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Who Killed Bhutto

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Who Killed Bhutto
And the story of how she was, in some way, responsible for her own death. In Lahore, Ahmed Rashid writes for the Telegraph/UK that Bhutto was murdered by extremists she helped create:

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.

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.

Here's the conversation, released by the Pakistani interior ministry, between Mehsud and another militant, about Bhutto's murder:

Maulvi Sahib (MS): Asalaam Aleikum (Peace be with you).

Baitullah Mehsud (BM): Waaleikum Asalaam (And also with you).

MS: Chief, how are you?

BM: I am fine.

MS: Congratulations, I just got back during the night.

BM: Congratulations to you. Were they our men?

MS:: Yes, they were ours.

BM: Who were they?

MS: There was Saeed, there was Bilal from Badar and Ikramullah.

BM: The three of them did it?

MS: Ikramullah and Bilal did it.

BM: Then congratulations.

MS: Where are you? I want to meet you.

BM: I am at Makeen (town in the South Waziristan tribal region). Come over, I am at Anwar Shah's house.

MS: OK, I'll come.

BM: Don't inform their house for the time being.


BM: It was a tremendous effort. They were really brave boys who killed her.

MS: Mashallah (Thank God). When I come I will give you all the details.

BM: I will wait for you. Congratulations, once again congratulations.

MS: Congratulations to you.

BM: Anything I can do for you?

MS: Thank you very much.

BM: Asalaam Aleikum.

MS: Waaleikum Asalaam.

Brave boys, huh? Not where I come from. Gunning down a woman waving out of a sunroof takes some real guts for the primitives.

And finally, here's a bit of realism on Bhutto. I'm reminded of the Lily Tomlin quote, "The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win you're still a rat."

Bhutto was a rat. It's just that her tail was a little less long and ropey than those of the rest of them.