What's Next for Pakistan? After the assassination of opposition leader and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, the nation's political future looks murky.
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What's Next for Pakistan?

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What's Next for Pakistan?

What's Next for Pakistan?

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BILL WOLFF (Announcer): From NPR News in New York, this is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT.

(Soundbite of music)

ALISON STEWART, host:

This is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News.

It's news and information to start your day, as you're listening to us online or on Sirius Satellite Radio, or maybe the middle of the day, if you downloaded us, or at the end of the day, if you're listening on your iPod.

I'm Alison Stewart.

JOHN FUGELSANG, host:

I'm John Fugelsang, making some mad podcasts off THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News.

STEWART: Today is Friday, December 28th. What's coming up on the show, John?

FUGELSANG: What's coming up on the show? I'm so glad you asked.

Coming up, we're going to be having - every Friday, THE BPP usually takes a look at the week in Iraq. But today, we're going to take a look at the year in Iraq, with Josh Partlow of the Washington Post.

STEWART: One of our new favorite things to do in the show as well is we invited cartoonist Matthew Diffee. He always brings to us the rejected New Yorker cartoon for the week, with some of the rejected cartoonists as well. What the New Yorker rejects, we welcome with open arms - not because our standards are lower, I just think our sense of humor might be a little thicker.

FUGELSANG: Not since FRD's fireside chats will you enjoy cartoons on the radio as much as here. And our look at people who have had a very good year continues with the look at Lil' Wayne.

We'll go to Rachel Martin in a moment for today's headlines.

But first, here is THE BPP's Big Story.

(Soundbite of music)

FUGELSANG: Hundreds of thousands of mourners line the funeral procession in routes today in the ancestral home of slain Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, now interred in her family's mausoleum, even as a violent reaction to her death continues throughout the country. At least 10 people reportedly died overnight during the unrest.

STEWART: Bhutto's death has complicated an already difficult political landscape in Pakistan. The country's January 8th parliamentary elections was turned into turmoil as opposition leaders yesterday called on President Pervez Musharraf to resign. Now, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is also running for office, has indicated his party will boycott the election if it takes place as scheduled.

FUGELSANG: Leaders from around the world, including French President Nicolas Sarkozy and U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown urged the country to proceed with the elections as planned, and the government says there are no plans to postpone them at this time.

STEWART: President Bush called for Pakistan, a vital ally to the West in the war on terror, to fight extremists looking to undermine democracy.

President GEORGE W. BUSH: We urge them to honor Benazir Bhutto's memory by continuing with the democratic process for which she so bravely gave her life.

STEWART: Now, an election in Pakistan, right now, could cause chaos. There's no obvious strong successor to Bhutto within her party, and there'll be little time to find a replacement. If Musharraf wins, it could appear as a victory by default, which might further weaken his standing. Already, supporters of Bhutto, who was expected to beat Musharraf in that election, blame her murder on his government, which they say did not do enough to protect her.

FUGELSANG: Bhutto was buried today next to her father who was hanged nearly 30 years ago in the same town. She is survived by her husband and three teenage children. We should also mention, 28 people died at the rally where Bhutto was killed and over 100 were injured.

STEWART: That is THE BPP's Big Story.

Now, here's Rachel Martin with even more news.

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