Washington, DC – U.S. Congressman Tom Lantos, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, has issued the following statement about the deadly explosions in Karachi timed to the arrival of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto after eight years in self-imposed exile:

“The attack directed at former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and her supporters was absolutely abhorrent. Miraculously, she escaped the malicious attempt to silence her, but over a hundred innocent Pakistanis were not so fortunate and have paid for this act of cowardly terrorism – many with their lives. I wholeheartedly condemn the perpetrators of this reprehensible act of violence. Today’s tragedy is all the more reason that the forces of moderation and democracy need to prevail in Pakistan, a vision that Madam Bhutto and I share and have discussed. My condolences go out to the families of the innocent victims, and I will do all that I can to support a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Pakistan.

Lantos has known Bhutto for years and met with her at length during her recent visit to Washington before returning to Pakistan.