Original Articles

They killed Benazir Bhutto and this is how it happened – by Anas Abbas

Anas Abbas is a co-editor of Critical PPP/LUBP who also administers his own blog at: http://aacounterterror.wordpress.com

“Targeted assassination is a necessity of this modern world”. Those were the words of former MOSSAAD official in a recent BBC documentary programme Panorama amid the controversy surrounding the recent killing of a Hamas leader in Dubai.

An assassination is the targeted killing of a prominent figure for political, ideological, religious, financial or military reasons. It can be a government sanctioned killing of opponents or targeted attacks on high-profile enemy elements.

In the United States, four presidents namely Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley, and John F. Kennedy died at the hands of assassins. There have been at least 20 known assassination attempts on U.S. presidents.

In 1914, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by Serbian nationalist insurgents (The Black Hand) triggered what came to be known as the Great War (World War I).

Many countries and regions have lost their leaders through assassination plots. Pakistan is one such country where assassination plots are quite common and have been responsible for the demise of its political, religious, community, tribal leaders and army officers. One such assassination that has been in the news since recently is of its charismatic political leader Benazir Bhutto. She was assassinated on 27 December, 2007, while campaigning for parliamentary and provincial elections in Rawalpindi.

She was standing upright in an armoured vehicle with her head exposed above the open roof escape hatch, waving to the crowd when an attacker opened fire. Seconds later, a bomb was set off at the scene which eventually left some 20 people dead. Bhutto was rushed to Rawalpindi General Hospital, less than two miles from the bombing scene, where doctors then pronounced her dead.

Karachi Riots after assasination

Protests erupted in other cities of Pakistan as news of the assassination spread and by that night a dozen people had died, mostly in gun battles with police. Security forces were on red alert. Elsewhere trains were hijacked and set alight, banks and vehicles were burned down, property was set ablaze and government offices ransacked.

In this analysis below, I will look at the mysteries and controversies surrounding her assassination and try to reach a conclusion on the likely assailants and plotters and the findings of the UN Investigative commission.

Part 1 will look at the controversy that arises immediately after the assassination.

Part 2 will look at the likely culprits behind the assassination in the light of cover up of evidence and the certain important points in UN report.

It will focus on the following questions below:

How should the assassination be investigated?
Was Baithullah Mehsud Responsible ?
Who is likely responsible for the Assassination?
On the notion that Zardari was responsible for Assassination?

Part 1: Controversy surrounding the immediate aftermath of Bhutto’s assassination: The Cause of Benazir’s Death – Head Injury or Gun Shot?

Two theories, that still exist today, remained the highlight of the immediate news after her assassination. It is important to analyze the essence of this controversy and investigate the motives of certain players behind this.

Promoters of “head Injury theory” have been Pakistani military government, Intimidated doctors (who first treated Bhutto at Rawalpindi hospital) and British investigative agency, Scotland Yard.

Sun roof lever after the Benazir incident

Promoters of “Gun shot as cause for her death” have been PPP supporters and many other independent analysts (Such as British Channel 4) who reached this conclusion by observing the different assassination TV footages from various angles.

Note: Channel 4 video analysis showed that there was no sign of blood on the sun roof lever hence proving the gun shot theory.

This controversy is absurd and was deliberately fueled and exploited by all stakeholders. In my view, it should not matter whether Benazir died because of hitting her head on the escape hatch or from gun shots. Either way, she was killed because of that fifteen year old suicide bomber who initially tried to shoot her when he fired gunshots and subsequently blew himself up as it appears in the video footage widely telecasted by news channels.

I am using this example below to explain my point:

If I am in a small, empty room with no windows and the only way out is through a door with a glass centre, most of which is broken, exposing edges sharp enough to cut human skin. But If I am careful I can go through that door without a scratch.

Now, if I see a venomous snake in that room, given my fear of snakes, all I would want to do is go through that door. But, since my fear of snakes would have captured my attention more than the broken glass on the door, I am likely to end up with some, possibly severe, cuts on my body once I go through that door.

Just how fear of snakes can cause me to almost ignore the broken glass, Bhutto’s concussion was the result of a logical response in a desperate situation. Normally any person would be careful going down the sunroof. But if I was getting shot at, the first and the only thing on my mind would be to dodge the bullets. If Bhutto did indeed die of a concussion when she hit her head on the edge of the sunroof of her vehicle then it was only because of the assassin that this happened.

The theory may have substance but the conclusion is absurd. The suicide bomber was there to kill Bhutto and, regardless of the cause of her death, the mission of the bomber was successful.

However, the Pakistani military has advocated the head injury hypothesis in order to achieve two objectives.

a) To impede the investigation of Benazir’s assassination

b) To blunt criticism that she was not adequately protected

Let’s analyse these two points

Benazir’s death from “head injury” was important for the then Mushrraf government of Pakistan because it helped them to promote the notion that president Musharraf provided the best security measures but eventually it was Bhutto who hit her head on the sunroof. Thus this was crucial to shun criticism that despite those security measures, a 15 year old suicide bomber managed to get so close and fired shots from a mere three meters range.

The second aim of this theory was to divert attention of the Pakistani public and the media who were demanding a criminal probe against the forces behind the assassination. The government, by exploiting the head injury theory, tried its best to bury the important questions surrounding the assassination such as bullets used in the shooting which, if recovered, would have indicated the type of weapon used or would have given some clues surrounding the genuine identity of the assassin.

Hence in order to cover up this major security lapse and conceal important facts surrounding the assassination, the Pakistani military government took shelter under the umbrella of this “head injury theory”.

The gunshot theory was initially supported by doctors who first treated Bhutto after she was brought in the Rawalpindi hospital. Later these doctors contradicted their earlier claims and supported the theory of head injury as the cause of death (Read the Final Medical report here).

