Monday, January 07, 2008


Benazir Bhutto, twice prime minister of Pakistan, has been assassinated while campaigning for elections that were scheduled for 8 January. After returning to Pakistan in October 2007 Bhutto was hoping that her party, the PPP, would emerge as the dominant force in the elections, the first to be held since President Musharraf resigned as head of the army and became a civilian leader. Late last year, Ms Bhutto and Mr Musharraf had been working on a power-sharing agreement. The talks failed, leaving Ms Bhutto as the biggest political threat to President Musharraf, rather than an ally. Her death could leave a political vacuum.

There is now a great deal of uncertainty about political stability in Pakistan. Understandably, Christadelphians in Pakistan are very concerned about the future. One brother in Karachi contacted me to say: "When the news broken there were protests everywhere in the country, banks, vehicles and the official properties including police stations being set on fire ... traffic and cell services became jammed ... 7 people from the apartment where I'm living could not reach their homes for 4 hours after the incidents".

On Friday last, five Christians were kidnapped in South Waziristan by unidentified men. The victims were en route from Wana to Dera Ismail Khan when they were abducted from the Wana-Tank Road. The political administration has confirmed the kidnapping, and said all resources were being utilised to secure the release of the abducted people.

In the latest news it has been reported that thousands of Pakistanis have fled into Afghanistan with the security situation deteriorating in Pakistan's tribal regions over the past week. Hundreds of families, comprising some 6,000 mainly women and children, have been crossing the border. It is the first time so many people have crossed this way as for years it was Afghans fleeing fighting.

The New York Times has also reported that US Security advisers are discussing whether to conduct far more aggressive covert operations in the tribal areas of Pakistan in response to intelligence reports that al-Qaeda and the Taliban are intensifying efforts to destabilise the Pakistani Government.

For now Christadelphians in Pakistan have reported that they are safe from the turmoil following Bhutto's assassination, but they would value your prayers.

For regular updates about Pakistan Christadelphians visit their blog or email

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