U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) issued the following statement regarding the suicide bombing that killed Benazir Bhutto and dozens of others at a rally in Pakistan. Smith chairs the terrorism subcommittee on the House Armed Services Committee and is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee:
“The horrendous mass murder of dozens of Pakistanis today – including former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto – is a tragedy for all of us who value democracy. Madam Bhutto fought for democratic reforms in the face of numerous attempts on her life, and her courage in the face of repression inspired reformers all over the world. I offer my deepest condolences to the people of Pakistan, and especially to those who lost loved ones in today’s tragedy.
“This kind of cowardly, criminal violence is absolutely unacceptable, and those responsible must be found and brought to justice. Bhutto and her fellow reformers fought to make exactly this kind of outrageous action obsolete within the context of Pakistan’s political life, and the United States and our allies must renew our commitment to this vital area of the world so that terrorists and political extremism do not carry the day.
“I urge the government of Pakistan to respond to this tragedy with a renewed commitment to the rule of law, starting with free, fair elections for which Madam Bhutto and her reformers gave so much.”