Madam Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman for yielding, and I also thank Mr. Ackerman, Mr. Lantos and Ms. Ros-Lehtinen for sponsoring this resolution.
On December 27, 2007, the world reeled as it received news that a suicide terrorist and others had assassinated Pakistan's freedom fighter and beacon of democracy, Ms. Benazir Bhutto, during a peaceful political rally.
She was educated in the tradition of western democratic philosophy, and received her higher education training at Oxford and Harvard University. She has been the voice in support of a democratic Pakistan for more than 20 years.
In 1988, at the age of 35, she became the youngest person and the first female elected to lead a Muslim state. Since that time, Ms. Bhutto has remained committed to the restoration of a true democracy in Pakistan. When Ms. Bhutto returned to Pakistan last year, she knew she was putting her life at risk because, Madam Speaker, the violent enemies of democracy throughout the world are numerous. But her commitment to democracy in Pakistan was stronger than her fear of death.
As the daughter of a former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Bhutto used to say she did not choose her life but that it chose her instead. The truth is she chose freedom and democracy, and her love for those principles compelled her continuous bold, even boisterous voice of democracy for the Pakistani people.
Ms. Bhutto has been described as a defiant and strong-willed leader. In life and in death, her charisma and determination have been admired by people throughout the world.
She was a beacon of democracy in Pakistan, and I join my colleagues in condemning her assassination with the expectation that the current government will seek out and find all of the assassins.
Pakistan has been a loyal ally and friends of the United States since 1947.The United States stands with the people of Pakistan. We affirm our commitment to the Pakistani people in combating terrorism and promoting a free and democratic Pakistan. The long lamentable history of human conduct is filled with the names of martyrs who have been murdered for the cause of freedom. Today, we add the name of one more.
And that's just the way it is.