This entry, Assassination of Benazir Bhutto, has a complete timeline of the events and their fallout.
It is yet unclear who is responsible for the attack. Some reports say that it was Al-Qaeda, others say that Taliban supported warlords are responsible.
This article gives the international reaction to the assassination and is titled this way.
The Red Mosque incident led to the Taliban supported rebels to scrap a peace deal with the government and continue the War in Waziristan. Which would be the reason why the warlords tried to assassinate her on the 18th of October 2007. More on the Karachi bombings.
Most interesting are the charges of corruption against Bhutto and her husband by different countries. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely? Then again, this doesn’t justify the assassination. It is an attack on democracy, even if Bhutto was corrupt.
Charges of corruption
French, Polish, Spanish, and Swiss documents have fueled the charges of corruption against Bhutto and her husband. Bhutto and her husband faced a number of legal proceedings, including a charge of laundering money through Swiss banks. Her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, spent eight years in prison on similar corruption charges. Zardari, released from jail in 2004, has suggested that his time in prison involved torture; human rights groups have supported his claim that his rights were violated.
A 1998 New York Times investigative report indicates that Pakistani investigators have documents that uncover a network of bank accounts, all linked to the family’s lawyer in Switzerland, with Asif Zardari as the principal shareholder. According to the article, documents released by the French authorities indicated that Zardari offered exclusive rights to Dassault, a French aircraft manufacturer, to replace the air force’s fighter jets in exchange for a 5% commission to be paid to a Swiss corporation controlled by Zardari. The article also said a Dubai company received an exclusive license to import gold into Pakistan for which Asif Zardari received payments of more than $10M into his Dubai-based Citibank accounts. The owner of the company denied that he had made payments to Zardari and claims the documents were forged.
Bhutto maintained that the charges leveled against her and her husband were purely political. “Most of those documents are fabricated,” she said, “and the stories that have been spun around them are absolutely wrong.” An Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) report supports Bhutto’s claim. It presents information suggesting that Benazir Bhutto was ousted from power in 1990 as a result of a witch hunt approved by then-president Ghulam Ishaq Khan. The AGP report says Khan illegally paid legal advisers 28 million Rupees to file 19 corruption cases against Bhutto and her husband in 1990-92.
The assets held by Bhutto and her husband have been scrutinized. The prosecutors have alleged that their Swiss bank accounts contain £740 million. Zardari also bought a neo-Tudor mansion and estate worth over £4 million in Surrey, England, UK. The Pakistani investigations have tied other overseas properties to Zardari’s family. These include a $2.5 million manor in Normandy owned by Zardari’s parents, who had modest assets at the time of his marriage. Bhutto denied holding substantive overseas assets.
Bhutto and her husband until recently continued to face wide-ranging charges of official corruption in connection with hundreds of millions of dollars of “commissions” on government contracts and tenders. But because of a power-sharing deal brokered in October 2007 between Bhutto and Musharraf, she and her husband had been granted amnesty. If it stood, this development could have triggered a number of Swiss banks to “unlock” accounts that were frozen in the late 1990s. The executive order could in principle have been challenged by the judiciary, although the judiciary’s future was uncertain due to the same developments. However, the death of Bhutto has now prevented any such accounts from being unlocked, and it is now up to the discretion of the Swiss banks as to where the funds ought to be placed.