Pakistan begins Benazir Bhutto's murder probe

10:26, April 25, 2010      

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Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani Saturday formed a high level committee to begin investigation into the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, the Prime Minister's office said.

The committee was formed nine days after an independent United Nations inquiry report noted that security arrangements by Pakistan's federal and local authorities for Benazir Bhutto were " fatally insufficient and ineffective" and subsequent investigations into her death were prejudiced and involved a whitewash.

"Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has constituted a three- member Fact Finding Committee to determine whether the then Director General, Military Intelligence gave an order to police official(s) for washing/cleaning of the crime scene of the murder of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto," a statement from the PM office said.

The committee will submit its report to the Prime Minister within seven working days.

After the UN report, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of Benazir Bhutto, is now under tremendous pressure to hold within the country inquiry into the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, political analysts said.

The UN Commission of Inquiry, appointed last year by Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon at the request of the Pakistani Government, reached no conclusion as to the organizers and sponsors behind the attack, in which a 15-year-old suicide bomber blew up Bhutto's vehicle in the city of Rawalpindi on Dec. 27, 2007.

But it found that the government was quick to blame local Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud and al-Qaeda although Bhutto's foes potentially included elements from the establishment itself.

The report also found that then City Police Officer Saud Aziz impeded investigators from conducting on-site investigations until two full days after the assassination and that the government's assertions that Mehsud and al-Qaeda were responsible were made well before any proper investigation had started, pre-empting, prejudicing and hindering the subsequent investigation.

Source: Xinhua


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