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In Pakistan, Bhutto's return stirring threats and allegations

The former prime minister has insinuated strongly that elements within the administration of President Pervez Musharraf were involved in last Thursday's attack.

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The detective leading an investigation into a suicide attack in Karachi that killed 136 people amid the throngs welcoming back former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto from exile resigned from the case on Wednesday after Ms. Bhutto complained about his qualifications to lead the case.

The attack last Thursday, and the political recriminations that have swirled since, have raised concerns about the country's upcoming elections, the Associated Press reports.

The government has promised a thorough investigation of the attack, which has raised doubts about Pakistan's stability as it heads toward crucial elections.

Bhutto has accused elements in the government and security services of complicity in the explosions and called for international experts to help in the investigation. Government officials insist Pakistani authorities can handle the investigation on their own.

[Sindh Province Home Secretary Ghulam] Mohtarem said the provincial government had no doubt about [the investigators] competency and professionalism, but said he had decided to withdraw to protect the investigation from accusations of bias.

Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reported that Bhutto has received death threats from Al Qaeda-aligned militants since her return and that the government has restricted her ability to leave the country, raising anger within her Pakistan People's Party.


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