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I persuaded Benazir Bhutto against returning to Pakistan: friend

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News Desk |

Desmond de Silva, an old friend of former prime minister, the late Benazir Bhutto has revealed how he implored her not to return to Pakistan.

Ms. Bhutto returned to Pakistan in October 2007; after surviving a gory attack the day she arrived, a shootout and blast in December took her life while she was gearing up for the 2008 general elections. Silva expressed his worry about her safety in no uncertain terms in 2007. He wrote: “It was in October 2007 that she finally told me of her plans to return to Pakistan. A few of her friends had become increasingly worried about her safety and what would happen to her.”

Analysts are intrigued as to why despite her party being in power and husband being president for five years, couldn’t ensure justice for one of the country’s most prominent leaders.

The Srilankan lawyer who became friends with Ms. Bhutto during her exile, mindful of the opening of the position of Secretary General of the Commonwealth, suggested her to take it up. He felt that she was cut for the role. However, the bold Bhutto replied: “Desmond, I have never played it safe.”

Desmond admitted about her bravery and tenacity in his book. He wrote: “She returned to Pakistan and two months later she was assassinated at a political rally in Rawalpindi. BB lived in fear but was not afraid.”

Read more: Did Zardari’s ‘thug security’ cost Benazir Bhutto her life?

Benazir Bhutto was warned against returning to the country, upon refusal she was advised to curtail her brazen campaigning but given her style, she tried to galvanize her party ahead of the elections announced by the then president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf. While waving at her charged up supporters, she was shot point blank at the Liaqat Bagh in Rawalpindi.

The Srilankan lawyer who became friends with Ms. Bhutto during her exile, mindful of the opening of the position of Secretary General of the Commonwealth, suggested her to take it up.

The fiery leader of the TTP, Baitullah Mehsud had claimed responsibility for the attack. Recently, General Musharraf said that Bhutto’s widower, Asif Ali Zardari, being the greatest beneficiary, is responsible for the cold-blooded murder.

Due to visible lack of push on part of the bereaved family, the case has not made much headway. Analysts are intrigued as to why despite her party being in power and husband being president for five years, couldn’t ensure justice for one of the country’s most prominent leaders.


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