President Musharraf of Pakistan told Newsweek in an interview appearing online that assassinated leader Benazir Bhutto was very unpopular with his nation’s military leaders and termed her an “unreligious person” who lacked the capability of fighting terrorism. The Taliban and al-Qaeda seek to destroy his society, but he intends to fight and defeat their efforts recognizing full well “they want to weaken me, they think they can take kover Pakistan.” He also opposed any investigation by a UN body into the killing of Bhutto.
Babar Awan, a leader in Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party, denied that she was unpopular with the military and noted that as prime minister Bhutto had worked with military leaders in a cooperative manner. He termed Musharraf, “the most unpopular and hated military leader” who had no right to speak for the entire Pakistan military leadership.
Senator John Kerry commented yesterday that he had been told by Bhutto of her request to Musharraf for additiional security and had been denied that protection. Kerry said he communicated her concerns to the US State Department. Perhaps, President Musharraf fears an honest investigation which might eventually wind up identifying people who are close to him.