Ban says findings of Bhutto commission final

Rejecting Pak appeal to reopen probe by UN into assassination of ex-PM Benazir Bhutto, Secy Gen Ban Ki-moon has said that "the work of the commission is complete".

United Nations: Rejecting Pakistan`s appeal
to reopen the probe by UN into the assassination of former
premier Benazir Bhutto, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said
that "the work of the commission is complete".

Last week, Islamabad had raised objections to the report
that was presented by a UN appointed three-panel fact finding
commission in April.

"The work of the Commission is complete," Farhan Haq,
spokesperson for the UN chief said.

"The Secretary-General stands by the report and has full
confidence in the Committee`s judgement," the spokesman said.

"He believes that the report produced by the Commission
speaks for itself and can be helpful to any subsequent

In a letter addressed to Ban, Pakistani Foreign Minister
Shah Mahmood Qureshi took objections over several aspects of
the report of the UN commission, including the panel`s
observations implying a nexus between the Pakistan Army and
the Taliban.

"Comments and observations about the Pakistani Army,
Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) or the so-called
Establishment, are only the opinions of the members of the
Commission," the letter said.

"They do not represent authenticated determinations based
on any fact or evidence, and the same shall neither form a
precedent nor a basis to lend credence to a political position
in this regard, in the practice of states and/or that of
international organisations," it added.

54-year-old Bhutto was killed on December 27, 2007
when a suicide bomber exploded himself close to her car in
Rawalpindi while she was campaigning for the Pakistan People`s
Party (PPP) in parliamentary and provincial elections.

The inquiry of commission which was set up in 2009 to
ascertain the facts and circumstances of Bhutto`s death,
concluded that the assassination could have been prevented.

The three-member United Nations commission, which was
headed by Chile`s former UN ambassador Heraldo Munoz,
presented its report on April 15.

The report also slammed the (Pervez) Musharraf government
for both failing to protect Bhutto after she returned to
Pakistan and not properly probing the circumstances
leading to her murder.

The report also found that some elements of Pakistan`s
spy agency ISI deliberately prevented investigations.

"This pervasive involvement of intelligence agencies in
the diverse spheres, which is a open secret, has undermined
the rule of law and distorted civil-military relations," Munoz
said, at the time, noting that the ISI played a pervasive and
clandestine role in every aspect of Pakistani society.

Among the positions taken by Bhutto that "touched" the
"establishment`s" concerns was "her independent position on
the urgent need to improve relations with India, and its
implications for the Kashmir dispute, which the military had
regarded as its policy domain.

Yesterday, however, Ban appeared to finally close the
matter on the fate of the fact-finding mission.

"The report painstakingly sets out the facts regarding
the assassination and provides an extensive description of the
circumstances around the crime," Haq said in the email.


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