According to the newspaper Washington post, “Pakistani authorities have pressured the medical personnel who tried to save Benazir Bhutto’s life to remain silent about what happened in her final hour and have removed records of her treatment from the facility. “The government took all the medical records right after Ms. Bhutto’s time of death was read out,” said a visibly shaken doctor who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. Sweating and putting his head in his hands, he said: ‘Look, we have been told by the government to stop talking. And a lot of us feel this is a disgrace.’”

Javed Iqbal cheema press conference

When Bhutto was in hospital, an ISI officer, Rawalpindi Detachment Commander Colonel Jehangir Akhtar was also present. According to the UN report, at this point ISI Deputy Director General, Major General Nusrat Naeem contacted Professor Mussadiq (senior physician who treated Bhutto) from Colonel Jehangir’s cell phone to confirm the news about Bhutto’s death. At this point, the ISI wanted to ensure that the doctors would eventually support the head injury theory and would not reveal any other information to the media. The next day Pakistani government formally proposed the head injury theory in a press conference. However, this failed to convince the public. This was primarily because of certain assassination video footages that were aired at the time across all Pakistani TV channels showing the possibility of Bhutto’s death being caused by bullet wounds. This prompted the Pakistani government to backtrack its head injury theory statement and instead the government spokesperson, Javed Iqbal Cheema, announced that the ministry would wait for forensic investigations before making a conclusion on Bhutto’s cause of death. At the same time Asif Zardari, Bhutto’s widower demanded the UN investigation into the assassination and openly claimed a conspiracy by the Pakistani establishment to assassinate her spouse.

Calls for international and independent investigation led the Pakistani army government to involve the British investigative agency, the Scotland Yard.

Al Qaeda’s European Operations Director

Musharraf now promised to provide intelligence on high profile Al Qaeda operatives, especially the head of Al Qaeda’s European operations, Rashid Rauf, to the British government. Britain had higher stakes in the ‘War on terror’ and for the sake of prioritising its national interests and protecting British streets from terrorists, it agreed to send the Scotland Yard team and draft a report predominantly in Muharraf government’s favour. The 3-page “long report” by the Scotland Yard was void from any criticism against the Military government and reached a conclusion that the cause of Bhutto’s death was the impact from her head injury. It should be noted that Muharraf in his press conference after the assassination announced that the Scotland Yard would investigate the core of assassination but in reality the only job given to Scotland Yard by him was to investigate the actual cause of Benazi’s death (Head injury or Gun Shots). It was drastically different from the recent UN 70 page report. (Read here the Scotland Yard Report).

Throughout this time, Bhutto’s PPP maintained an active, but not effective, stance that the cause of the assassination was gunshot wounds. As I have argued before, it makes no sense to maintain this since, regardless of the direct cause of Benazir’s death, it was the terrorist who brought about the events that led to her death. Instead of clarifying this to the public The PPP remained firm on the gun shot theory. They were motivated by attempts to define Bhutto’s legacy: perhaps Bhutto would be considered a martyr if she died by gunshot, but not if she died by hitting her head following a bomb blast. One other motive was the general election. Throughout history, assassination, successful or not, has proven to be a license to get votes. The PPP was sure to get sympathy from the public and they were not going to allow the head injury theory to kill their prospects for winning the elections. After considering these motives, it is obvious why the PPP did not insist on carrying out an independent post mortem examination.

Part 2: I would like to explain this section by answering some important questions that will help us in understanding this assassination plot.

The assassination, while tragic, was not one that was well planned; the assassin had left clues but to no avail thanks to subsequent developments such as hosing down of crime scene by Rawalpindi Police.

Some important questions to consider are:

How should the assassination be investigated?

In order to find the likely assailants, the investigation should focus on who ordered the hit on 18th October 2007. The October 18th failed assassination attempt and the 27th December shooting were the work of the same group. This group was after Benazir ever since she returned to Pakistan. It should be noted that between October 18th 2007 and the day of her assassination, Benazir attended only one large public rally in Larkana on the 23rd December 2007. It’s quite possible that her assassin went to chase her in Larkana and didn’t execute the plot due to PPP’s own high security arrangements and the volunteers of “Jaan Nisar Benazir”.

Note: The Jaan Nisar Benazir volunteer’s main task was to form a human chain around Bhutto in order to stop suicide bombers from reaching her. These volunteers were arranged by Zulfiqar Mirza and Asif Zardari. The Punjab government however denied Benazir the approval to include them in Rawalpindi on the day of assassination.

Secondly the ostensible security lapses which led to Bhutto’s death should not be overlooked. It is possible that the security collapse was purposely planned to aid in the assassination.

Crime Scene after the Bomb Blast

The security failure is also extensively highlighted by the UN report which also revealed the evidence of poor security arrangement, lack of emergency plans and ‘hosing down’ of crime scene by the Rawalpindi police. The other important issue that is not much discussed before is the issue of remote control bomb jamming devices. Several sources claim that throughout Bhutto’s stay in Pakistan since October 18, she was anxious about these jamming devices. According to the British Journalist Christina Lamb, Bhutto got up early on the morning of 27th December and requested from the Iraqi president Jalal Talabni through her friend Peter Galbraith, some of the devices that he was using.

According to PPP’s own sources and the UN report, the jamming devices provided by the military government of Pakistan were defunct.

The third issue is concerning the vehicle in which she was travelling when she was assassinated. The vehicle, a Land Cruiser, was taken to the police lines and was not properly preserved.

Vehicle that was taken to Police Lines

According to the UN report, ISI operatives were also present at the scene and further findings of the report revealed that “An investigating police officer on the orders of the CPO, removed Ms Bhutto’s shoes and took them to the City Police Station. Sometime thereafter, the shoes were ordered back into the car. This was clearly interfering with the integrity of the evidence”.

The most essential point here is the missing of crucial evidence such as the Dupatta (Bhutto’s white head scarf), from the vehicle during its presence at Police Lines.

The fourth issue is of Post – Mortem. Why this was not carried out and the reason why the military government and law enforcement agencies were adamant into carrying the post-mortem out at Chaklala airbase instead of Rawalpindi Hospital?

