December 27, 2007

The World Reacts

World leaders have reacted to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto with ringing defiance against terrorism in most cases. Russia, France, and the UK gave the most pointed responses, with Russia explicitly calling it a terrorist attack. India has so far given a strangely muted response, declaring only that instability in Pakistan is a "deep concern" to their nation. Iran called it a "criminal act", apparently avoiding the T-word that has multiple associations with their own regime.

We'll start with President Bush, who just delivered his statement from Crawford, Texas:

The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan’s democracy. Those who committed this crime must be brought to justice. Mrs. Bhutto served her nation twice as Prime Minister and she knew that her return to Pakistan earlier this year put her life at risk. Yet she refused to allow assassins to dictate the course of her country.

Gordon Brown of the UK: "Benazir Bhutto may have been killed by terrorists but the terrorists must not be allowed to kill democracy in Pakistan and this atrocity strengthens our resolve that terrorists will not win there, here or anywhere in the world".

Other reactions:

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner: "[T]his horrible act ... reaffirms France's commitment to the stability of Pakistan and its democracy."

India: "[W]e must express our deep concern at anything that disrupts and disturbs the even keel of democratic governance in Pakistan."

Iran: "We hope the Pakistani government will identify and bring to justice those behind such a criminal act and restore tranquility to the country."

Russia: "We strongly condemn this terrorist act, present our condolences to the family and friends of Benazir Bhutto and hope that Pakistani authorities will provide for national stability."


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