Former premier Benazir Bhutto has "only herself to blame" for the deadly suicide attack on her homecoming parade, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan said on Sunday.
The former Pakistan cricket captain said Bhutto had made herself an assassination target by striking a deal with President Pervez Musharraf which "deliberately sabotaged the democratic process."
"The bombing of Benazir Bhutto's cavalcade as she paraded through Karachi on Thursday night was a tragedy almost waiting to happen. You could argue it was inevitable," he wrote in the Sunday Telegraph.
"Everyone here knew there was going to be a huge crowd turning up to see her return after eight years in self-imposed exile. Everyone also knows that there has been a spate of suicide bombings in Pakistan lately."
"This may sound equally harsh, but she has only herself to blame," he said. Bhutto has condemned the blasts, which killed 139 people on Thursday night hours after Bhutto returned from eight years in self-imposed exile, as an "attack on democracy."
But Khan said Bhutto's deal with Musharraf, which gave her an amnesty from corruption charges, undermined democracy. "The sad thing is, she didn't need to do it. Musharraf was sinking and isolated. He was on the point of declaring a state of emergency. Just when it looked as if he had no lifelines left, Benazir came back and bailed him out.
"Worse, by publicly siding with a dictator, she has deliberately sabotaged the democratic process. Khan said Musharraf has "dismantled state institutions, such as an independent judiciary and an election commission, and has introduced a controlled assembly, a controlled Prime Minister and a controlled media." The polls show he can only win this next election if he massively rigs it. That is what he did in 2002, as confirmed by the EU monitoring team.
"Given the way that she has undermined democracy by siding with Musharraf, I don't know how Benazir has the nerve to say that the 130 people killed in those bomb blasts sacrificed their lives for the sake of democracy in Pakistan."