Lastly the interrogation of the following possible suspects should be carried: General Hamid Gul (A terrorist who operates with impunity in Pakistan), Chaudry Pervez Elahi and Brigadier Ejaz Shah, basically those that were mentioned in Benazir’s October 16th letter. Bhutto had claimed on numerous occasions that these were the individuals who she feared for her life. Although it is common in Pakistan for politicians to make such claims either for popularity or public sympathy but the fact that Bhutto was killed at least proves that she did in fact fear for her life.

Hamid Gul, Ejaz Shah and Pervez Elahi

It is hence reasonable to investigate the three people she singled out. Unfortunately no such investigation has so far taken place.

Was Baithullah Mehsud Responsible ?

This narrative of Pakistani government failed to convince many people (including the UN and PPP). There are some issues with the claim that Baitullah assassinated Bhutto. The claim is based on a single telephone call that was intercepted by the ISI in which Mehsud congratulated his people for carrying out this act. Refer here for the exact transcript of Mehsud’s conversation.

Baithullah Mehsud

The following are the issues with this Baithullah theory.

Issue 1.

Throughout the conversation the interlocutors did not mention Benazir so may be this conversation if genuine relates to some other attack. If this intercept is real then there is also a possibility that it is a previous conversation between Baithullah and associates about some other bombing. It should be noted that a wave of suicide bombings was started in 2007 and Baithullah claimed responsibility for most of them.

Issue 2.

Does the ISI have the voice prints in order to verify the authenticity of the voice recording?

Issue 3.

The ISI managed to intercept this phone call and produced the evidence within 24 hrs of the assassination. This same agency fails to intercept telephone calls and produce evidence on numerous other bombing incidents some of which are the bomb blast in Lahore, Marriot Hotel Bombing and the attack on the Sri Lankan Cricket team.

Issue 4.

Baithullah has always denied carrying out the assassination. None of his close aides have ever claimed responsibility of the assassination even after Baithullah’s death?

Who is likely responsible for the Assassination?

Before investigating the main plotter, it is important to identify the accomplices who facilitated this assassination. Considering the washing of crime scene, shifting of Benazir’s body to Chaklala airbase, interference of Military Government with medical reports, disappearance of Bhutto’s dupatta, and the government’s inadequate security plans including defuct jamming devices, it is reasonable to conclude that the Musharraf government acted as a facilitator in the assassination.

Pervez Musharraf

The security blunders, both during and after the assassination, are too blatant to be considered just a failure on the part of the government. They were in stark contrast to what happened during the investigation of the two assassination attempts on Musharraf in the same city, when the area had been sealed off for weeks.

In order to find out the main assassin one can follow the rule that I have described above that is to find out who is responsible for October 18th bombings. According to various journalists, Pakistan investigators and Benazir herself, Qari Safiullah Akhtar was responsible for the October 18th bombings. The best source of intelligence on this comes from Benazir who named Qari in her posthumous book, ’Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and the West’. As I said before that any vital intelligence that came from Benazir should not be overlooked because her assassination proves that her life was in danger and those plots were not conspired by Benazir herself to gain public sympathy. Benazir was a sociable & popular politician in Pakistan and it is expected that she must have got few of her reliable sources inside Pakistani security agencies who provided her with valuable intelligence on Qari Safullah.

(Centre) Qari Saifullah Akhtar

Note: Qari was in jail during the time Bhuttoo was in exile. However he was set free on 21st May 2007, 5 months before October 18th blasts. In 2008, Qari was again arrested by law enforcement agencies in connection with October 18 bombings but was later freed.

It should be noted that Qari safiullah Akhtar is an important Al Qaeda member who, like Illyas Kashmiri (a former Pakistan army officer), operates independently and is used by the ISI for assassination and bombing purposes within Pakistan (Ilyas Kashmiri is used for the Kashmiri territory).

Apart from Qari and elements inside the Musharraf government, there were others in the Pakistani establishment who wanted Bhutto dead. Some possible suspects are Brigadier Ejaz Shah (recently allowed to leave for Australia under the Musharraf government to escape a possible criminal investigation) and Terrorist Hamid Gul.

Note: The Pakistani Establishment is a group of powerful individuals within Pakistan Army and security agencies such as ISI, MI & IB. it also includes politicians and media persons who promotes their agenda such as journalist Syed Talat hussain, Doctor Moeed Peerzada, Mushahid Hussain, Maleha Lodhi, Pir Pagara, Chaudry Brothers and Marvi Memon.

On the notion that Zardari was responsible for Assassination?

Zardari’s involvement in Bhutto’s assassination is promoted by the Pakistani Establishment and a substantial section of Pakistani Media on the basis of the following two conclusions:

1. Zardari refused to carry out the post mortem of Bhutto and therefore he is the culprit.

Asif Ali Zardari

2. Zardari is protecting Rehman Malik and Baber Awan so this makes him complicit in Bhutto’s death.

Before discussing the above, it is important to remember that Zardari is an unpopular politician, with numerous allegations of corruption and power abuse. So much so that he is popularly referred to as Mr 10%. With this reputation, Zardari is an easy target.

It is, however, wrong to assume that Zardari is responsible for not allowing the post-mortem. Although he did not consent to carrying out the post – mortem but one has to look at the situation Zardari was put under by the Pakistani military government. Bhutto’s body was shifted to the Chaklala airbase by the military without Zardari’s consent. What is strange is that the military insisted on carrying out the medical examination on the airbase instead of the Rawalpindi hospital.

The Rawalpindi Police on orders from ISI put the entire blame on Zadari for refusing to carry out the post – mortem. Paragraph 147 of the UN report states “It is odd that Ms Bhutto’s remains were moved to the Pakistan Air Force base (Chaklala Airbase) in Rawalpindi before Mr Zardari’s arrival from Dubai. According to sources, the body was taken from the hospital around 2300 hours, on 27 December. The note signed by Mr Zardari accepting his wife’s remains is timed 0110 hours on 28 December. If the police were genuinely waiting for Mr Zardari’s permission before requesting a post- mortem examination, they should have left Ms Bhutto’s remains at the hospital. Instead they moved her remains to Chaklala Airbase, thereby rendering such an examination more difficult. When questioned about this, senior Punjab officials stated that the plan was to carry out the examination at the base which also had medical facilities. However, the fact that Ms Bhutto’s coffin was not taken to the medical facilities, but placed in a room at the base makes this assertion doubtful”.

