Bhutto's murder leaves Pakistani community reeling

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The assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has left the Pakistani community in Westchester and Hudson Valley filled with grief Thursday.

Presidential hopeful Bhutto was killed during a rally on Wednesday. A man shot her in the neck and chest and then blew himself up with a bomb. Her assassination sparked widespread rioting in the country.

Yonkers resident and editor of a Pakistani newspaper in New York, Muhammed Khan, reminisced about the woman he has known and covered for so many years. Kahn founded the Student's Federation of the People's Party back in 1972. He says his people would have welcomed Bhutto back, but now he and others don't know what will happen to the scheduled January election.

Bhutto served for two terms as prime minister, but left and went into exile before a court convicted her of corruption and banned her from politics in 1999. Although that verdict was eventually set aside, she stayed away anyway and spent much of her time in London and Dubai. Two months ago she returned to run as the candidate for parliament in the Pakistan People's Party and hoped to be chosen again as prime minister. She would have worked with current President Pervez Musharraf in what many have called a major democratic move forward in the country.

Dr. Rafiq Jan, of Yonkers, just returned last week from the region. Jan has known President Musharraf for years and says the country and the world needs his leadership right now to combat terrorists.

?We were doing very well in Pakistan, but unluckily we are facing such an enemy which cannot be identified, cannot be seen and it is very dangerous,? says Jan.

President Musharraf has announced three days of mourning for Bhutto.

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