Little evidence on who planned, killed Benazir: Pakistani daily

Monday, December 27, 2010

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan has “little conclusive evidence about who planned or perpetrated the assassination” of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, a leading Pakistani daily said.

An editorial in the Dawn Monday said: “…Benazir Bhutto fell victim to an organised terrorist attack after a rally in Rawalpindi`s Liaquat Bagh, it is difficult not to juxtapose the seriousness of the crime with the subsequent confusion in investigating it properly.”

Bhutto was assassinated Dec 27, 2007, as she was leaving the Liaquat Bagh in a motorcade after addressing an election rally in Rawalpindi, Islamabad’s twin city and Pakistan’s old capital in northern punjab. A teenaged shooter was seen aiming for her head in the CCTV footage before a powerful suicide blast killed at least 24 people participating in the rally.

The interior ministry at that time accused the Taliban of plotting to kill Bhutto while the doctors said “her head banged against the lever of the sunroof of her vehicle which caused her death”.

The Dawn editorial said: “Three years on, Pakistan still has little conclusive evidence about who planned or perpetrated the assassination, or under whose ultimate authority the crime scene investigation was so mismanaged.”

It said that various people have been blamed and a three-member UN inquiry committee, “which cost the government $5 million, presented a report in April but no action was taken on it - other than the military establishment terming it `a bid to malign the national institution’.”

Stating that over the years, other committees have been constituted but the full scope of their findings has hardly been made public, the daily said: “Potential avenues of investigation surface now and then, only to take us nowhere.”

The interior ministry said that it had sent a questionnaire to former president Pervez Musharraf “but one wonders if the public will have access to any of his replies, if indeed he does cooperate in the matter”.

“All this confusion is all the more shocking given that a PPP-led government is at the helm. Besieged though it is by the many issues, such as terrorism and severe economic woes, that confront the country, one would have expected a greater degree of interest in solving one of the most important murder cases the country has ever witnessed.”

“Sadly, it seems as though the investigation of Ms Bhutto`s death may go the same way as that of another former prime minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, whose assassination remains unsolved to this day.”

Liaquat Ali Khan was shot dead Oct 16, 1951 during a public meeting at Company Bagh (Company Gardens), also in Rawalpindi. The police immediately shot the assassin. The exact motive behind the assassination has never been fully revealed.

Filed under: Terrorism

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