The findings of the UN commission vindicated Zardari from the post – mortem mess. Zardari would have allowed the post mortem had the Pakistan army not had transferred Bhutto’s body to the Chaklala airbase without his permission. The reason Zardari refused to carry out the post – mortem at the airbase was because he suspected that the authorities were likely to manipulate the report in order to prove that Bhutto died from head injury and hence due to her own fault.

Rehman Malik and Babar Awan

Also according to the UN report, Rehman Malik and Baber Awan were in a Mercedes travelling behind Bhutto on the day of her assassination. Other people inside the car were Farhatullah Baber and General Tauqir Zia. The UN report, in paragraph 234, heavily criticised the departure of these individuals (including Malik and Awan) after the blast. On the basis of this departure and on the recent interview of the driver of the vehicle to Dunya news, the Pakistani media is promoting the hypothesis that since Malik and Baber fled the scene, they were involved in the assassination.

To connect these two individuals with the assassination on the basis of just this departure is vague and insufficient. To be fair, Malik and Baber showed have stayed around after the blast, but it has been proven by both medical and witnesses accounts that Bhutto died almost instantly after the blast. Hence if Malik and Baber had stayed, they would have been no help to Bhutto. Even if Malik and Baber were involved in the assassination, they are probably smart enough to not just flee the scene of crime.

Unfortunately the Pakistani media has largely focused on this unreasonable theory. The obsession with this theory is evident from the account below:

Recently, the driver of the Mercedes in which Rehman Malik and Baber Awan fled after the bomb blast scene gave an interview to journalist Naseem Zehra for Dunya News. The driver has said that on 27th December, minutes before the assassination, Rehman Malik said that “Aaj koi mojza hoga agar Hum bach gayee tuu”

English Translation:

“Only a miracle can save us today”.

The Pakistani talk show (popular political soap operas in Pakistan) hosts “DR” Shahid Masood (no University is willing to verify his so called ‘Phd’ education), Kashif Abbasi and conspiracy theorist Ansar Abbasi (popularly known as journalist) have falsely interpreted this statement of the driver in a recent programme on the TV channel ARY as:

“Aaj koi mojza hoga agar Benazir bach gayee tuu”

English Translation:.

“Only a miracle can save Benazir Bhutto today”

The difference between the two statements is obvious. The misinterpreted statement is deliberately used by the media to portray Rehman Malik as a quintessential bad guy in a Bollywood movie.

Conclusion:

To summarise the above, Benazir was assassinated by Qari Safiullah Akhtar on the orders of Pakistani establishment. The Musharraf government acted as a facilitator in the assassination by playing an important role by the handling of crime scene, tampering of evidence, security lapses and finally by declaring Baithullah Mehsud as responsible. The role of the Pakistani media in this crisis remains biased and protective of the Pakistani establishment. The media, who plays a significant role in forming public opinion, has engaged in falsely accusing Zardari and other PPP members for the assassination. They have even criticised the UN investigation and calling it a conspiracy against the Pakistani Army. Sympathizers of the Pakistani establishment (Such as Rashid Qureshi and Shaheen Shabai) are also spreading rumours that the UN investigation cost Pakistan $1.5 million a page (70 page in total). The fact is that the total cost of the report is $5million and it is stated in the same report that the commission would be funded by the member states (Page 69). According to Abdullah Hussain Haroon, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, the investigation will cost Pakistan around $1.1 million (Rs 100 million) and the remaining is being funded by the US, UK, UAE and the Turkish governments.

The gross exaggeration of the cost in the name of journalism is necessary for the Pakistani media and Establishment because it helps them to mislead the public against Zardari government, further adding to the ills of poor economy and high crime. It should be noted that the never mentioned cost of Aafia Siddiqui’s lawsuit was $2 million. The media is serving the country well by exaggerating and criticizing the cost of investigating the death of a democratic leader and rarely ever mentioning the cost of protecting a terrorist.

References:

Benazir UN Report

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwB8rFmDr6k

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2007/12/31/ST2007123102506.html?hpid=topnews

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article7111333.ece

http://www.metransparent.com/spip.php?page=article&id_article=9753&var_lang=en&lang=en

http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=17449

http://www.metransparent.com/spip.php?page=article&id_article=9695&var_lang=en&lang=en

http://www.metransparent.com/spip.php?page=article&id_article=9708&var_lang=en&lang=en

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSE_3rzubSI

http://aacounterterror.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/passports-to-kill/

http://www.dawn.com/2007/12/29/top13.htm

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Regional/Karachi/27-Apr-2010/UN-report-on-BB-will-cost-Rs100m

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  • Some Comments on the post from FB

    Shoaib Mir
    Anas, well-argued, well-researched.
    One only wishes that it could be converted into an FIR of Benazir… See more’s assassination. However, one doesn’t have to be a legal eagle to say that a thorough, professionally impartial investigation under a senior Supreme Court judge may be immediately ordered to look into the loopholes pointed out in the article and the UN Report, particularly:

    1. The missing dupatta;
    2. The missing medical record;
    3. Tampering with forensic evidence;
    4. Qari Safiullah’s role and whereabouts;
    5. The role of the 3 VIP’s named by BB;
    6. Post-mortem of 20 others who died

    This must be followed by a high powered 7-member judicial commission comprising of eminent members of the Bar and the Bench such as Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid, Justice Fakhruddin Ebrahim, Justice Tariq Mahmood, Asma Jahangir, Ali Ahmed Kurd, Athar Minallah and Aitzaz Ahsan, that may bring to justice the conspirators, financiers, abettors, facilitators and killers involved in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

    Ali K. Chishti
    The arguments are hard-hitting and introspecting and I wish I could write as per my will but nevertheless,

    I. Let’s not forget that Bibi’s blackberry is with the President. In no-way he’s responsible but he has a lot of explaining to do when he’s out of the indemnity mode.
    II. Lets understand ISI and how army works – if in theory or in practice ISI is under PMO and Chief of Staff then could ISI act “freelance” – the evidence suggests, Yes but at what level? I personally don’t think it was from the top level and I will be very vague about it.
    III. Finally it’s what in Urdu we use, “amar-e-musalima” that, the security establishment knew about the plan (let’s also take the Karsaz bombing in the context) but willingly or unwillingly did not act.
    This is another JFK, Liaqat Ali Khan and Zia combined.

