Bhutto Party Will Contest Elections

Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party announced that her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, would assume leadership of the party’s fight to gain victory in the upcoming election. Her 19 year old son Bilawai Bhutto Zardari, would be co-chairperson of the party although he will continue his studies at Oxford. PPP Vice Chairman Amin Fahim is expected to become the prime minister if they are successful in parliamentary elections and her husband made clear he would not assume any government leadership position. He claimed this succession was in Benazir Bhutto’s will but would not show the paper to reporters. Nawaz Shariff, head of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, made clear he would abandon any talk of boycotting the election and join with the PPP in a coalition to gain power and challenge President Musharraf.

Ms. Bhutto’s husband insisted there were bullet wounds in his wife’s body despite claims by the government she had not been shot and had died due to the bomb blast which threw her body against the sunroof of the car. Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Great Britain urged President Musharraf to go ahead with the election and offered to send a Scotland Yard team to investigate the killing. At this point, it is imperative to get at the truth concerning how she died. Unless this becomes clear, rumors and anger will be present in a large part of the nation and people will continue blaming President Musharraf for the death. Many are already now terming his political party, “Killer’s League.” The UN might also provide assistance as it did in the Lebanon assassination case.

One tragedy that is apparent is apparent inability of the PPP to bring forth leaders not associated with the Bhutto family. The idea of a college student being co-chair of a political party reflects this failure.