ISLAMABAD, Nov 28: Former president Pervez Musharraf has refused to accept a questionnaire sent by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to get his statement in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case.

Sources in the interior ministry told Dawn on Sunday the questionnaire was sent to Mr Musharraf in London through special mail last month but he refused to take it.

In a statement on Saturday, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that the letter was sent to the former president because the statement of everyone accused directly or indirectly in the case was being recorded.

However, the FIA's investigation team headed by one of its directors, Chaudhry Majeed, who claimed itself an 'independent' one did not record the statement of the minister.

The sources said the FIA had prepared a questionnaire for the minister but could not dare to send it to him.“We have sent the questionnaire to the accused, including former chief minister Pervaiz Elahi and former IB chief Ijaz Shah,” the minister had said.

Following the refusal by Mr Musharraf, the FIA has also prepared a new questionnaire and intended to send it to his residence in London.

“We have prepared a questionnaire for the former president to record his statement,” said FIA Director-General Waseem Ahmed.

“We want to record the statement of everybody who has any connection with the case,” said the agency's chief.

However, the head of the FIA investigation team told reporters on Saturday that he was working independently and not taking any instruction from the ministry.

Question arises here that if the FIA team was a really an independent body than why the questionnaire has been sent to the ministry for approval as announced by the FIA director-general.

A joint investigation team of the FIA which has already completed its investigation report on the case, prepared a 32-point questionnaire for the former president that would be sent to him in the UK for reply in the next few days.

Asked why the former president was being involved in the case after a joint investigation team (JIA) of the FIA officials has completed its report and presented it in an Anti-Terrorism Court in Rawalpindi.

The DG said although the investigation report had been submitted in the court, it did not mean that it had closed because it would remain open to include all supplementary information in the days to come.

The sources said the document carried questions related to security lapse and asked the former president that why he had not provided a fool-proof security to Ms Bhutto despite she had feared attacks on her.

One of the questions said that why security had not been provided to her even after the Karsaz blast and she escaped narrowly on Oct 18, 2007.

Former interior secretary Syed Kamal Shah had said in one of his statements that the government had provided such security which was provided to a sitting prime minister. However, one of the answers negated his claim.

It may be mentioned that former Rawalpindi SP Ashfaq Anwar, who was security in-charge of Ms Bhutto in Liaquat Bagh on Dec 27, has reportedly confessed in the court that the incident could have been averted if adequate security would have been provided to Ms Bhutto.

Pervez Musharraf's one of the close aides and his spokesman Fawad Chaudhry said the former president had nothing to do with the security of Ms Bhutto.


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