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December 28th, 2009
09:39 AM ET

Zardari on the assassination of Benazir Bhutto two years ago

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/28/benazir.bhutto.anniversary.jpg caption="Supporters light candles in front of a picture of slain former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto on the second anniversary of her death."]

Asif Ali Zardari
President of Pakistan

Two years ago the world stopped for me and for my children. Pakistan was shaken to its core and all but came apart. Women everywhere lost one of their greatest symbols of equality. And Islam, our great religion, lost its modern face.

On Dec. 27, 2007, my wife, Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated. She was the bravest person I have ever known, and the second anniversary of her death is an appropriate occasion to reflect upon what she achieved for our country, and how her legacy must be preserved against those who would return Pakistan to darkness.

Twice elected prime minister of Pakistan, Benazir had an immense impact. She stood up and defeated the forces of military dictatorship. She freed all political prisoners. She ended press censorship. She legalized trade and student unions, built 46,000 primary and secondary schools and appointed the first female judges in our history. And she showed the women of Pakistan and the world that they must accept no limits on their ability and opportunity to learn, to grow and to lead in modern society.

The target of two assassination attempts by Osama bin Laden in the 1990s, Benazir repeatedly warned a skeptical world of the impending danger from extremists and militants. In her last campaign—even on the very day of her death, by the hands of such extremists—she mobilized and rallied the people of Pakistan against the terrorist threat.

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