Lahore: Former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto had said after the 2002 elections, the United States had decided to ‘do away with’ Pakistan and to get her eliminated, according to a senior Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader.
Altaf Ahmed Qureshi made this startling revelation while sharing details of his one-on-one meeting he had held with the then PPP chairperson Benazir in Dubai, a day before a formal meeting of the party’s central executive committee.
Qureshi, a political analyst and a former deputy information secretary of the party, recalled that at the Dubai meeting, he had quite frankly asked the then self-exiled leader about her vision of Pakistan, especially in view of the US designs, The Nation reports.
“Should I be frank with you?,” Benazir asked Qureshi, and then, after a silence of a couple of minutes, said: “The US has decided to do away with Pakistan. But I am the only hurdle in their way. We’ll try our best to frustrate their designs”.
Terrified by what the PPP chairperson had said, Qureshi asked her if she was aware of the consequences of what she was saying. “They can kill me,” Benazir quipped.
Qureshi said this statement further upset him, however, he dared ask her what it meant.
“Yes, they killed my papa; if they could kill Bhutto sahib, they could also kill me,” he quoted Benazir, as replying.
According to him, Benazir spent a few minutes in enumerating the leadership qualities of her assassinated father and the popularity he enjoyed at the global level.
“If such a great leader can be killed, why can’t be I?” Qureshi quoted Benazir, as questioning.
He said that Benazir also told him that “we have to die for Pakistan. We have to make sacrifices for our country”.
When asked whether Benazir’s assassination was in line with the fears expressed by her long ago, Qureshi said that all terrorist organisations had been set up with the help and the financial support of the United States.
Benazir was killed in a gun and bomb attack as she was leaving Liaqat Bagh in Rawalpindi after addressing a public rally on December 27, 2007.
First Published: Friday, June 10, 2011, 11:33