Getting Away with Murder
U.N. assistant secretary general Heraldo Muñoz offers a well-researched account of the life, death, and legacy of Benazir Bhutto.
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The 2007 murder of Benazir Bhutto is one of the great unsolved crimes of recent times; but unsolved crimes are not unusual in Pakistan. Bhutto's archenemy and predecessor as prime minister, Zia ul-Haq – the executioner of her father – lost his life in a 1988 plane crash that was the clear result of sabotage; there were many suspects, including the KGB and the CIA, but no one was ever charged. Both Bhutto's brothers, from whom she was estranged, preceded her to the grave: Shahnawaz in 1985, poisoned either by his own hand or, as is far more likely, by one of the many people who wanted him out of the way; and Mir Murtaza in 1996, gunned down gangland-style outside the Bhutto family compound in Karachi. Benazir Bhutto, who was prime minster at the time, did not pressure the police to solve the assassination, and indeed Mir Murtaza's outspoken daughter, Fatima Bhutto, publicly accused her aunt Benazir of ordering the killing.
Pakistan's political culture is possibly the most paranoiac in all the world, rife with secrets and conspiracy theories. This may be inevitable considering that every government for the last 60 years, civilian or military, has ruled at the whim of the so-called Establishment – power brokers in the military, the business oligarchy, and above all the in the Pakistani intelligence community, which comprises the Intelligence Bureau, the Military Intelligence, and the powerful, secretive Inter-Services Intelligence.
The ISI, writes Heraldo Muñoz, author of Getting Away with Murder: Benazir Bhutto's Assassination and the Politics of Pakistan, "has actively intervened in political elections, organized political parties and alliances, and created and managed radical Islamic groups. It draws in the intelligence capacity of the three military service branches in addition to its own autonomous strength. Formally, the ISI communicates information to the prime minister, but in practice it reports to the chief of army staff."