PML-N may be involved in Taseer killing: PPP
Last Updated: Friday, January 07, 2011, 00:11
Lahore: Leaders of the ruling Pakistan People's Party have held the government of Punjab province responsible for Governor Salmaan Taseer's assassination and alleged that some elements in the opposition PML-N might have been behind the crime.

PPP leaders in Punjab were not convinced Taseer's killer's confession that the assassination was an "act of faith." Some of them believe the murder was part of a plot to pit the PPP against religious forces.

Taseer was gunned down in Islamabad on Tuesday by police guard Malik Qadri, who said he was angered by the Governor's criticism of the blasphemy law.

Investigators are trying to determine whether Qadri acted on his own or others were involved in the killing.

The PPP is refusing to accept that Taseer was killed on religious grounds and party spokesperson Fauzia Wahab said there were "political motives" behind the murder.

The killing appeared to be an "organised act" and the Punjab administration was "equally responsible" for the crime, she said. The Punjab government should explain why a policeman whom senior officers had declared unfit for guarding VIPs was included in the Governor's security detail, Wahab said.

Qadri decided to kill the Governor three days before Taseer visited Islamabad, when nobody was aware of the trip as it had been kept secret for security reasons, she added.

"The question arises as to how Qadri got information about the visit. Why did other personnel in the security squad not act when Qadri fired at Taseer?" she asked.

The PML-N, which rules Punjab, could not be absolved of the murder and there is a need to find out whether some of party's elements were behind the act, Wahab said.

Despite threats to the Governor, PML-N leader and provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah had refused to provide him a bulletproof vehicle, she said.

Federal Law Minister Babar Awan, a close aide of PPP chief and President Asif Ali Zardari, too described the assassination as a political murder and told a meeting of party lawmakers that the way the Governor was eliminated raised many questions.

"Mr Taseer was made to leave his home for assassins, he said, adding "some forces" were involved in such acts to weaken the country.

The meeting of lawmakers adopted a resolution demanding that the Punjab government should "unearth the conspiracy behind the murder."

They rejected a perception that religion had anything to do with the crime. Contending that the Governor was "in the custody" of his police guards, Law Minister Awan even described the assassination as a "custodial killing with criminal negligence and political motives."


First Published: Friday, January 07, 2011, 00:11

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