Zardari refuses to withdraw Benazir murder FIR

Published June 22, 2015
PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari says a UN commission has been formed to investigate the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. — Reuters/File
PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari says a UN commission has been formed to investigate the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. — Reuters/File

LARKANA: PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari said here on Sunday that ‘all killers’ of Benazir Bhutto, except retired Gen Pervez Musharraf, had died.

Addressing a ceremony held in Naudero to mark the 62nd birth anniversary of Benazir Bhutto, the former president said the slain PPP chairperson had herself lodged an FIR against the former military ruler.

Mr Zardari said emphatically that the PPP would never yield to any pressure to withdraw the FIR. This was the key issue, he said, adding that a UN commission had been formed to investigate the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

He said Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had given nuclear technology and Benazir Bhutto missile technology to the country. When the PPP came to power, $500 million was spent for development of Gwadar port and construction of a road.

“Don’t worry I will be here with you under all circumstances. We and the party will be here with the support of my children and strength of people and workers. Wherever we go, we are recognised as people from Bhutto’s Larkana and it’s our identity,” he said.

He said June 21, Benazir’s birth anniversary, was an important day in world history because a leader was born on the day. She was trained by her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and she proved it at the time of test.

Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and MNA Ayaz Soomro, who is PPP’s Larkana president, also spoke on the occasion.

The ceremony was attended by the party’s Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, his sisters Bakhtawar and Aseefa, MNA Faryal Talupr, Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah, Rehman Malik, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, MNAs, MPAs, district presidents and general secretaries and other leaders and office-bearers of the party.

A 62-pound cake was cut on the occasion.

Meanwhile, Mr Zardari and Mr Bilawal Bhutto separately met Mr Khursheed and, according to sources, exchanged views with him on the political situation in the country.

Earlier, Mr Zardari, along with daughter Bakhtawar, visited Garhi Khuda Bakhsh Bhutto and laid a floral wreath and offered Fateha at the graves of Benazir and other martyrs of the Bhutto family.

Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani, Ayaz Soomro, PPP Larkana general secretary Abdul Fatah Bhutto, former MNA Gul Mohammed Jakhrani, information secretary of Larkana women’s wing Dr Sakina Gaad and other leaders and office-bearers of the party also laid floral wreaths and offered Fateha at the graves of Benazir and other martyrs.

A large number of PPP workers and admirers of the Bhuttos from different parts of the country converged on the mausoleum and raised the slogan of ‘Zindha hai Bibi Zindah Hai’.

Over 4,000 policemen and traffic personnel were deployed in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh and Naudero.

Talking to journalists at the mausoleum, Chief Minister Shah said that Benazir Bhutto had struggled for democracy and betterment of people and would be remembered for centuries. “Our politics is based on her philosophy and guidelines and for serving the masses.”

Answering a question about his letter to the director general of Rangers in which he reportedly accused the paramilitary force of overstepping its authority, he said the media had exaggerated the matter. He added that the paramilitary force was a federal institution and was working with the provincial government in combating terrorism. He said the federal and provincial governments and the army and law-enforcement agencies were on the same page on the menace of terrorism.

When asked about reports that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement might join the Sindh government, the chief minister said he was not aware of it, but added that talks through a ‘friend’ were being held with the MQM and at the moment he was not in a position to say anything more about it.

About differences with the PML-N, Mr Shah said: “We are working with the federal government to combat and curb terrorism.”

Published in Dawn, June 22nd, 2015

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