The assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan may well send the nuclear armed nation into a Civil War. Though no one has been confirmed as the group responsible for the assassination of the the former Prime Minister, the chief suspect is al-Qaeda. Suspicion will surround Pervez Musharraf and Nawaz Sharif as well as the Taliban and other groups, but it is al-Qaeda who will most likely, ultimately, be proven to be the group that ended Bhutto's life. Bhutto had twice been removed as Prime Minster due to corruption charges, which had since been dropped upon her deal with Musharraf in order to return from Exile in October. She had returned to Pakistan in order to prepare for the January elections, challenging Musharraf and Sharif for control of the nation, but she did so under great threats against her well being. Bhutto knew her life was on the line, but did not care, she returned to her homeland in order make a push for Democracy and lead her nation. Extremism has long been on the rise in Pakistan, with Musharraf being forced to broker deals with Taliban controlled areas of Waziristan, while forcefully taking on militants during the Red Mosque situations. While Musharraf was a sometimes ally, sometimes foe of both the United States and the militants, it was clear that Bhutto's position was that of a more hard line stance against the Islamic Jihadis who despise all things Democratic and free human life. Bhutto died a patriot for her nation, and hopefully, will cause a rallying cry against jihadist bloodlust and for the cause of democracy. This tragedy could be the start of something positive for the troubled nation.
However, remember that Pakistan is nuclear armed, and al-Qaeda is salivating at the prospects of being able to acquire such weapons. The National Terror Alert Response Center ran an article on the 17th in regards to the possibility that bin Laden and al-Zawahiri may be in Pakistan and trying to obtain nuclear weapons. That was 10 days before the assassination of Bhutto. You should also keep in mind that al-Qaeda had assassinated Ahmed Shah Massoud the day before 9/11, something that makes me very uneasy about this situation. The Global Security website has a history of the Pakistani nuclear weapons program that is definitely worth the read. Among other issues that I have with Musharraf was his pardoning of Abdul Qadeer Kahn, the nuclear scientist who sold weapons secrets to any and all buyers and may have helped numerous dangerous regimes and terrorist networks learn the workings and provide a means to make, nuclear weapons.