28 November, 2020

Slaughter In The East

What implications will Mir Murtaza Bhutto's death have for the Benazir Government?

Slaughter In The East

It came as a bolt from the blue for Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. The death of her younger brother and political foe Mir Murtaza Bhutto in police firing in Karachi on September 20 not only gave the opposition a major handle against her government, but also cast doubts over the future of her government. While the opposition lost no time in calling for Benazir’s dismissal, it is not clear what stand her mother Nusrat will take.

Murtaza was returning from a public meeting that evening when the police intercepted vehicles escorting his Pajero for a check. Accounts of what actually happened differ. It is believed that just as the police got caught up in an argument with Murtaza’s guards, someone (it is not clear who) opened fire. In the ensuing gun battle, two bullets hit Murtaza, who later died along with six party activists.

While Nusrat, who is seriously ill, arrived from London the next morning, Benazir cancelled all her appointments and rushed to Karachi. The prime minister is said to have wailed and screamed when she saw her...



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