Patterico's Pontifications


Bhutto Told British that Musharraf’s Allies were Out to Kill Her

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 10:37 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

First came word of Benazir Bhutto’s email to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer complaining about her security and holding Musharraf responsible in the event of her death. Now the UK’s Daily Mail reports that Bhutto also contacted the British government expressing concern that three senior allies of President Musharraf were out to kill her:

Benazir Bhutto claimed three senior allies of Pakistan’s president General Musharraf were out to kill her in a secret email to Foreign Secretary David Miliband written weeks before her death. Astonishingly, one of them is a leading intelligence officer who was officially responsible for protecting Miss Bhutto from an assassination.

The second is a prominent Pakistani figure, one of whose family members was allegedly murdered by a militant group run by Miss Bhutto’s brother. The third is a well-known chief minister in Pakistan who is a long-standing opponent of Miss Bhutto.”

The Daily Mail article declined to publish the names, perhaps due to the constraints of British libel law, but it provided enough detail that I suspect it would make be easy for people who follow Pakistani politics to identify them. Bhutto apparently made her security concerns known to the British government in September:

“Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Pakistan’s former High Commissioner to the UK and a British-based adviser to Miss Bhutto, said: “She sent an email to the Foreign Office before she returned to Pakistan naming certain people. “In the email, she said, ‘The following persons are planning to murder me and if any harm comes to me they should be held responsible.'”

Miss Bhutto wrote her prophetic email to Mr Miliband in September, shortly after she met him to discuss her return to Pakistan. She named the same three individuals in a letter to General Musharraf in October.”

The article concluded with an allegation that the British government did not take Bhutto’s concerns seriously:

“A senior source said: “She knew the risk she was taking when she decided to go back but also took the precaution of informing the British Government of the names of those she thought presented the biggest danger to her.

“She hoped Mr Miliband would use his influence with General Musharraf to remove certain people from positions where they were able to plot against her. She gave the same names to General Musharraf but she knew there was only a limited possibility of any action being taken.

“She had to rely on Mr Musharraf and countries such as Britain and America, who supported her return and have close connections with Mr Musharraf’s government, to take her concerns seriously. “Events have shown she was right to be worried. If any of the three people she named turn out to have been involved in this assassination, there will be serious repercussions.”

The Mail on Sunday has also learned that after an earlier attempt to assassinate her in October, the Foreign Office told Miss Bhutto to stop making wild allegations against Musharraf – or face greater danger.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “Miss Bhutto had a series of meetings with the Foreign Secretary and other officials. She raised her concerns about particular people and we raised them in turn with the authorities in Pakistan and asked them to put in place more strict security measures to protect her.”

The article also reprinted photos of one of the suspected killers, a man dressed a black suit wearing sunglasses and pointing a gun. Other sources printed a photo of a second man in white who was standing near the first and who reportedly detonated a suicide bomb.

I assume Bhutto also wrote the Bush Administration about Musharraf and her security concerns but I’m not sure what anyone could do. For some time, Pakistan has been and is terrorism’s heart of darkness.


9 Responses to “Bhutto Told British that Musharraf’s Allies were Out to Kill Her”

  1. One assumes the $11 billion in untraceable cash we sent Musharraf the last six years will not be jeopardized.

    More troublesome: Iran is now surrounded by two failed states and Pakistan blowing up.

    steve (31e7f0)


    Give. Me. A. Fucking. Break.

    Another decade, another petty military strongman with US backing.

    But whatever. Fuck the Pakistanis: they don’t know their country like we do.

    Leviticus (625ec8)

  3. Levi,

    Is your section in ALL CAPS a quote or are you mocking people who think Al Qaeda was behind the assassination? If it’s quote, where is it from?

    DRJ (09f144)

  4. “I’m not sure what anyone could do.”

    Well, she could have avoided riding around, sticking half her body out of a sunroof among large public outdoor crowds. We haven’t generally seen the US President do that since 1963, and he has a lot more security resources, and a much less dangerous environment, to cope with. (Note also that after 9/11 the Vice President was often hidden in a “secure location” — much to the mockery of idiots on the left.)

    I don’t mean to sound flippant, but blame properly belongs with those who had her killed. If we are to take seriously her pre-mortem blame-casting about an event the details of which she could only guess at, we must also consider her responsibilities to her own safety and her country’s stability.

    DWPittelli (2e1b8e)

  5. One would think she would have taken better security measures especially after the bombing upon her return to Pakistan that killed (what) 120+?

    Perhaps she had a Joan of Arc complex?

    BTW Levi, seen any good accounting lately of the foreign aid funds we’ve sent to Israel, the PA, or Egypt? Your mock indignation has gotten very old.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  6. OF course it was al qaida. This just didn’t help Musharraf that much.

    And levi, why do you think the pakistanis know their country better than we do? We’re americans and have better access to information. That’s true. And we aren’t 50% sympathetic to islamists.

    Another Drew is right: Bhutto certainly didn’t act like she was scared. Perhaps that makes her a hero. She was helping her country have peace when she died, no doubt about it even if she was quite a crook. I think most politicians there (and here) say things they don’t believe and inflate problems if it’s politically expedient. Everything gets spun a bit. Bhutto knew that the only person who could protect her was Musharraf, so why not put the onus on him? He failed her and is responsible for her death, even though al qaida or the like probably did the deed.

    We live in a world where people will kill to get their way. It’s not a secret. Neither Bhutto or Musharraf treated that fact with enough respect, though we never see Musharraf playing around in the crowded street, do we?

    I still think it’s utterly rational to believe Al Qaida did this, and those who would mock such an assertion because of a Princess Di channeling letter are not being fair.

    Jem (9e390b)

  7. seen any good accounting lately of the foreign aid funds we’ve sent to Israel

    Another Drew, what do you mean? You think the money to Israel is disappearing into a black hole, into pockets? Unlikely, that. On Egypt and the PA, no doubt vous avez raison, but Israel is a civilized country.

    nichevo (1510ce)

  8. “Is your section in ALL CAPS a quote or are you mocking people who think Al Qaeda was behind the assassination?”


    The latter. Sorry to confuse.

    “BTW Levi, seen any good accounting lately of the foreign aid funds we’ve sent to Israel, the PA, or Egypt?”

    -Another Drew

    What’s your point?

    “Your mock indignation has gotten very old.”

    -Another Drew

    Yeah… I really don’t care. Sarcasm is deserved in this situation.

    “And levi, why do you think the pakistanis know their country better than we do? We’re americans and have better access to information. That’s true. And we aren’t 50% sympathetic to islamists.”


    Good point, Jem. I forgot how many Americans can speak fluent Urdu (or point Pakistan out on a map, for that matter).

    Dream your little dreamy dreams, Jem.

    Leviticus (622fc5)

  9. nichevo…
    Actually, the news brings constant reminders of corruption within the Israeli government, even in to the office of President and PM.

    I’m sure if we looked as hard as various IG’s have looked at Iraqi aid, we would find highly questionable accounting everywhere the US is giving aid, particularly in the ME.

    As one who hasn’t supported foreign aid since the conclusion of the Marshall Program (and yes, I am that old), I assume that a minimum of 25% of what we send overseas ends up in some numbered account somewhere without benefitting any non-governmental person in the receiving country.

    That doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile, just that we should never delude ourselves as to what is going on. We certainly don’t have clean skirts either when it comes to governmental corruption (have you had your earmark today?).

    Another Drew (8018ee)

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