Anger, mistrust at Bhutto’s death among Pakistan’s bloggers
'NOT everyone is so naive and dumb,' writes Adnam, a Pakistani blogger who decorates his page with a portrait of the country's slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
He is one of many sceptics in the blogosphere – and also in Mrs Bhutto's party – who do not accept the government's version that she hit her head on the sunroof of her car during an Al-Qaeda suicide bomb and gun attack.
'As I was expecting, (the) Pakistani government didn't disappoint me and just after 24+ hours they announced that assassination of Benazir was performed by whom? Yeah by very famous Al-Qaeda or Talibans,' he says on his Kadnan.com blog.
Suspicion and mistrust of the government here has fuelled activity in Pakistan's politically active blogging community about who killed her and how she died in the attack at a political rally on Thursday.
The insistence of the Pakistan People's Party that their late leader was shot in the head – completely at odds with the government's position – has stoked the conspiracy theories.
'When Musharraf made a public condolence on 27th December night on Benazir's death and blamed terrorists to do this task, I had (to) figure out that the so-called government's investigation team is going to hide (the) real criminals of this case,' Adnam writes.
Another blogger, Fendi Khan, says: 'Please don't let it sink in ur hearts that this political leader was killed by the extremist elements.'
He goes on to accuse Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and another leading politician of being behind the killing of 'our mother', adding: 'May God give us all the strength to avenge her sacrifice.'
Some, however, agree with the government's assertion that Osama bin Laden's Islamist network was behind the killing of the populist political leader.
The government has played recordings of what it says is a transcript of a militant commander based in the tribal regions bordering Afghanistan speaking with another extremist by telephone and congratulating him on the attack.
Pakistani blogger Tansheet Mustafa says: 'I see the hand of extremists in it and Al-Qaeda has accepted responsibility as well. The coward terrorists has (sic) now challenged the whole nation of Pakistan, now we all shall rally together and should root out these extremist elements from our society.'
With the fate of elections due on Jan 8 hanging in the balance ahead of a decision by Mrs Bhutto's party on whether to take part, there is also anger and a degree of despondency about Pakistan's future.
'Yesterday's tragic event and the pursuing carnage and bloodshed simply extrapolates the fact that both our leaders and ourselves as a nation have a long way to go before we can even start appreciating the meanings of human values, human rights, respect for other's property and life, democracy, and justice,' blogs Naved Haqqi at Pakistaniat.com.
'It is also very painful to see that the People's Party workers and their sympathizers are doing exactly what the murderers of their leader wanted,' he adds.
Adil Najam, founding editor of the Pakistaniat blog, also forecasts a bleak future, alluding to the legacy of Mrs Bhutto's father who was ousted as premier in a coup in 1977 and hanged two years later.
'Now she is buried. But I suspect that the Benazir saga is far from over,' he writes.
'Indeed, just as all of Pakistan's politics after Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's hanging was contextualized by his hanging, all of Pakistan's politics after Benazir's assassination is likely to be contextualized by Benazir's assassination.' — AFP