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Advani 'aghast' over attack on Bhutto convoy

The BJP leader expresses relief that Benazir Bhutto had not been hurt or killed in the Thursday midnight carnage.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON OCT 19, 2007 01:11 PM IST

Opposition leader LK Advani on Friday said he was 'aghast' over the terror attacks on the convoy of former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto that killed at least 165 people.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said he was relieved Bhutto, 54, had not been injured or killed in the Thursday midnight carnage on the streets of Karachi. "I am aghast at the news of the terrorist attack on Benazir Bhutto's convoy in Karachi within hours of her return from exile," he said in a statement in New Delhi. He said he was relieved that "Bhutto has survived this bid on her life".

At the same time, Advani raised doubts about the Pakistani government's seriousness in wanting to restore democracy.

He pointed out that when Nawaz Sharif, another former prime minister in exile, returned to Pakistan, he was forced to go back to Saudi Arabia while Bhutto's return has been greeted "by a terrorist attack on her arrival".

He said: "The normalization of India-Pakistan relations is best guaranteed by the establishment of genuine democracy in that country, combined with a resolute fight against religious extremism and terrorism.

"Last night's shocking incident in Karachi leaves no doubt whatsoever that the battle for democracy and the battle against terrorism are inter-related."

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