Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, co-
Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement in response to Pakistan’s former Prime Minister and opposition leader Benazir Bhutto’s assassination earlier today outside a campaign rally in Rawalpindi:
“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the attack that killed Prime Minister Bhutto and over 20 others earlier today. The cowards who orchestrated these atrocities must be brought to justice and the violence must come to an end. Prime Minister Bhutto was a courageous example to those of us who believe in unfettered participatory democracy and reform. I extend my most sincere condolences to Prime Minister Bhutto’s family and to the people of Pakistan.
As a co-leader of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, whose job is to encourage compliance with the Helsinki Final Act, the landmark human rights and democracy-building declaration signed in 1976, I am deeply concerned by this attack and the outbreak of violence in its response. Prime Minister Bhutto fought for democracy and made the ultimate sacrifice for her country. The political unrest in Pakistan comes at a critical time for the region and we must not forget what Prime Minister Bhutto was fighting for and urge peace, stability, and democracy to prevail,” said Senator Cardin.