    Shoaib Mir
    Ali,
    If your argument in (Point # I) is read with “This is another JFK, Liaqat Ali Khan and Zia combined,” should one also understand that Jacqueline, Raana and Shafiqua also had a lot of explaining to do in the assassination/murder of their respective husbands but were never officially asked?

    Ali K. Chishti
    No. I am not blaming Zardari at-all but, when we hear things like, Rehman Baba and other’s should not be questioned – it raises doubts. President Zardari should come clean on couple of points and openly talk about the post-mortem and bibi’s black-berry which was previously “not-found”.

    As for the real culprits behind the assassination – they are “milking it”.

    Adil Noushad
    I think this Lever theory was coined to give cover to the assassins. It is highly likely there were more than 2 assassins to do the job. Gunshots were heard even after the bomb blast and dead bodies had the gunshot wounds according to the relatives of deceased. Hosing down of the crime scene was pre planned similar thing happened in case of Murtaza… See more Bhutto assassination. Where is the gun from which the shots were fired?
    BB did a fatal mistake by coming out of the sunroof (escape route) to become vulnerable to the killers but was it the only reason of her being killed. What could the Plan B in case if she didn’t come out of the car. Obviously assassins were skilled and trained and were there to finish their job. First plan must be to wait until target does a mistake and become vulnerable and then attack. Second is to create a situation for target to be vulnerable. The presences of Assassin(s) with suicide bomber suggest that they had more plans to finish the job. In case if she didn’t come out of the car, the plan might be to get suicide bomber closer to the car and then detonate the bomb, since the killers knew it suicide bomb cannot kill her inside the bullet proof car they only objective of suicide might be to disperse the crowd and security arrangements, immobilise the car and once she moved out of the car then fire the shots to kill her. if the objective was to kill her it couldn’t be achieved by suicide bomber alone. Similar plan was foiled by Jan Nisar Benazir when they formed a human shield and securely shifted her in the other car after the blast.
    It is no doubt an ISI job with the help of Qari or X, Y, Z were only instrumental. Musharraf’s warning to BB, Baitullah’s message to BB, hosing down of scene, missing evidences from inside the car, no post mortem, feigned audio tape etc are enough to single out the real culprit.
    Zardari said he know the killers but he cannot do anything , he knows his limits that’s why he needed the UN umbrella to initiate the inquiry. That’s why he rejected the Scotland Yard report which strengthened the official version that she was killed by lever. If we assume Lever theory to be right then washing of crime scene becomes irrelevant and it makes the role of agencies less doubtful and reduces it only to security lapse not involvement. To establish agencies involvement we need to look at the chronology of events after and before the BB’s murder. If it was a mere a security lapse on part of the government, Musharraf might have suspended or arrested few official for negligence but the orders came from somewhere else.
    Where is the Gun?

    Ali K. Chishti
    There… See more’s no doubt that TTP killed Benazir Bhutto, firstly with the knowledge of khakis. Did Bibi came with an American Plan? This is as absurd as it sounds? Who nominated General Pasha? We all know from our experiences that our Army is as close to the US as politicians but is not-bad to be honest but, blaming politicians alone as agents and security risks is hypocrisy.
    I think the security establishment has decided that they won’t allow, another popularly elected leader in Pakistan – so we may, not in the near future would see a 2/3 majority – leader. This is defacto a – Turkish Model.

    Adil Noushad
    @ ali
    Zardari made it clear why he did not let them to carry out a post mortem, It was the duty of gov to do the post mortem before handing over the body to the heirs. He was asked when her body already reached at chaklala in coffins after 7 hours and by keeping in view his emotion and doubts he did the right thing. Even if he had allowed them to … See morego ahead with post mortem what are the chances of a fair report of post mortem ?

    BB’s black berry is not very vital for the investigation what it is need for when we know her calls were already being taped. She was using Black berry with post paid connection and the record of her calls can be easily obtained. If gov can trace a call of Baitullah Mehsud in less than 24 hours why it failed to trace the communication of the killers before the attacks,we know this kind of attack cannot be carried without being effectively involved in series of communication.

    Shoaib Mir
    Without repeating what is already known, written, discussed and reported ad nauseam in the media:

    1. In the present highly charged political atmosphere, one is at a loss to understand how any statement by the President would be accepted by his doubters and detractors as coming clean on his part unless it says, hypothetically: “Yes, I ordered the … See morekilling of my wife!!!”

    2. On post-mortem, medical report, silence of doctors and tampering of forensic evidence, the UN Report basically corroborates the Washington Post story. And that really doesn’t satisfy our media, the political pundits and above all the powers-that-be – the Establishment.

    3. Blackberry! Let’s not confuse it with the black-box of a plane. Do we expect it to play back the voice of BB saying, there’s the shooter catch him! It should rightfully be in the possession of her widower; do we expect President Zardari to gift it to the suicide bomber’s family?

    4. In the absence of an independent, high-powered judicial commission determined to get to the truth inspite of and in the teeth of the ISI, MI and IB, there may be many more theories than doing the rounds of our drawing rooms at the moment.

    Bhole Vishwakarma
    Fundamnetal stuff Anas! Great!

