Pervez Musharraf, the former president of Pakistan, was indicted today for his alleged involvement in the 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto, USA Today reports.
Bhutto was killed in a gun and suicide bomb attack in Islamabad in December 2007.
Twice elected prime minister and widely seen as a reformist, Bhutto had returned to Pakistan from exile just months prior, vowing to retake office from Musharraf, who had seized power in a coup in 1999. Bhutto had left the nation shortly before that time, fleeing corruption charges.
But on the very day of her return in October 2007, her rally was attacked and 134 of her supporters were killed. She escaped harm and would shout at later political events “Bhutto is alive!” She had spent months negotiating a power-sharing arrangement with Musharraf, only to see him renege and declare emergency rule.
Today Musharraf was charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and facilitation for murder.
But there’s more to the story than one leader jockeying for power with another. The Taliban in Pakistan is widely believed to be directly responsible for the attack, and five suspected militants have already been charged. Musharraf’s alleged complicity in the attack connects him to the Taliban in Pakistan, an organisation that repeatedly targeted him for assassination.
After Bhutto’s death, Musharraf gave an interview with CBS News’ Lara Logan where he said there was little he could have done to prevent her death.
“There’s no real protection against a suicide bomber really,” he said.
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