The Death of Benazir Bhutto: Assassination or Accident?


Published: January 31, 2008

Benazir Bhutto’s death left not only the country of Pakistan in shock, but also the entire world. An intelligent woman trying to better her country was brutally shot down because certain people felt intimidated by the change she could possibly bring to Pakistan. Bhutto never had it easy—she was sent into exile, had charges of corruption brought against her and she was called every name in the book. However, during her time, she didn’t let all this negativity and hostility stop her from doing what she believed to be right—making Pakistan a more democratic society.

When news of her assassination first reached here, there were many stories circulating as to what had happened; the main story was that she was shot by a sniper in the head and neck. However, a short while after this devastating news was released, some government officials claimed that Bhutto had hit her head on the latch of her vehicle’s sunroof due to a bomb blast, causing severe injuries and ultimately her death. These ridiculous claims left many people astonished. The press released a statement claming her death was accidental. I wanted to see just how legitimate these new assertions could be, but looking up the statements released and viewing all the information provided still left me with much doubt. There were pictures of X-rays trying to show that it was the latch in which she banged her head and died. I guess bullet holes are easy to confuse with smashing your head against something. Bullet marks, scratches, spots and birthmarks all fall in the same category, right?

Did they honestly think having her death seem like it was an accident or making it appear as though her clumsiness was the cause of her death would ease the blow of such terrible news? I don’t think that these stories comforted to anyone. Could it be that this story was created because part of the government was involved in her death? Bhutto was not exactly a fan favorite amongst Pakistan’s current government. One reason was that she was a woman who was not afraid to speak her mind and take action for a cause. Many believed she was incompetent and that she didn’t know what she was doing at all. Bhutto was assassinated; the facts presented from the beginning make this clear. The unbelievable claims made were just a pathetic attempt to try and make the situation better and divert people’s attention.  In reality, it is just making the Pakistani government look unstable. What really happened here was that a woman, who was trying to make a difference in her homeland knowing she had many corrupt individuals against her, was martyred for what she believed in. She was a threat to these individuals and the only way to stop her was to kill her. There is no doubt Benazir Bhutto was killed in cold blood. The video footage shows someone with a gun shooting from a distance right before her head went down. All that blood couldn’t just come from hitting her head against a roof. The first news received by the world was that Bhutto was assassinated. The government cannot just make that claim and all of a sudden decide to say “Oops!” It’s really sad that people are still trying to take honor away from her, even after she’s gone. All the sick and twisted individuals behind this tragic act, including those who wanted to make her death appear accidental, should be ashamed of themselves.

Bhutto’s death left Pakistan in a mourning period. Shops, schools, businesses and even weddings were shut down for a few days to grieve the tragedy that took place. Bhutto was the first step in Pakistan’s achievement toward a democratic society. Her demise being as horrible and sad as it was, however, did bring people, including her critics, to acknowledge the strength and determination she had for her people. She was a woman who died trying. With the Pakistani government passing the blame around and not taking any responsibility, I can only pray and hope that the country can overcome this horrid act and take Bhutto’s assassination as a lesson learned about what is really important—the stability and people of its country.