PPP demands probe based on Benazir’s letter

Published Dec 30, 2007 12:00am

LAHORE, Dec 29: The Pakistan People’s Party has said that the investigation into the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto must be based upon the letter she had written to President Pervez Musharraf before her return to Pakistan.

The letter had named a number of people in an alleged plot to kill the PPP chairperson.

“It (the letter) was a dying declaration,” PPP Senator Latif Khosa told Dawn by phone from Larkana.

He said former Punjab chief minister Pervaiz Elahi, former Sindh chief minister Arbab Ghulam Rahim, Intelligence Bureau chief Ijaz Shah and ex-ISI chief Hameed Gul should be named in the FIR on the basis of that letter.

The police, he said, should have allowed Makhdoom Amin Fahim or Naheed Khan, political secretary to Ms Bhutto, to lodge an FIR. The police had washed the crime scene at the Liaquat Bagh with water to erase the evidence which would have led to the killer(s), he added.

Mr Khosa said when the whole world watched the assassin shooting Benazir Bhutto with a handgun, the government was busy selling its “skewed stories”. It was trying to convince people that she had hit her head against the lever of the sunroof of the vehicle in a reaction to the suicide blast, he said.

He deplored the fact that none of the investigators approached the witnesses for a firsthand account of the incident. He said the investigation into the Oct 18 Karachi blast should also have been carried out on the basis of the letter written to Musharraf.

He said Ms Bhutto had written another letter to the interior secretary on Oct 26, seeking foolproof security arrangements in view of credible reports. A copy of the letter was sent to President Musharraf, the Chief Justice of Pakistan, the Chief Justice of Sindh High Court and the United Nations.

Mr Khosa said the PPP did not expect the government to provide it with clean and impartial investigation as evident from its conduct so far. Referring to the statement of US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton demanding an international investigation into the assassination, he said it was imperative.

Talking to Dawn, former Supreme Court Bar Association president Hamid Khan said the Benazir’s letter carried “great significance” because it was almost as important as a “dying statement”.


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