Pakistan’s electoral commission announced Tuesday that the elections scheduled for January 8 will be postponed until February. The Pakistan People’s Party objected strenuously to the delay, and threatened to take to the streets with popular protests.
Meanwhile, the caretaker government is furiously backtracking on its earlier claims that Benazir Bhutto died of a concussion. The retraction comes after videotape surfaced that shows her being shot. The Pakistani public has been enraged by the appearance of a cover-up in official pronouncements on the cause of her death.
Barnett Rubin’s most recent posting on Pakistan’s crisis and Bush administration policy is a college education all on its own. Read, and grow learned. It is also a sensitive and searching deconstruction of the Bush administration’s ‘war on terrorism’ rhetoric and its practical meaning for Pakistani and Afghan politics. And it is written by one of the world’s great experts on the Taliban and al-Qaeda, who actually knows Afghanistan and Pakistan intimately.
The USG Open Source Center sent out the following note, which points out that in scouring jihadi web sites, the analysts have found none where al-Qaeda has taken credit for assassinating Benazir Bhutto. You think of the announcement by al-Qaeda posted the morning of 7/7/05 when the London Underground was bombed. Yet they are not claiming this one. Curioser and curioser:
“FYI – – No Al-Qa’ida Claims for Bhutto Assassination Found on Jihadist Websites
Jihadist Websites — OSC Summary
Monday, December 31,
FYI: No Al-Qa’ida Claims for Bhutto Assassination Found on Jihadist Websites
As of 1830 GMT on 31 December, OSC has not observed any official statements from Al-Qa’ida claiming responsibility for the assassination of Benazir Bhutto on any of the websites that normally disseminate authenticated statements from the group. OSC will continue to monitor these websites for any such claims. “