Islamabad: Pakistan`s ruling PPP has vowed to take "appropriate legal actions" against ex-military ruler Pervez Musharraf and others named in a UN panel`s report as being responsible for the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto.
The PPP`s core group or top leadership, including President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, decided on this course of action during a meeting held late last night.
Zardari, who became head of the PPP after his wife Benazir Bhutto`s death in 2007, chaired the meeting. The meeting accepted the UN commission`s report on the facts and circumstances of Bhutto`s killing and "recommended to the Prime Minister to take appropriate legal actions in the light of the" report, said a statement issued by the PPP.
The PPP expressed its "resolve to expose and bring to justice all those, including Gen (retired) Pervez Musharraf, who planned, abetted and indulged in the criminal act, screened off the offenders and destroyed the evidence," party spokesman Farhatullah Babar.
The UN commission`s report, which indicted the previous regime led by Musharraf for failing to provide effective security to Bhutto despite numerous threats to her life, calls on Pakistani authorities to make a determination of the criminal responsibility for planning and carrying out the assassination.
The PPP`s core group recommended that the Prime Minister should take appropriate legal actions against government officials mentioned in the UN panel`s report.
PPP spokesman Babar said the meeting was of the view that the UN panel`s report had endorsed the party`s position that Musharraf was responsible for Bhutto`s assassination.
The meeting recalled that Bhutto too believed that Musharraf wanted to eliminate her and she had mentioned this in a letter and in numerous press and public statements, he said.
The News daily quoted unnamed sources as saying that the PPP`s core group recommended that the names of all officials accused of negligence in providing security to Bhutto should be put on the Exit Control List, a document listing the names of people barred from travelling out of Pakistan. The core group recommended that all suspects who were currently outside Pakistan should be brought back to the country.
It also recommended that the government should monitor the activities of officials named in the UN panel`s report, the sources said.
Another PPP spokesperson Fauzia Wahab, a close aide of Zardari, told the Dawn newspaper that the party had decided to constitute a committee to identify people within the PPP who were responsible for providing security to Bhutto.
She said the UN panel`s report had categorically held the Musharraf government, the former government of Punjab province and the administration of Rawalpindi responsible for Bhutto`s murder.
Wahab said cases had already been registered but these could be altered in the light of legal experts` opinion after examining the UN commission`s report.
Shortly after Bhutto`s assassination in December 2007, the PPP`s central executive committee called for the setting up of a UN inquiry commission to probe her killing.
Subsequently, Parliament adopted a unanimous resolution calling on the government to approach the UN for setting up of an inquiry commission.
The PPP`s core group thanked the UN commission for its efforts. The core group`s meeting was also attended by Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, Law Minister Babar Awan and senior PPP leaders Jahangir Badar and Rukhsana Bangash.