The assassination of a second high-profile critic of Pakistan's blasphemy law Wednesday snuffed out any hope that the government will amend the decree that prescribes the death penalty for those insulting Islam.
First, the country of 180 million was rocked by the flood of thousands of Wikileaks that gave credence to claims that Pakistan not only is funding and arming the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan, but also is playing an operational role by directing specific attacks against the U.S. and NATO forces. Then, in quick succession, Pakistan was hit by the worst floods in the country's 63-year history, drowning thousands and stranding almost 3 million of its 180 million people without shelter or food.
At least 54 people were killed Tuesday and Wednesday in Karachi — Pakistan's commercial capital and largest city — when gunfire and arson erupted in revenge attacks after prominent lawmaker Raza Haider was assassinated.
From combined dispatches
ISLAMABAD (London Sunday Telegraph) — Pervez Musharraf is considering stepping down as president of Pakistan rather than waiting to be forced out by his victorious opponents, his aides say.
LONDON SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — Benazir Bhutto was many things — zealous guardian of her dead father's legacy, aristocratic populist, accused rogue, even one of People magazine's 50 most-beautiful people. And in the end, she was a victim of roiling passions in the nation she sought to lead for a third time.