Bhutto killing sparks unrest
Monday 23 September 1996
Murtaza, 42, estranged brother of the Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, died in a hail of police bullets outside his Karachi home. Police said his bodyguards, seven of whom also died, fired first. Murtaza supporters blocked the road yesterday and chanted slogans accusing Ms Bhutto's husband, Asif Ali Zardari, of conspiring to kill their leader.
Murtaza's widow, Ghinwa, urged supporters to stay calm until a government inquiry had completed its work.
Members of the Bhutto dynasty came together to pay respects to Murtaza. His death has shaken Ms Bhutto, who inherited the leadership of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) from their father, the former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, after his hanging in 1979.
His mother, Nusrat, Ms Bhutto and another daughter, Sanam, laid roses on Murtaza's grave yesterday. Nusrat issued a statement saying Murtaza's death was part of a conspiracy against the Bhutto family. She denied reports that she had implicated Benazir and her husband. Nusrat also lost another son, Shahnawaz, who died, possibly poisoned, in France in 1985. Opposition politicians have also accused Ms Bhutto and her husband of being responsible for Murtaza's death. Ms Bhutto's government prided itself on what it saw as restoration of a semblance of peace to Karachi, where a battle with ethnic militants of the Mohajir National Movement (MQM) cost 2,000 lives last year. Now the leeway Ms Bhutto gave the security forces against the MQM appears to have rebounded. "The Karachi police ... has become a Frankenstein," said the Nation.
Last year Murtaza formed a PPP splinter faction, the PPP-Shaheed [martyr] Bhutto. He spent 16 years in exile heading Al-Zulfikar, accused of hijacking a Pakistani airliner in 1981. He returned in 1993 to face charges arising from his struggle against President Zia ul-Haq, who executed his father. He was later freed on bail.
The PPP-Shaheed Bhutto group posed no threat to his sister's party but officials said it was suspected of being behind bomb attacks last week that killed one person. He retorted that security forces had planted the bombs to discredit him.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...