London: Former military ruler Pervez
Musharraf had warned Benazair Bhutto that if she wanted
protection in Pakistan she should be "nice" to him, a top
ex-aide of the assassinated leader has claimed.
According to the Sunday Times report, former premier
Benazir had called Musharraf, then the President of Pakistan,
seeking additional security for her.
"He told her, `I warned you not to come back until
after the elections," and threatened her, "I`ll only protect
you if you`re nice to me," said Husain Haqqani, a former
Bhutto aide who was living in the US and is now Pakistan`s
ambassador in Washington.
"Instead of stepping up her security, it was
reduced," the report quoted him as saying.
She was even told not to travel in vehicles with
tinted windows, as this was against the law of the local
She appealed to the American and British officials
who had helped negotiate her return.
"I called everyone" said Haqqani.
"I even got the US ambassador in Pakistan, Anne
Patterson, to visit her." It did not go well.
"Patterson wasn`t nice to her," said Bhutto`s cousin
and confidant, Tariq Islam.
"She harped on, `You must not talk against
Musharraf.` The Americans never trusted her."
The Sunday Times in its report by its correspondent
wrote, "Benazir Bhutto was brought back to Pakistan from exile
as part of an international deal. Then she was killed - and
all traces of evidence were immediately swept away."
"I was with her on the truck in Karachi on October
17, 2007, the first time they tried to kill her; two bombs
killed 150 people, but she survived," the correspondent wrote.
"Bhutto had no doubt who was behind it.
She emailed Mark Siegel, a US Democrat strategist,
who co-wrote her last book, on October 26: "Nothing will
God-willing happen. Just wanted you to know if it does I will
hold Musharraf responsible."
Bhutto was assassinated on December 27, 2007 as she
left an election rally in Liaquat Park, Rawalpindi.
Back in Islamabad, the Musharraf government appeared
to be in panic. Within an hour of the attack the scene had
been washed down with high-pressure hoses, wiping out almost
all the evidence, the report said.
Saud Aziz, then chief of Rawalpindi police, said he
issued these orders after receiving a phone call from a close
associate of Musharraf. The interior ministry said they were
worried about "vultures picking up body parts".
This was in stark contrast to what had happened after
two assassination attempts on Musharraf in the same city, when
the area had been sealed off for weeks.
"If how Bhutto died cannot be properly established,
it seems unlikely we will ever find out who did it.
In August last year, Baitullah Mehsud, the Taliban
suspect, was killed by an American drone," the report stated.
"Last week, Pakistan`s parliament voted to repeal a
constitutional amendment used by military dictators to give
themselves sweeping powers.
But it remains a nation besieged by bombings and
power cuts where militant leaders go free, even holding public
rallies, and intelligence agencies make people disappear.
When a government delegation went to Washington last
month it was clear that the army chief, General Ashfaq Kiyani,
was the real power.
This is the same army whose generals suggested to
Zardari last time Bhutto was prime minister that he replace
her because they didn`t like saluting to a woman," the report