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Congresswoman Maxine Waters Mourns the Loss of Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto

July 30, 2009
Press Release

On Thursday, December 27, 2007, former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in a suicide attack that also killed at least 20 others during a political rally of the Pakistan Peoples Party in the town of Rawalpindi.

     The assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was most shocking and needless to say, unfortunate. Bhutto's return was viewed as a new direction for Pakistan. Her unwavering support for democracy had been demonstrated time and time again as she placed herself at great risk from the growing threat of terrorism. Ms. Bhutto's return to Pakistan after being in self-imposed exile for nine years was negotiated by the Bush Administration where she was expected to be successful in the upcoming election and share power.

     Presently, no one is claiming responsibility for the attack. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and his security forces must accept responsibility for a lack of security that should have been provided knowing of an earlier attempt to assassinate the former Prime Minister upon her return to the country.

     While the Bush Administration has relied on President Musharraf to help wage the war against terrorism, the question remains why President Musharraf has been unable to confront more forcefully the terrorists and al-Qaida who operate on Pakistan's borders.

     Today, we mourn the loss of a charismatic leader who held her passion for the people of Pakistan very close to her heart. She will be remembered for her courageous and dauntless spirit of resilience. Benazir Bhutto's death will leave the country in a perilous position. As the world grieves her death, the U.S. Foreign Policy in Pakistan must be wise enough and strong enough to assist Pakistan from falling into complete chaos and utter deterioration.