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?