Monday, January 14, 2008

New Pakistan Poll Shows Distrust of Leaders

An opinion poll conducted by Gallup Pakistan found that nearly half of the 1,300 Pakistani men and women surveyed suspect that "government agencies or government-linked politicians" killed Benazir Bhutto, reported an Associated Press article today. According to the news agency, the findings highlighted the "popular mistrust" of the Musharraf government just ahead of the February elections. The government has blamed Al Qaeda-linked militants for the December 27th assassination of Benazir, an incident that has sparked major domestic and international controversy. However, despite the government claims, only 17 percent of Pakistanis suspected Al Qaeda or the Taliban. Reuters provided further statistics from the poll, reporting that 12 percent suspected the U.S. involvement in her death, while 4 percent believed India was behind it.

In a Newsweek interview with Fareed Zakaria released Friday, Musharraf dismissed claims that the government was complicit in the former PM's death, stating, "I refuse to listen to such accusations. I refuse to. I am the government, OK? I am not feudal, and I am not tribal. May I ask you, would you, if you were at the head of affairs, ever think of killing somebody like that? It didn't appear in our minds. Would it appear in your mind that you could get rid of a person through a bomb blast?" On the government investigation into her assassination, Musharraf asserted that the body should be exhumed, "100 percent." He added, "Because I know for sure there is no bullet wound other than on the right side. Whether it was a bullet or a strike, I don't want to comment, I don't know."

The conflicting reports surrounding Benazir's death has generated rumors and conspiracy theories alike. Two new reports "suggest that the killing may have been an ambitious plot rather than an isolated act of violence and that the government of President Pervez Musharraf knows far more than it's admitted about the murder," reported McClatchy News on Friday.

What do you think?


jaR said...

A very interesting viewppoint from my friend from Midd Shahan Mufti who is a journalist for CSM in Pakistan. He was also a Fulbright Scholar to India where he did some innovative research. Great writer. Chekkit:

Afreen said...

Kals, your wonderful writing skills makes your introductory article highly readable and interesting!! Great job!!

Rebecca said...

Thank you for providing such updated news. It is a great service to have the links to all these different resources, especially because our TV version of "international" news does not include these different points of view.

Mobilizing the moderate voices of Pakistan is a task that is long overdue. Thank you for taking this on!

Kalsoom said...

jar - great article by your friend, would love to include an article on here about the press' role in the pressure for musharraf to leave.