ISLAMABAD, Oct 11: A suspected terrorist, Adnan Adil, has confessed to assisting his two accomplices in murdering former minister for minorities Shahbaz Bhati in 2011, sources close to the Joint Investigation Team probing the incident told Dawn on Friday.
They said that a report, submitted to a senior police officer, stated that Adnan Adil was taken into custody by Industrial Area police on October 4 to interrogate him in connection with the killing of the minister.
During interrogation the alleged terrorist said that in late February or early March 2011, his friend Tanveer called him and asked to come to a mosque in Sector I-8.
According to the police Tanveer, a native of Mandi Bahauddin, was operating Al-Qaeda wing in Punjab.
When he reached the mosque, he found Tanveer sitting there, Adil told the JIT, adding that he (Tanveer) asked him “I have to kill Shahbaz Bhatti” because he talked against the blasphemy law, the report said.
Next day, Adil reached I-8 Markaz where Tanveer along with Mohmmad Abdullah Omer and Abdul Sattar came in a white Mehran.
“I embarked in the car and found two Kalashnikovs in a bag”, the JIT quoted Tanveer as saying.
Later the minister appeared in his car without any security squad, but Tanveer postponed the assassination plan.
They again gathered in front of Bhatti’s house next day and when he came out of his house at 8:30am, Adil started driving the Mehran and later intercepted the minister’s vehicle and Tanveer murdered him, the report added.
According to the JIT report the time of assassination was 8:30am confessed by the alleged terrorist, the sources said, adding, but the time of killing mentioned in the FIR (First Information Report) was 10:55am.
On March 2 Federal Minorities’ Minister Shahbaz Bhatti was assassinated in an ambush in broad day light.
Earlier, the police said that the minister in his official black Toyota Corolla driven by his private driver came out of his mother’s house located in Sector I-8/3 and was heading towards his office-cum-residence, located in I-8/4.
A white Mehran intercepted the Corolla some meters away from the house near the Tipu Sultan Road in front of Public Park at around 10:55am. However, the alleged terrorist confessed that they intercepted the minister when he came out of his house.