George Galloway has come out in mourning for the “Daughter of the West” – a woman who supported both the war in Afghanistan and Iraq and has been accused of being complicit in the murder of her brother. He even goes so far as to say he was going to be on the campaign trail with her from the 2nd of January, 2008. Respect Renewal supporters will undoubtedly continue to make excuses for Galloway and fail to explain to the rest of the Left in Britain as to why their MP was going to be campaigning for a pro-war candidate in another country. It is unsurprising, however, as Galloway had close links with the Bhutto regime in the past (see article below Galloway’s statement):
George Galloway the Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow was a friend of Benazir Bhutto for more than twenty five years. He was on air at Talksport when news of the attack on Ms Bhutto came through. He will discuss the crisis in Pakistan on his next show, Friday 28th, at 10pm.
Benazir Bhutto is yet another martyr from a family whose tragedy would have taxed Shakespeare himself. Her father, both brothers and now she have been murdered one way or another whilst serving Pakistan. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto the founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party was hanged by the military tyrants who have sucked Pakistan’s blood since its foundation. Her brothers, Shahnawaz was poisoned, and Mir Murtaza was gunned down in much the same way as she now has been herself. I have no doubt that Benazir has been murdered by the dictatorship of “president” General (Retd) Parvaiz Musharraf. The professionalism of the assassination, the way in which the killer managed to get within pistol range of the opposition leader, the decoy “suicide bomb” story.. all point to the intelligence apparatus of the dictatorship being involved in the crime. But it is worse than a crime, it’s a blunder. A terrible wave of violence and extremism will now sweep and perhaps break Pakistan. I was lucky enough to be Benazir’s friend from the time she arrived thin, bleeding from her ears as a result of ill-treatment in the Rawalpindi jail in the early 1980s. I was with her when she became the first elected woman leader of a Muslim country in 1988, with her too when she was twice deposed with western collusion and in her long exiles. She was the bravest woman I ever met, bright brave and beautiful. I planned to be with her on the campaign trail from January 2nd. I am broken hearted that I will never see her again.
Galloway was questioned over his involvement with the Bhutto regime in a 1998 BBC Newsnight report:
Pakistan Ran Secret UK Campaign on Kashmir
28th June 1998
LONDON, The former Pakistani Prime Minister, Ms. Benazir Bhutto allegedly ran a secret campaign on Kashmir from the Pak. High Commission in London, draining huge funds to “woo” British lawmakers for toeing Islamabad’s line on the issue, a BBC report disclosed.
“The former Pakistan High Commissioner to U.K., Mr. Wajid Shamsul Hasan was given access to hundreds of thousands of pounds from the so called Pakistan Projection Fund for this secret campaign,” the BBC reported on Thursday alleging that maverick Labour Member of Parliament, Mr. George Galloway was the “kingpin” in the project.
Correspondence between Mr. Galloway and the successive Prime Ministers, Ms. Bhutto and Mr. Nawaz Sharif on the channeling of funds for creating a “National lobby on Kashmir” among members of British Parliament, was displayed as evidence in the documentary shown in the prime time `Newsnight’ programme.
Ms. Bhutto, at one instance, had allocated pound 547,000 to enable Mr. Galloway publish a pro-Pakistan newspaper called East, which had Mr. Galloway and Mr. Hasan as the founding member and a fellow director, the report said. The revelations are likely to cause a major embarrassment to the Labour Government, particularly the Minister of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth office, Mr. Derek Fatchett, who has started a dialogue with pro-Pakistani Kashmiri groups here.
`Newsnight’ quoted former editor of East, Mr. Nadene Ghouri, handpicked by Mr. Galloway himself, as admitting, “I was working with Mr. Galloway from the beginning and was aware of lots of documents floating around, lots of cheques and bank accounts for the lobby work on Kashmir.” `Newsnight’ has also obtained documents signed by Mr. Galloway acknowledging the receipts of one cheque for pound 50,000 and another for ten thousand pounds on behalf of the “National lobby on Kashmir.”
These events would create similar ripples in the House of Commons as the Commons Standards and Privileges Committee last year expressed its concern after Mr. Galloway admitted receiving pound 50,000 from the opposition parties in Saudi Arabia.
`Newsnight’ said when approached Mr. Galloway refused to tell them where the money came from and where it was banked but claimed in a letter that National lobby on Kashmir was “supporting a struggle against a brutal enemy”.
After the launch of the newspaper East, `Newsnight’ reported that as the paper ran up huge debts and desperate for funds, Mr. Galloway rushed to Pakistan to plead with new Prime Minister Mr. Nawaz Sharif for more official Pakistani funds, even though his well-wisher Ms. Bhutto had been ousted.
The BBC said after Mr. Galloway’s intervention in Islamabad, the Pakistan Government agreed to pay another pound 189,000 to keep East going upto elections in Britain.