Secretary-General voices outrage at assassination of ex-leader of Pakistan

Ban Ki-moon

27 December 2007 – Expressing his shock and outrage at the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today strongly condemned the “heinous crime” and called for those behind the attack to be brought to justice.

The assassination of Ms. Bhutto, leader of the Pakistan People’s Party, “represents an assault on stability in Pakistan and its democratic process,” Mr. Ban said in a statement.

“While strongly urging calm and restraint to be maintained at this difficult time, I call on all Pakistanis to work together for peace and national unity,” he added.

The Security Council made a similar appeal in a statement read out by Ambassador Marcello Spatafora of Italy, its president for December. Speaking to reporters after the Council meeting, Mr. Ban welcomed the 15-member body’s condemnation of the attack as “a very appropriate measure by the Security Council.”

Echoing Mr. Ban’s comments, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed her shock at Ms. Bhutto’s death and condemned the attack, which took place at an election rally in the northern city of Rawalpindi.

Louise Arbour also expressed concern about the impact of today’s event on the upcoming elections and urged the Government to ensure that all necessary protective mechanisms are in place to safeguard a free, fair and transparent electoral process.

Adding his voice to those condemning the “cowardly act,” General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim said the attack set out “to undermine the stability and democratic processes in Pakistan.”

He urged the Government and people of Pakistan to work together to ensure peace and stability in the country, and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice swiftly.

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