Two months before her death, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto sent
an email to her U.S. adviser and longtime friend, saying that if she were
killed, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf would bear some of the blame.
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto addresses supporters Thursday in
1 of 3 more photos » She cited his governments denial of her request for
additional security measures after the October suicide bombing that targeted her
upon returning to Pakistan from exile.
Nothing will, God willing happen, she wrote to Mark Siegel, her U.S.
spokesman, lobbyist and friend.
Just wanted u to know if it does in addition to the names in my letter to
Musharaf of Oct 16nth, I wld hold Musharaf responsible. I have been made to feel
insecure by his minions and there is no way what is happening in terms of
stopping me from taking private cars or using tinted windows or giving jammers
or four police mobiles to cover all sides cld happen without him.
Bhutto was seeking to become prime minister for a third time when she was
assassinated her death comes exactly two weeks before Pakistans January 8
parliamentary elections. Watch Siegel describe her concern and the reaction of
Pakistans U.S. ambassador »
Pakistans ambassador to the U.S., Mahmud Ali Durrani, on Thursday insisted
Musharrafs government provided the former prime minister with unprecedented
security. He said that terrorists and extremists, who also have targeted
Musharraf, were the only ones responsible for her death. Watch a report on
security provided to Bhutto »
Bhutto wrote the email on October 26, eight days after at least 130 people were
killed and hundreds more wounded in Karachi by the suicide bombing that occurred
as Bhuttos motorcade passed.
Just before returning to Pakistan after eight years of selfimposed exile,
Bhutto told CNN she was aware of threats against her and said that some had come
from people who hold high positions in Pakistans government. She said she had
written a letter to Musharraf about her fears, apparently the same letter she
refers to in her email to Siegel.
In a speech, she listed four groups she believed posed the biggest threat to her
and her cause the Taliban in Pakistan, the Taliban in Afghanistan, al Qaeda
and a suicide team from Karachi that she did not describe.
After the October bombing, she accused elements in the government and security
services of trying to kill her and asked Musharraf for basic security,
including vehicles with tinted windows and private guards in addition to police
guards. Three United States senators repeated the request in a letter to
Bhutto was concerned by the lack of security she had upon her arrival in Karachi
and called the October 18 bombing very suspicious, Siegel said. He accused
Pakistani authorities of not investigating the assassination attempt and of
refusing Bhuttos request for Scotland Yard and the FBI to aid in the
Bhutto and her husband had asked for jammers to impede the detonation of bombs
special vehicles with tinted windows and four police vehicles to surround her
at all times, Siegel said.
She basically asked for all that was required for someone of the standing of a
former prime minister, Siegel told CNNs The Situation Room. All of that was
denied to her. ... She got some police protection, but it was sporadic and
Bhutto was concerned the problem was worsening as the January elections neared,
At the time of the October suicide bombing, Bhutto was riding in a truck from
Karachis airport to the tomb of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan. She
had moved from the roof to inside the bulletproof, armed vehicle just moments
before the blast and was unharmed.
CNNs Dan Rivers, in Karachi to cover her return to Pakistan, remarked at the
time that her security appeared to be loose, saying his crew was able to walk up
to the side of her vehicle without being stopped by authorities.
Durrani, Pakistans ambassador to the U.S., insisted security surrounding Bhutto
then was more than adequate.
There were, I think, a sea of security people, he said. She was surrounded by
police vehicles. And had it not been one of the police vehicles which took the
blast in Karachi, unfortunately she would have died there.
There was a bubble around her of security. The PPP [Peoples Party of Pakistan,
Bhuttos party] insisted that they have their own private loyalists around. They
were there too. And there were about 7,800 to 8,000 security people deployed
just for that, Durrani said.
That is more security than anybody deploys anywhere in the world.
Bhutto is not a security person, said Durrani. Shes a politician. I think
the government of Pakistan provided her all the security that was necessary. You
tell me the way she was hit, she would have been hit with tinted windows or
without, or without the IED ... so its just a blame game.
After the October attack, Bhutto said police offered to let her use a helicopter
for the trip from the airport, but she told them she wanted to be near her
people. She said she did not regret that decision.
She believed in democracy, and she believed in speaking to the people, Siegel
said. Its not reckless to go out and touch the people. Dont blame the victim
for the crime. The person that was supposed to be protecting Benazir Bhutto and
the other candidates was the government of Pakistan with the government of
At the same time, Siegel acknowledged, She was moving almost in a sea of
humanity, he said. No system in the world can protect you against that.
Blitzer noted that Bhutto was shot Thursday while standing out of her vehicles
sunroof seen by some as a a reckless action after the October incident.
Getty Images senior staff photographer John Moore, who was at the scene of her
assassination, told CNN he was surprised at Bhuttos actions, considering the
earlier suicide attempt. The rally was smaller than expected, he said, and the
people he spoke with said they were just afraid to come out, for the simple
reason that they all remembered what happened in Karachi.
Siegel grew emotional as he told Blitzer that Bhutto was the bravest person I
ever knew. ... She knew that there were risks coming back, but those risks were
important, she thought, for the fight for democracy.
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