Amnesty International has strongly condemned the assassination of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and 15 Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) workers.
Ms Bhutto – the party’s chairperson– died after being shot in the neck and chest shortly after addressing an election rally. Her attacker then blew himself up, according to reports.
“It is shocking to see someone’s life cut short in such a brutal way. Attacks such as these can never be justified. They violate international law and the rules of democratic behaviour,” said Catherine Baber, director of Amnesty International’s Asia programme.
“We know that the government of President Musharraf will find itself under enormous pressure to go after the culprits and keep the country calm and stable, but Amnesty International calls on President Musharraf – and on the security forces – to exercise restraint and uphold the rule of law.
“The killing of Benazir Bhutto must not be allowed to become a setback to civilian governance or indeed lead to a further crackdown on civil liberties.”