ISLAMABAD, Dec 13: Perturbed over Interpol’s decision to reject its request for the arrest of former President Pervez Musharraf, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has told the world police that the former military strongman wanted to eliminate Benazir Bhutto considering her a threat to his rule, Dawn has learnt.
In September this year, the FIA sent the request to Interpol for the arrest of Gen (retired) Musharraf but the latter rejected it, stating it was moved under political pressure.
In a rejoinder to the Interpol on December 10, the FIA has alleged that Gen Musharraf had a valid motive to assassinate the former premier. “She was evidently the prime obstacle and the strongest challenge to his prolonged stay in the presidency."
The FIA letter said Gen Musharraf had failed to take action against the police officers who arrested Ms Bhutto on November 14, 2007, in Lahore.
The FIA also incorporated statements of US lobbyist Mark Siegel and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind confirming that Ms Bhutto was facing threats from Musharraf.
The letter said because of compelling evidence available against Musharraf, a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) had included his name in the challan and the prosecution agency, FIA, had requested the trial court for the issuance of warrants for the arrest of Musharraf.
The investigation agency claimed that “evidence brought on record by JIT directly connected Musharraf with the offence resulting in the assassination of Ms Bhutto. Accused Musharraf has fully aided, abetted and hatched the conspiracy to assassinate Ms Bhutto."
It said the trial court declared Musharraf a proclaimed offender and in order to procure his attendance in court, FIA sent the request to the Interpol for his repatriation.
The agency claimed that the requirement of the Interpol for repatriation of the former president was a copy of the FIR, arrest warrants and proclamation order of the court, which had already been sent to it.
"Ignoring and rejecting all legal evidence is against the settled practice and procedure of the Interpol,” it added.
It said “such an arbitrary and whimsical decision will jeopardise the credibility of the Interpol."
FIA rejected the Interpol's impression that the request for the arrest of Mr Musharraf was made under political influence and requested the Interpol to reconsider it.
Gen (retired) Rashid Qureshi, the former spokesman for Mr Musharraf, when contacted, said the government had no evidence against Musharraf and this was the reason Interpol had refused to arrest him.
"They wanted to use this issue as an election stunt”. He said they (the government) were afraid of Musharraf's comeback.
PPP secretary information and federal minister for information Qamar Zaman Kaira could not be contacted for comments.