Ms Bhutto, 54, was assassinated in a gun and bomb attack that killed around 20 people as she left an election rally yesterday in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, near the capital Islamabad.
Professor William Maley, director of the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy at the Australian National University, said the rule of President Pervez Musharraf may have been the main target of the assassination.
“I don't think we should make the mistake of automatically assuming that the objective of the assassins was simply eliminate Benazir Bhutto,” Prof Maley told Southern Cross Broadcasting.
“Her assassination may have been a means to a wider end, mainly the destabilisation of the wider political system headed by Musharraf.”
Prof Maley questioned claims Ms Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party would be swept to power by her death.
He said the political group may be too heavily identified with its assassinated leader, and to Ms Bhutto's father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who founded the party.
“For many years the Pakistan People's Party has been an expression of Benazir and before that her father,” Prof Maley said.
“It is not at all clear who would be able to take over as leader as Pakistan People's Party.”
If Pakistan descended into civil war, as feared by some commentators, it would most likely spell the end of President Musharraf, Prof Maley said.
“The military is pretty strong, and if things start to slide in that way, Musharraf himself could be at risk,” he said.
“One form of circuit breaker that may appeal to other elements of the military would be to replace an unpopular president with another leader.
“I think there is a lot of evidence to suggest that Musharraf is part of the problem and not of the solution.”