Pakistani Christians condemn Bhutto assassination

Pakistani Christians strongly condemned the killing of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who they called a voice for the poor and democracy.

Nazir S Bhatti, the president of Pakistan Christian Congress, recalled meeting Bhutto when she was not prime minister of Pakistan, but said she had expressed concern about Pakistani Christians and vowed to "pull them in mainstream politics".

Bhutto had a Catholic nun as a home teacher in Pakistan and as a result had great respect for the Christian faith and sought to protect religious minorities.

"Benazir was a great leader and symbol of moderate Islam and challenge for militants," said Bhatti, following Bhutto's assassination on Thursday.

"Pakistani Christians extend grief on death of Benazir Bhutto and demand immediate arrest of culprits and justice," he said.

Yet current political and social upheaval in Pakistan over her death makes it hard to estimate when and how her attacker will be prosecuted.

Since her death on Thursday, the Pakistani Government has offered three different explanations as to how she died.

They have attributed Bhutto's death to a skull fracture caused by hitting her head on the lever on the sunroof of her vehicle. Previous explanations stated that she died from shrapnel from the suicide bomb and that the ex-prime minister died from a bullet wound to the neck.

Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party has refuted official versions of the incident and accused the government of offering "a pack of lies", according to CNN.

Ken Robinson, CNN national security analyst, said he suspects Bhutto's enemies are trying to deny her a martyr's death, which in Islam is "pretty important". Her death might make her more influential than she was in life, he noted.

Her party has also accused the government of a lapse in security.

Bhatti also blamed the Pakistan government for Bhutto's death.

"[The] death of BB (Benazir Bhutto) is grave challenge to government on safety and security of people of Pakistan and total failure of establishment.

"It was responsibility of government to secure life of Benazir Bhutto but it seems that security measures were neglected and such sad incident happened," he said.

Pakistan Christian Congress has declared the day of her assassination on December 27 as "Black Day" in the history of Pakistan in observance of Bhutto's death. Bhutto was the first female prime minister of any Islamic nation.