Benazir Bhutto has only herself to blame for Karachi bombings: Imran Khan

London, Oct 22 : Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has said that former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has “only herself to blame” for Thursday night’s bombings in Karachi that claimed 139 lives and injured several others.

“I'm sorry to say this, but the bombing of Benazir Bhutto's cavalcade as she paraded through Karachi on Thursday night was a tragedy almost waiting to happen. You could argue it was inevitable,” the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief said in an article published in the Daily Telegraph on Sunday.

He wrote that everyone knew there was going to be a huge crowd turning up to see Benazir’s return after eight years in self-imposed exile.

Pointing out that there has been a spate of suicide bombings in Pakistan lately, especially in the frontier region, Imran asked: “How was it ever going to be possible to monitor such a large crowd and guarantee that no suicide bombers would infiltrate it?”

“This may sound equally harsh, but she has only herself to blame. By making a deal with (Pervez) Musharraf's government – a deal brokered by the British as well as the Americans, by the way — she was hoping to get herself off the corruption charges that have been levelled against her,” he wrote.

Imran said the PPP chief did not pay attention to “Musharraf's unpopularity” while entering in an agreement with the military ruler, who is regarded in Pakistan as “an American stooge.”

“And, the US war on terror, which he supports, is now perceived as a war against Islam. That is why there is no shortage of recruits for the fundamentalist cause here. By siding with him, Benazir was making herself a target for assassination,” the article said.

“The sad thing is, she didn't need to do it. Musharraf was sinking and isolated. He was on the point of declaring a state of emergency. Just when it looked as if he had no lifelines left, Benazir came back and bailed him out,” he wrote.

Imran went on to say that publicly siding with a “dictator” was the worse part, as by doing so Benazir deliberately sabotaged the democratic process.

“Given the way that she has undermined democracy by siding with Musharraf, I don't know how Benazir has the nerve to say that the 130 people killed in those bomb blasts sacrificed their lives for the sake of democracy in Pakistan,” Imran wrote.

He also came down heavily on Musharraf, saying he has dismantled state institutions, such as an independent judiciary and an election commission, and has introduced a controlled assembly, a controlled Prime Minister and a controlled media.

“The polls show he can only win this next election if he massively rigs it. That is what he did in 2002, as confirmed by the EU monitoring team,” Imran added.