ROBERT SIEGEL, host:
Mark Siegel is a Washington lobbyist and political consultant. He was working with Benazir Bhutto on a forthcoming book called "Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and the West." In addition to being a consultant to Bhutto, Mark Siegel was a friend of hers for more than 25 years. Earlier today, he shared an e-mail that he received from Bhutto days after the previous attempt on her life. The e-mail was titled, "With Utter Urgency."
Mr. MARK SIEGEL (Washington Lobbyist; Political Consultant to Benazir Bhutto): On October 26, she sent me an e-mail instructing me to release it if she was killed, making it clear that she held the intelligence agencies of Pakistan responsible. And then she also said that she is being intimidated by Musharraf's people, that she's not getting any protection, and that she holds them personally responsible for what happened to her. And this was only to be released if she was killed, and it's being released today.
SIEGEL: That's an e-mail that she sent to you…
Mr. SIEGEL: Yes.
SIEGEL: …in October, which you have forwarded to me. I've seen it. And she is saying, in addition to the other people I've named, I hold him responsible for whatever happens to me.
Mr. SIEGEL: Correct.
SIEGEL: And the most recent e-mail that you received form her was when?
Mr. SIEGEL: Two o'clock this morning. I received an e-mail about the book. She was very happy to hear that that editors thought it was excellent. And she had some minor additional edits. And that was the last message I ever received.
SIEGEL: What did she say about her concerns about her own safety in Pakistan in recent communications?
Mr. SIEGEL: She was very - first of all, she was very fearless and she was brave. She was probably the bravest person I ever knew. She knew the dangers of her life. She knew the dangers of coming back to Pakistan. She had asked the Musharraf government and her husband had asked the Musharraf government for certain security protections. And they never got them. The October 18th, the 19th assassination attempt against her was never investigated thoroughly.
She had asked for the FBI and the Scotland Yard to be brought in for forensic evidence. That was never done by the Musharraf government. She had asked the Musharraf government over the last several weeks for tinted glass for her cars, for jammers that would jam IED devices, bulletproof glass. She had asked for -to have four police cars in front and to the sides of her at all times. None of those things were actually done. So she was very, very concerned about the security situation.
SIEGEL: And yet, this concern and she, having been aware of her own father's having been executed by the regime in Pakistan, she was not naive about the possibility of her own death. But it didn't lead her to say, perhaps it's back to Dubai now, perhaps go back to London for a spell and avoid courting assassination this way?
Mr. SIEGEL: I had this conversation with her so many times over the years, pointing out to her that she was young, she was brilliant, she was well-educated, she was beautiful, she had a wonderful family. Why risk it all? Why not just have a good life somewhere? And she made it clear to me that this was her life. Her political commitment to democracy in Pakistan was the most important segment, part of her life. That everything came second. That the family understood it and accepted it. And she always told me not to worry. She told me that God had a plan for her and God would protect her. And if there was a plan that she couldn't fulfill - which she felt was her destiny to restore democracy to Pakistan - that, too, is God's will. And she said she was in God's hands. And now she is.
SIEGEL: Mark Siegel, thank you very much for talking with us.
Mr. SIEGEL: Thank you, Robert.
SIEGEL: Mark Siegel is a Washington lobbyist and political consultant. A longtime friend of Benazir Bhutto. And in the interest of full disclosure, he is a second cousin.
MELISSA BLOCK, host:
Earlier today, Pakistan's ambassador to the United States, Mahmud Ali Durrani, responded to criticism that his government did not do enough to protect Benazir Bhutto.
Ambassador MAHMUD ALI DURRANI (Pakistani Envoy to the U.S.) The government has done its best. This is a big day. And there are masses of people moving around. So in those circumstances, I think the world's best security can have limitations.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.