  • it might by true what writer wrote but the Murder of Benazir can’t be done with out and inside hand.
    as a PPP lover i ask who killed Murtuza Bhutto?
    everyone knows about the bad blood of Mir Sahab and Zardari, Mir Sahab guards even shaved Zardari Mustaches, famous Clifton bridge chasing of Zardari cars by Mir Sahab and his Guards, after Mir Sahab murder, the accused including Policemen who were arrested are now on big position including Shoaib Suddle, Wajid Durrani etc.
    Question is why Zulfiqar Mirza and Agha Siraj Durrani called back the Janesaran e Benazir from Multan ?
    what was the reason behind it ?
    Zardari said some unknown person came and handed over BB will to him ?
    who was that man ?How authentic BB will is?
    When BB clearly said that she don’t want to see Zardari in politics then how it is possible she give party to Zardari?
    After release Zardari didn’t went to Dubai he went to USA, from there he sent Khalid Shahanshah to Dubai, Khalid was not asked by the BB to accompany her, it was Zardari who sent him.
    then Murder of Khalid Shahanshah, an under world operative as mention by UN commission report, right hand of Shoaib Khan an Under World Don, and after that mysterious Murder of Rehman Dakait the famous Drug Peddler and Underworld operative and PP worker who drove Benazir after 18 oct blast in Karachi in 4×4 double cabin crushing more then 100 people who were either injured in blasts or on the run when Rehamn Dakait the Benazir Body Guard ran over them as i was eye witness to it, can anyone deny it ???
    This is PPP forum and i know deep down inside PPP workers they do feel inside hand in BB murder but they are quite and remain quite till current PPP government as they are also involved in looting Pakistan.
    Most of the current rulers including Zardari are not affiliated with PPP, Zulfiqar Mirza, Siraj Durrani have these important posts because they are Zardari friend, Sindh Chief Minister is not Qaim Ali Shah, Faryal Talpur sister of Zardari is actually calling all the shots, Zardaris have taken over Naudero, even old Mulazims are replaced, Rehman Malik and Baber Awan never worked for PPP, Sharmila Faroqi father and uncle was the front man of Zardari in Corruption.
    Dear PPP workers come to Pakistan and see how badly PPP workers are treated now a days, Lyari a strong hold of PPP is now handed over to Drug peddlers by Zulfiqar Mirza, PPP is taking its last breaths in lyari as well.
    now there is no PPP in lyari, onlt Peoples Amn Committee gang of Rehman Dakait .
    .

  • Rehman Dakait is not dead, just masquerading as Rehman Malik and deeds are on

  • President Zardari, tell us who killed Benazir Bhutto:

    http://www.yousufnazar.com/?p=1184

    The elites would tell you that you lost ground because you did not restore Iftikhar Chaudhry. That is rubbish. You lost ground because you seem to have betrayed BB and her politics. Her’s was the politics of the people, not perfect, but she was a popular leader who engaged with the people. Yours is the politics of backroom deals and cronies. Hence, the reality might shock you in the next elections. Remember, Zia’s son could not have won even that one single seat without the support of the intelligence agencies.

    The people and particularly the millions of supporters of the party will ask you about the killers of Benazir Bhutto. You should know better. Even a decade long absence from the country could not cause a dent in her following. She won the popular vote in 2002 and yet again after her death in 2008. Musharraf wrote her off contemptuously only to eat humble pie later. You should not underestimate her as a martyr.

    You should not delude yourself into believing that the people will forget. That they will forget that you let Musharraf run away. That you did not show any sign of serious interest in pursuing BB’s killers because you seemed to be enjoying the fruits and perks of power and were afraid to pursue killers because they wore or were still wearing uniforms? If the people are wrong to think like this, you will have to do more than just talking. You will have to find the killers of Benazir Bhutto and bring them to justice. Until and unless you do that, people like me would be justified in saying Pakistani state is a criminal enterprise and you are part of it.

  • on BB’s death anniversary, Zardari says that BB was killed by Baitullah Mehsud
    http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=8134

    But in wikileaks, after BB’s death, Zardari disclosed to the US ambassador that Baitullah Mehsud was simply a pawn in the hands of a much larger player.

    So why, when the FIA is still investigating BB’s death, did President Zardari have to conclude that Baitullah Mehsud killed BB? Is it what we all suspected that the recently discovered “developments” in BB’s murder investigations (http://tribune.com.pk/story/94132/benazir-murder-case-detained-cops-name-senior-army-officials/) in which ex CPO Saud Aziz named senior ISI, MI men as involved in the BB plot was simply an eyewash to pacify angry PPP supporters in the days leading up to her anniversary? And now that the anniversary is over, the new developments in the case will simply be forgotten?

  • Three years on, mystery still unsolved

    Salman Siddiqui
    December 27, 2010

    Benazir Bhutto delivering her last speech minutes before her assassination on December 27, 2007. PHOTO: FILE
    KARACHI: As caravans of PPP supporters struck out towards Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, the burial site of Benazir Bhutto, on Sunday, one slogan stood out: BB ham sharminda hain, teray qatil zinda hein (BB we are ashamed, your murderers are still alive.)

    Three years after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, party activists are saddened by the fact that the real masterminds behind the attack remain at large.

    “When authorities can’t even solve the murder of Khalid Shahenshah, we can’t really expect much progress in the probe into Benazir’s assassination,” said one furious jiyala.

    Shahenshah, the slain PPP chairperson’s chief security guard, was a key eyewitnesses of the December 27, 2007 attack in Rawalpindi. He was in Benazir’s vehicle along with Senator Safdar Abbasi. He was killed under mysterious circumstances in a drive-by shooting in Karachi in July, 2008.

