Car used in Pakistani`s minister`s killing found

The vehicle suspected to have been used in the assassination of Pakistani minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti has been found, a media report said.

Updated: Mar 06, 2011, 18:39 PM IST

Islamabad: The vehicle suspected to have been used in the assassination of Pakistani minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti has been found, a media report said.

Bhatti, a 42-year-old Christian, was shot dead March 2 as he left his mother`s house in a posh locality in the heart of Islamabad.

A white vehicle had intercepted his official car, and two - some reports said three - men sprang out of the car and opened fire at the minister, giving him no chance to escape.

Sources told Dawn News that police found the white car parked along the road near the satellite town in Rawalpindi.

Police were informed by a resident that one of the minister`s assassins, whose sketch was made public, was spotted parking the car there.

The vehicle`s engine and chassis numbers were found to be tampered with and the registration plate was fake.

The registration number was originally issued to another car from Lahore, and the vehicle used in the crime was registered with the Lahore excise and taxation department.

Investigators, meanwhile, said there were contradictions between the statements of the minister`s driver and two witnesses to the killing.

According to the driver, Gul Sher, who worked with Bhatti for the last decade, a white car intercepted the minister`s vehicle and two gunmen disembarked from it and fired two bullets at the front windscreen.

The driver said he ducked and took cover under the dashboard and asked the minister to lie down.

However, two witnesses told police that the driver ran away from the car when it was intercepted by the attackers.

Police wanted to interrogate the driver, who was in Bhatti`s native town for his funeral, and requested the minister`s family to hand him over. But the family turned down the request, saying Gul Sher was their trustworthy employee.

Officials are also trying to find out why the attackers spared the driver.

Another witness claimed two women and a gunman were also travelling in the minister`s car.

The witness said the attackers injured the gunman and then pulled out the women from the car and targeted the minister.

But police said there was a possibility that the eyewitness had seen the minister`s family members near the car after they rushed out of the house hearing the gunshots.

IANS