On her return from an eight year self imposed exile, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was welcomed to Karachi with a procession of thousands of her supporters, and two successful suicide bombers. The attack resulted in 136 dead, hundreds more injured and a public that was left in utter shock, obviously due to the nature and scale of the attack.
The initial responses from all Pakistani politicians was the same until the following morning, when the blame for the attack ricocheted in every direction hitting everyone from Musharaf, to the intelligence agencies, to the MQM leader Altaf Hussain, and then finally hitting Al Qaeda and the Taliban (according to Benazir).
Needless to say, the public have their own opinion about who is ultimately responsible.
The Pakistani blogosphere naturally reacted instantly to this horrific terrorist attack. All Things Pakistan presented an appropriate reaction to the event; The Pakistani Spectator concludes that the attack will generate further support for the PPP; and Ali Eteraz describes the scene of the crime and the resulting reaction to the attack.
Tears of the moon, writes an angered response on the political scene in Pakistan,
First of, we all know we are blessed with the most conscientious of leaders… Leaders? Let me rephrase that… We have been blessed with politicians deigned to rule us with all their gracious, sloth like selves encased in gilded cages and bullet proof enclosures. They are for the ‘awam’ while they stand behind hordes of people from the awam to keep them safe from the awam. Oxymoron, is it? But just the term, moron should suffice here!
An interesting point brought up by Dr. Shahid Masood (a political commentator on the ARY channel) was that he was personally informed by Benazir Bhutto that she had sent a letter to Pervez Musharaf, prior to her traveling to Pakistan, listing out the names of three (political) personalities who should be investigated as possible suspects, in case she was killed in an attack upon her arrival to Pakistan. She naturally kept the names confidential. (Just thought I'd throw this in there to stir the pot a bit)
Zindagi holds the mayor Karachi responsible for the lapse of security, while the Glasshouse who held an optimistic view of Benazir's arrival back to Pakistan wrote an addendum to his post (following the attack) highlighting some interesting initial responses to the event.
Senior PPP party members were quick to blame the regime's secret agencies for carrying out these blasts. A successful return for Benazir Bhutto does threaten the Musharraf regime, so these accusations do have a logical basis, particularly when these agencies are known for carrying out such incidents.
Desicritcs presented some intriguing facts about who could be responsible for the attack, as does the Counterterrorism blog. And finally, Beyond the Punchline lays partial blame of the high body count on Benazir herself.
Just to let you all know, I am also returning to Karachi after an 8 month self-exile (work related), sometime in the first week of November. Don't worry, I don't have a welcome procession planned for my arrival.