Birmingham's Pakistani community was in a state of shock last night following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the country's charismatic opposition leader and former prime minister.
Bhutto, 54, was shot in the neck and body by a suicide bomber who then blew himself up as she was driven from a rally in the city of Rawalpindi.
She returned to Pakistan from an eight-year exile last October after agreeing an amnesty deal with President Pervez Musharraf over corruption charges.
She had already survived one suicide attack at her homecoming parade in Karachi, when 140 people were killed.
Key Asian leaders in Birmingham said they believed Bhutto's death was directly linked to her support for the US, Britain and the war on terror.
Khalid Mahmood, the Labour MP for Perry Barr, said: "She has paid the highest price that anyone could pay, but we have got to ensure that Pakistan continues to support our fight against terror.
"The best tribute her supporters can pay to her is to make sure Pakistan gets back on the democratic route."
Birmingham city councillor Salma Yaqoob described the assassination as symptomatic of instability in Pakistan arising out of the war on terror.
Ms Yaqoob, who is the national vice-chairman of the Respect Party, said both Ms Bhutto and Mr Musharraf, although political opponents, threatened to tear Pakistan apart with their support for America.
Describing Ms Bhutto's death as "cowardly and tragic", Coun Yaqoob said: "You have to acknowledge her bravery in standing for elections."
Ayoub Khan, the sole Muslim in Birmingham city council's cabinet, said the Pakistani community was in a state of shock.
Coun Khan, who last year shared a platform with Bhutto in a public debate, added: "The impact of this in Birmingham will be huge. Questions are being asked about why Britain and America brokered a deal to allow Benazir to return to Pakistan without proper security."