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'Bhutto killing impact cannot be underestimated'

A top US lawmaker argues that the fashion in which her assassination was carried out bore the hallmarks of the Taliban.

world Updated: Dec 28, 2007 10:28 IST

Asserting that the "tragic impact" of former Pakistan Premier Benazir Bhutto's killing cannot be underestimated for both the region and war on terror, a top US lawmaker has argued that the fashion in which her assassination was carried out bore the hallmarks of the Taliban.

"... You cannot underestimate the tragic impact that this is going to have both on the region and on the war on terrorism," New York's Democratic Congressman Gary Ackerman said.

Ackerman, the Chair of a House Sub Committee dealing with South Asia said, "this attack was absolutely, although we cannot come to any conclusions, very Taliban-esque in its execution."

"I think it causes us to completely rethink, especially based on the Iraq formulation, as to whether or not it's wise, at this moment in time, as these countries are evolving or not, as to whether or not to push the democratic and democracy buttons that we've been doing over the years, or to allow for a more authoritarian type leadership in some of these evolving countries," the Democratic lawmaker said in an interview.

"... The more of these people that blow themselves up in these 'jihadi-type' fanatic attacks, the more recruitment power they seem to have. This is something that is completely intolerable from a Western point of view," Ackerman said.

"And Bhutto, you know, when you think about it, was ... unique in the fact that she became the first female, the first woman leader of government in any Muslim country, and that she was trying to make a comeback really sets back the movement of democracy on many, many fronts," he added.