Chaudhry Zulfiqar, prosecutor in Benazir Bhutto murder case, shot dead in Pakistan


Benazir Bhutto served twice as the prime minister of Pakistan, from 1988 to 1990, and again from 1993 to 1996. She was the first elected woman to lead a Muslim state. In addition to facing corruption charges, she spent eight years in exile when the country was at the hands of the military dictatorship. Upon returning to Pakistan, she was assassinated during a campaign rally for her party on Dec. 27, 2007.


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KARACHI, Pakistan — Chaudry Zulfiqar, the prosecutor in Benazir Bhutto's 2007 assassination case, was shot dead Friday on his way to court in Rawalpindi. 

Zulfiqar — who was also the lead prosecutor for the 2008 Mumbai bombings — was shot by gunmen on motorcycles multiple times while driving through his middle-class neighborhood, G-9 in Islamabad. 

A police official said at a press conference that a medical examiner retrieved 13 bullets from Chaudry Ali's body. Seventeen rounds were fired in total. 

Zulfiqar's bodyguard was also wounded, and a female bystander was killed when Zulfiqar lost control of the car, crashing into her. 

"Zulfiqar was rushed to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries," said police officer Mohammad Yousuf. 

No one has taken responsibility for the attack.  

Ali's assassination is yet another in a line of attacks on Pakistani lawmakers and activists who are fighting against extremism, GlobalPost's Mariya Karimjee reports from Pakistan.

In 2011, Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab, was killed in a similarly brutal fashion by his own bodyguard for criticizing the blasphemy laws.

Benazir Bhutto, who had been outspoken against Islamic militants, was also assassinated.

The shooting comes just days after former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was put under a 14-day house arrest for his potential role in Bhutto's murder. Prosecutors allege he failed to provide her with adequate security. 

Musharraf's party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, issued a statement condemning the attorney's murder.

 "We vehemently condemn Chaudhry Zulfiqar's murder by armed attackers and seek immediate investigation into the incident which may affect Pervez Musharraf's trial in Benazir case," said party spokesman Muhammad Amjad, according to the BBC. 

"Assassinations like these do a lot to limit the space in which politicians, activists and other government officials can actually operate safely, hampering the legal and political process," GlobalPost correspondent Karimjee says.

"This will probably serve as a reminder that by challenging militancy, your life is at risk, especially as Pakistan heads into the elections." 

More from GlobalPost: Musharraf placed under house arrest for connection to Bhutto murder