Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated this morning by a suicide gunner/bomber in Rawalpindi today where she was compaigning.
Bhutto was first elected Prime Minister at age 35 in 1988 and was the first woman head of government in a Muslim country. Her tenure in Pakistani politics has been dogged by accusations of corruption and Bhutto recently returned from eight years of self-imposed exile in a deal with President Pervez Musharraf.
Bhutto's death could be very destabilizing for Pakistan and may lead to a re-imposition of martial law which was only lifted two weeks ago.
Perversely her death could be the casus belli for Musharraf to go after the fundamentalist/al-Qaeda segment aggressively if he has the fortitude and the support with which to do it. It would be fraught and the support from the Pakistani Secret Service would be very shaky.