Benazir’s death leaves void: Lee Kuan Yew

December 30, 2007

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SINGAPORE, Dec 29: The assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto has left a constitutional void in her nation, Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew said in a letter of condolence.

Bhutto, 54, a two-time former prime minister of Pakistan, was buried on Friday after her death a day earlier from a suicide attack at an election rally.

“Ms Bhutto’s death has come at a critical moment in Pakistan’s difficult history,” Lee wrote to Ms Bhutto’s husband, Asif Ali Zardari.

“It leaves a void in the constitutional structure of Pakistan, with millions of her followers in the Pakistan People’s Party leaderless,” Lee said.

“She was deeply committed to the future of Pakistan,” wrote Lee, who holds the position of Minister Mentor in the cabinet of his son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

The elder Lee said Ms Bhutto “chose to stay the course” despite threats on her life.

The prime minister wrote in a letter to President Pervez Musharraf that her assassination serves as a reminder “of the menace that terrorism poses to Pakistan and to all civilised societies.” The Lees’ correspondence was released late Friday by Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.“The terrorists are doing their utmost to derail the electoral process in Pakistan and undermine the country’s stability,” Prime Minister Lee wrote.

“They cannot and must not succeed. The perpetrators of this heinous act must be swiftly brought to justice.”

In a separate letter to Zardari, the prime minister said Ms Bhutto would be remembered for her “indomitable spirit.”

—AFP