    DIG Iqbal Mehmood admitted that Shahenshah’s case remains unsolved. “No arrests have been made in the case to-date,” he said, adding, that all talk about suspected underworld or terrorist link into this attack were no more than mere hearsay as no such links could be found.
    Even the probe into the assassination attempt on Benazir on the Karsaz Road on Oct 18, 2007, in which 179 people were killed, has gone nowhere. SSP Investigations Niaz Khosa said the four terrorists were, in fact, low-level Taliban operatives who had been languishing in Karachi jail. They were interrogated in connection with the Karsaz killings and were handed over to the police by secret ‘agencies’. However, they could not be linked with the twin suicide bombings.

    “These four (men) were then sent back to the jail,” Khosa said, adding that a total of 16 people were picked up in the case, all of whom have been released over the years, since their involvement could not be established.

    PPP Information Secretary Fauzia Wahab said it would be unfair to say that no headway had been made into Benazir’s assassination. “The second Joint Investigation Team (JIT) headed by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is doing its best. They have taken into its custody former CPO Rawalpindi Saud Aziz and SP Khurram Shahzad, who only recently have started to spill the beans,” Wahab told The Express Tribune. Aziz is reported to have told investigators that he was acting on the instructions of four ISI and MI officials and it was on their orders that the police hosed down the crime scene.

    But even if the PPP has the will, does it have the capacity to expose and interrogate the people behind Aziz? When asked, a senior federal level PPP official lost her cool and said: “Do you want the PPP government to be removed? We are doing what we can.”

    DG FIA Waseem Ahmed claimed that there was no pressure on him or his organisation. But when asked if he would be knocking on the doors of the intelligence agencies and some current and former military officials allegedly blamed by Aziz and some named in the UN commission’s report, he admitted: “Until and unless there is any concrete evidence against them, we can’t arrest or interrogate them.”

    The first JIT, which was formed and disbanded before the UN commission arrived, had arrested five persons: Aitezaz Shah, Sher Zaman, Husnain Gul, Mohammad Rafaqat and Rasheed Ahmed. In addition, the team charged Baitullah Mehsud, Nasrullah, Abdullah and a ‘Maulvi Sahab’ as ‘proclaimed offenders’. However, Mehsud was killed in a drone attack in August 2009 and Nasrullah reportedly died in an attack in Fata. Their deaths, says terrorism expert Amir Rana, has only complicated the matter since it would be even more difficult to prove whether these extremists acted on their own or were given the task by some powerful individuals to carry out the strike.

    Benazir in her letter to Musharraf had named former DG ISI Hamid Gul, former DG IB Ejaz Shah and PML-Q leader Pervaiz Ilahi as masterminds of her planned
    assassination. The FIA is yet to question the three.
    Also, according to the UN report into Benazir Bhutto’s murder, the commission was told that Aziz “was ordered to hose down the (crime) scene by Major General Nadeem Ijaz Ahmad, then Director General of MI.” Ahmad continues to serve as a military commander in Gujranwala.

    Other intelligence officials named in the UN report include the then ISI deputy director general Major General Nusrat Naeem, who got in touch with Prof Muhammad Mussadiq Khan, the surgeon who operated on Benazir Bhutto at the Rawalpindi General Hospital. The report said Naeem had initially denied making any calls to the hospital, but later admitted to the commission that he spoke with Mussadiq through ISI official, Colonel Jehangir Akhtar’s mobile phone, who was present at the hospital.

    Also, the then director general ISI Major General Nadeem Taj met Bhutto “in the early hours of December 27 at Zardari House.” The UN report said “direct knowledgeable sources told the commission that they spoke about the elections and about threats to Ms Bhutto’s life; versions differ as to how much detail was conveyed about the threats.” However, the report added that the commission was satisfied “that at the least Maj Gen Taj told Ms Bhutto that the ISI was concerned about a possible terrorist attack.” Taj is currently Adjutant General, GHQ.

    Published in The Express Tribune, December 27th, 2010.

  • عزت کی موت اور ذلت کی موت کیا ہوتی ہے اس کا فرق دکھیں

    بینظر شدت پسندوں کی کھلی مخالف اور مذہبی جماعتیں بینظر کی مخالف ،بینظر کو خودکش دھماکے میں شہید کر دیا یا گیا اور پورا ملک رویا ،پورے ملک میں دعائیں ہوئیں ،سارے لوگ آج بھی یاد کرتے ہیں

    دوسری طرف تمام اسلامی جماعتوں کا امیر ،ملا عمر کا منتخب کردہ پاکستان کا نام نہاد خلیفہ بیت الله محسود جس نے فخر سے کی دھماکوں کی ذمے داری قبول کی ،امریکی ڈروں حملے میں جہنم رسید ہوا ،پر جب وہ مرا تو میڈیا میں کسی نے تعزیت اور افسوس نہیں کیا ،جماعت اسلامی اور دوسری سیاسی مذہبی جماعتوں نے اس کی ہلاکت پر کوئی رد عمل نہیں ظاہر کیا ،کسی مدرسے میں اس کے لیہ دعا بھی نہیں ہوئی ،حلانکے وہ تو طالبان پاکستان کا امیر المومنین تھا

    یہ فرق ہوتا ہے عزت کی موت اور ذلت کی موت میں ….

    بیت الله محسود کا آج کوئی نام بھی نہیں لیتا ،کتے کی موت مرا

    بینظر کی عزت اب ان کے مخالف جہادی مولویکو بھی کرنا پڑتی ہے

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    لہو پکارے گا آستیں کا ….عرض حال…نذیر لغاری

