asif Zardari, Bhutto's husband stand over the grave of the former Pakistani opposition leader after her burial inside the family mausoleum on the family estate, on December 28, 2007.
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Old 12-30-2007, 02:01 PM   #85
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Man, he's just a couple years younger than me. I can't even imagine the pressure he's under right now. That takes a hell of a lot of guts to agree to be his mother's successor at such a young age and with the amount of turmoil that country's in. It's a very scary prospect. I pray he's able to stay safe.
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Old 12-30-2007, 02:49 PM   #86
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Interesting comments from Pakistani historian Tariq Ali on Democracy Now--transcript here:

http://www.democracynow.org/2007/12/...enazir_bhuttos
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Old 12-30-2007, 04:38 PM   #87
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Seems like a dumb decison to name a 19 year old as someone who could be head of state. It's worse than the equivalent of naming Chelsea as Hillary's successor if something were to happen to Hillary.
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Old 12-30-2007, 04:42 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean
^Wow. Can you imagine becoming the leader of one of your nation's political parties at the age of 19!
Sounds like something you might read in a book?

A very old book.
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Old 12-30-2007, 08:22 PM   #89
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Originally posted by coemgen
The decision to go with Bilawal appears to have come after his father turned down the job in deference to the slain Benazir's expressed wishes. The senior PPP official, who requested anonymity to allow him to speak more openly, told TIME that Bilawal will head the party, and that the party's deputy leader and longtime Benazir loyalist, Mukhdoom Amin Fahim, is likely to become the prime minister, assuming the party wins a majority in parliament. Bilawal would take over as the parliamentary leader once he finishes his studies and once he has more experience, the official said. Earlier in the day PPP Senator Awan told TIME that Bilawal was a natural future leader. "Yes, of course," he said. "he has to be groomed and trained but that will happen."
I'm certainly no expert in Pakistani politics, but I think the key to all this is contained within the above paragraph. I essentially read the same thing in another article earlier today. It sounds as if Bilawal will be leader of the party in name only, until he finishes his education, and that his father and other party higher-ups will effectively be making party decisions and governing, should they win the upcoming elections.
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Old 12-31-2007, 11:43 AM   #90
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Rawalpindi's police chief stopped doctors at the hospital where Benazir Bhutto died from conducting an autopsy, according to a lawyer on the hospital's board.

It was a violation of Pakistani criminal law and prevented a medical conclusion about what killed the former prime minister, said Athar Minallah, who serves on the board that manages Rawalpindi General Hospital.

However, the police chief involved, Aziz Saud, told told CNN that he suggested an autopsy be done, but that Bhutto's husband objected.

The revelation came on Monday after dramatic new videotape of Bhutto's assassination emerged, showing her slumping just after gunshots rang out.

The tape provided the clearest view yet of the attack and appeared to show that Bhutto was shot. That would contradict the Pakistan government's account.

A previously released videotape showed a man at the right of her vehicle raising a gun, pointing it toward Bhutto, who was standing in her car with her upper body through the sunroof. He fired three shots, then there was an explosion.

In the video that emerged on Sunday, Bhutto was standing, and her hair and scarf appeared to move, perhaps from the bullet. Bhutto fell into the car, then came the blast.

These images seem to support the theory that Bhutto died at the hands of a shooter before a bomb was detonated, killing another 23 people.

Doctors at Rawalpindi General hospital declared the 54-year-old dead hours after Thursday's attack, but the cause of her death has been widely debated.

Pakistan's Interior Ministry announced on Friday that Bhutto died from a skull fracture suffered when she fell or ducked into the car as a result of the shots or the explosion and crashed her head onto a sunroof latch.

Bhutto's family and political party maintain that the government is lying, and insist she died from gunshot wounds.

Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema said the government's conclusion was based on "absolute facts, nothing but the facts" and "it was corroborated by the doctor's report."

But Minallah issued an open letter on Monday and released the doctors' clinical notes to distance them from the government statement, and he also talked to CNN.

In the letter, Minallah said the doctors "suggested to the officials to perform an autopsy," but that Saud "did not agree." He noted that under the law, police investigators have "exclusive responsibility" in deciding to have an autopsy.

Minallah told CNN that he was speaking out because the doctors at the hospital were "threatened."

"They are government servants who cannot speak -- I am not," he said. He did not elaborate on the threats against the doctors.

He said the lack of an autopsy has created "a perception that there is some kind of cover-up, though I might not believe in that theory."

"There is a state within the state, and that state within the state does not want itself to be held accountable," Minallah said.

Cheema said the government had no objection to Bhutto's body being exhumed for an autopsy if the family requested it.

Her widower, Asif Ali Zardari, has said the family was against exhumation because it did not trust the government.

Minallah said the family could not have prevented an autopsy at the hospital without getting an order from a judge.

The three-page medical report -- which was signed by seven doctors -- described Bhutto's head wound, but it did not conclude what caused it. It noted that X-ray images were made after she was declared dead.

The wound was described as an irregular oval of about 5-by-3 centimeters above her left ear.

"Sharp bones edges were felt in the wound," it read. "No foreign body was felt in the wound."
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