Yesterday, on Thursday, December 27, 2007, terrorists in Pakistan assassinated Benazir Bhutto, a leading politician not only of Pakistan but also in the Islamic world as a whole. As the first female prime minister in the Islamic world and a distinguished fighter for democratization of Pakistan, Ms Bhutto, also as a fellow of Institute IFIMES, devoted her whole life fighting for a democratic Pakistan.
The International Institute IFIMES shares particular sadness, exacerbation and concern because of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, since on February 8, 2005, we witnessed the assassination of the Iraqi politician and member of the International Institute IFIMES Mithal Al-Alusi, in which both of his sons, the 30 years old Ayman and the 22 years old Jamal died. Mithal Al-Alusi was the Chairman of the Democratic Party of the Iraqi Nation (DPIN) and the first Iraqi politician who visited Israel since its establishment. Only a few months before his assassination, Al-Alusi participated, as a member of the IFIMES delegation, at the international conference on counter terrorism which took place in Herzliya, in Israel.
The biggest share of the responsibility for the assassination of Benazir Bhutto is held Pervez Musharraf, the current President of Pakistan. He provided neither security to the opposition leader nor dealt with the inefficiency of the Pakistani police. Besides Musharraf, the religious leaders of Pakistan should also assume responsibility. They are closely connected with the religious hierarchy of Saudi Arabia as well as with their intelligence service, which is very active in Pakistan and has been so since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
The International Institute IFIMES has frequently called attention to the situation concerning the security services of various countries and has emphasized the importance of security for the development of democratic societies.
As a co-founder of ICTAC (International Counter-Terrorism Academic Community, Herzliya, Israel), IFIMES follows with due care the activities of national security systems in various countries, lately in particular in the police services of Germany, Portugal, Slovenia, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro and Saudi Arabia, and pays attention to their work.
The International Institute IFIMES calls upon the EU to deal much more thoroughly with police sector reform, not only in its new member states, where the police used to be part of the repressive communist security apparatus and hence is often connected with organized crime and corruption, as well as with politically motivated assassinations, but also in those countries where the EU has its political, economic and security interests, like Pakistan. The EU should make a decisive move in its politics and, instead of offering support and cooperation to hated regimes in certain Muslim countries, should establish cooperation with the democratic forces in these countries. Its public diplomacy should be targeted towards Muslim nations in these countries.
Ljubljana, 28. december 2007