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Bhutto murder: Action against Mush after concrete evidence

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 - 00:10

Islamabad: As a UN panel blamed the then
Musharraf regime for failing to provide effective security to
slain ex-premier Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan government has said
it will take action against the former military ruler after
concrete evidence is obtained in the matter.

"We welcome the UN (commission`s) report because it is
independent and transparent. The people already knew what the
commission has pointed out," Interior Minister Rehman Malik
told reporters.
"It is the people`s wish that the killers of (Bhutto)
should be arrested. This is also our endeavour and it will be
done," he said yesterday.

The independent UN commission that probed the facts
and circumstances of Bhutto`s assassination has indicted the
Musharraf regime for "failing" to provide effective security
to her despite numerous threats to her life.

It also found several faults with the probe by Pakistani
authorities into Bhutto`s assassination in a gun-and-suicide
attack on December 27, 2007.

Malik said a Pakistani investigation team would further
probe Bhutto`s assassination in the light of the UN
commission`s report.
The panel clearly mentioned in its report that
Musharraf`s government and security institutions were
unsuccessful in providing security to Bhutto, he said.

The minister said action will be taken against Musharraf
after concrete evidence is obtained with regard to the UN
panel`s findings.

Malik also blamed the former government of Punjab
province for failing to provide adequate security to Bhutto.

Blaming the Pakistan People`s Party for not providing
security to Bhutto is irrelevant because it is the
responsibility of the government and not party workers, he

The UN panel`s report accused intelligence agencies
and some officials of hampering its investigation into
Bhutto`s assassination. It also raised questions about Malik`s
role in providing security to Bhutto.

Meanwhile, a media report quoted sources in the PPP as
saying that an FIR would be registered by the party against
Musharraf, seven civil and police officials who have been
removed from their posts and some PPP leaders who were held
responsible for Bhutto`s security.
The PPP`s top leadership had decided during a meeting
on Saturday to take legal action in the light of the UN
report. The meeting was chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari.

Six police and civil officials who were responsible
for protecting Bhutto or involved in the probe into her
assassination were removed from active duty.

The government also terminated the contractual
employment of former Interior Ministry spokesman Brig
(Retd) Javed Iqbal Cheema.

Cheema, who was holding the post of Director General of
Civil Defence, had claimed that Bhutto had died after hitting
her head on a lever in her bulletproof vehicle.
The names of these officials were included in the Exit
Control List, a document with the names of people barred from
travelling out of Pakistan.

Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said action was
taken against these officials on the orders of Prime Minister
Yousuf Raza Gilani.

The Nation daily reported that the names of former ISI
chief Hamid Gul, ex-Intelligence Bureau head Ijaz Shah and
former Interior Secretary Kamal Shah had also been placed on
the Exit Control List. However, there was no official word on
the development.


First Published: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 - 00:10
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