Pakistan in 'nightmare scenario'
Fears of major unrest and civil war in nuclear-armed Pakistan were widely expressed by international media Friday after the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.
The killing of the former premier, who had staged a political comeback after returning from exile to fight in elections next month, "is a disaster for a country that is already flirting with state failure," said the Financial Times, the British business daily.
The "violent death leaves a hole in national politics and adds a vicious extra dimension of disintegration to a country that is already falling apart after decades of civilian and military misrule," it said in an editorial.
Italy's Corriere della Sera said "Pakistan is becoming an ever bigger atomic time bomb" and highlighted fears that the military could take back power after the death of Benazir Bhutto, who was killed by a suicide bomber on Thursday.
The Times of London said Pakistan was now in "The Nightmare Scenario".
Jordanian newspaper Al-Dustour said "Benazir's assassination is a terrible act that paves the way for a civil war in Pakistan, the country was already facing a difficult time because of religious, ethnic and political reasons."
"All indications show that Pakistan will go into a dark and a difficult stage."
Newspapers in Muslim Turkey warned that Pakistan risks prolonged instability.
"Pakistan's internal peace, stability and democratic future has been slain along with Benazir .... This is a big blow for Pakistan that will ruin her future," the liberal Milliyet daily said.
Leading US newspapers urged President George W. Bush to reassess his unconditional backing of President Pervez Musharraf, a key ally in the US "war on terror".