Bhutto Escapes Death on Return to Pakistan In Pakistan this week, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto narrowly escaped death after her convoy was bombed during her homecoming celebration.
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Hear Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and Scott Simon discuss the situation in Pakistan on Weekend Edition Saturday

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Bhutto Escapes Death on Return to Pakistan

Hear Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and Scott Simon discuss the situation in Pakistan on Weekend Edition Saturday

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/15479938/15479917" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, Host:

Soraya, thanks very much for being with us.

SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON: You're welcome.

SIMON: And what have authorities discovered so far? Mrs. Bhutto is demanding, obviously, the government to investigate the bombings?

SARHADDI NELSON: She also has raised questions about why information that was given to the government before her arrival in Pakistan that identified four different groups were targeting her, and also provided phone numbers and contacts for some of these groups, why that was not pursued, and why those people perhaps were not apprehended to - which could have possibly prevented these bombings.

SIMON: Ms. Bhutto has currently come back to Pakistan to be a force. Is this attack, and for that matter the whole maelstrom at this particular point about plots against her and her supporters, going to interrupt her plans to try and reach out to the public?

SARHADDI NELSON: But she also acknowledges that her approach to this will have to change and that she will have to take additional security measures. For example, on the day of the bombings, they had build a bolted - bullet-proofed or armored vehicle for her, and she chose not to stand behind that or behind the protection but instead stand on top and be in the open.

SIMON: President Musharraf, of course, had warned her not to come back quite so soon, but, in a way, doesn't he rely on her safety, too, to hold on to power?

SARHADDI NELSON: Absolutely. He really needs this partnership with her and with her Pakistan People's Party in order to gain more legitimacy with the growing discontent among his own population and also with the West, which feels he's not doing enough to fight terrorism. And that's certainly something that her party and that she, in particular, feels very strongly about.

SIMON: NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson in Karachi, thank you.

SARHADDI NELSON: You're welcome.

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