    گولیاں چل چکیں، دھماکہ بھی ہوچکا، بے نظیر بھٹو آن کی آن میں کروڑوں نظروں سے اوجھل ہوگئیں۔ ناہید خان نے دیکھا کہ بے نظیر کے سر کے داہنے سے تیزی سے خون بہہ رہا ہے، انہوں نے یہ بھی دیکھا کہ بے نظیر کے دائیں کان سے بھی خون بہہ رہا ہے، مخدوم امین فہیم کا کہنا ہے کہ بے نظیر بھٹو گاڑی میں دھم سے گریں اور گرنے کے بعد ان کے جسم میں زندگی کی کوئی علامت نہیں تھی۔بے نظیر بھٹو کو پانچ بجکر 35 منٹ پر راولپنڈی جنرل اسپتال کے شعبہٴ حادثات میں لایا گیا۔ ڈاکٹر سعدیہ یاسمین نے ان کی زندگی کو بچانے کی کوششیں شروع کیں۔ ڈاکٹر سعدیہ کا کہنا ہے کہ جب بے نظیر بھٹو کو لایا گیا تو بے نظیر بھٹو کے سر کی دائیں جانب ایک زخم تھا جہاں سے خون بہہ رہا تھا۔ وہ ہوش و حواس میں نہیں تھیں اور وہ سانس بھی نہیں لے رہی تھیں۔ اسپتال کے سینئر رجسٹرار ڈاکٹر اورنگ زیب بھی پہنچ گئے۔
    پانچ بجکر 57 منٹ پر ڈاکٹر مصدق نے بے نظیر بھٹو کے دل کی حالت دیکھنا چاہی مگر ان کا دل دھڑکنا چھوڑ چکا تھا۔ تمام کوششیں رائیگاں گئیں۔ 6 بجکر 16 منٹ پر ڈاکٹر مصدق نے بے نظیر بھٹو کی موت کا اعلان کر دیا۔ انہوں نے تمام حضرات سے کہا کہ وہ کمرے سے چلے جائیں تاکہ خواتین ڈاکٹر اور نرسیں بے نظیر کی میت کو صاف کر سکیں۔ اس پورے عمل کے دوران آپریشن تھیٹر کا عملہ وہاں موجود رہا۔ ڈاکٹر قدسیہ انجم قریشی نے بے نظیر کا سر، گردن اور جسم کا بالائی حصہ صاف کیا اور یہ بھی دیکھا کہ کیا جسم کے کسی اور حصے میں زخم کا کوئی نشان موجود ہے یا نہیں۔ انہیں سر کے بائیں حصے کی جانب ایک زخم کے علاوہ کوئی اور زخم نظر نہیں آیا۔ بے نظیر بھٹو کو اسپتال کے کپڑے پہنائے گئے اور ان کے اپنے کپڑے ان کی ایک ملازمہ کے حوالے کئے گئے۔ ڈاکٹروں کا کہنا ہے کہ انہوں نے بے نظیر کا دوپٹہ نہیں دیکھا۔ بے نظیر کا دوپٹہ پھر کبھی نہیں ملا۔اس دوران تین مواقع پر پروفیسر مصدق نے سی پی او سعود عزیز سے بے نظیر بھٹو کا پوسٹ مارٹم کرنے کی اجازت طلب کی۔ سعود عزیز نے پروفیسر ڈاکٹر مصدق کی درخواست تینوں بار مسترد کردی۔ سعود عزیز نے پروفیسر مصدق سے پوچھا کہ کیا اس واقعے کی ایف آئی آر درج ہوچکی ہے حالانکہ اس معاملے کا علم پروفیسر مصدق کو نہیں بلکہ خود سعود عزیز کو ہونا چاہئے تھا۔ اس موقع پر موجود ڈی سی او الٰہی نے سعود عزیز کے موٴقف کی حمایت کی۔ بے نظیر کی موت کے سر ٹیفکیٹ پر سینئر رجسٹرار ڈاکٹر اورنگ زیب نے دستخط کئے اور موت کے سبب کے خانے میں لکھا کہ ”آٹوپسی(لاش کے معائنے اور جانچ) کے بعد ہی پتہ چلے گا۔ اس شام آئی ایس آئی کے کرنل جہانگیر اختر زیادہ تر وقت اسپتال میں موجود رہے۔ اس موقع پر کرنل جہانگیر اختر کے موبائل فون پر آئی ایس آئی کے ڈپٹی ڈائریکٹر جنرل میجر جنرل نصرت نعیم کی کال آئی۔ انہوں نے پروفیسر ڈاکٹر مصدق سے بات کی، میجر جنرل نصرت نعیم نے ابتداء میں اقوام متحدہ کے تحقیقاتی کمیشن کے روبرو اسپتال میں کال کرنے سے انکار کیا تھا تاہم انہوں نے بعد میں یہ تسلیم کیا کہ وہ اپنے اعلیٰ حکام کو بے نظیر بھٹو کی موت کی اطلاع سے قبل خود ڈاکٹر مصدق سے یہ جاننا چاہتے تھے کہ کیا بے نظیر بھٹو فوت ہوچکی ہیں؟
    بے نظیر بھٹو کی میت 10 بجکر 35 منٹ تک اس وقت تک اسپتال میں رہی جب تک اسے تابوت میں منتقل کر کے بند نہیں کر دیا گیا، بے نظیر کی میت کی وصولی کی دستاویز پر ناہید خان نے دستخط کئے۔ میت تابوت میں رکھی جاچکی تھی اور میت کو لیجانے والا طیارہ تیار کھڑا تھا۔ بے نظیر بھٹو کی موت کے سات گھنٹے بعد میت کو تابوت میں منتقل کر کے ایئر بیس پر لائے جانے کے بعد سعود عزیز نے آصف علی زرداری سے پوچھا کہ آیا آپ پوسٹ مارٹم کرانا چاہیں گے۔ سعود عزیز بطور ایک اعلیٰ پولیس افسر یہ جانتے تھے کہ کسی بھی شخص کی غیر طبعی موت کی صورت میں پوسٹ مارٹم کرانا پولیس کی ذمہ داری ہے ۔ کیا سعود عزیز کو یہ توقع تھی کہ بے نظیر بھٹو کی موت کے سات گھنٹے بعد رات کو ایک بجے صدمے سے نڈھال آصف علی زرداری ان سے یہ کہیں گے کہ وہ میت کو دوبارہ اسپتال واپس لے جاکر پوسٹ مارٹم کرائیں؟
    28دسمبر کو بے نظیر بھٹو کی میت تدفین کیلئے گڑھی خدا بخش لائی گئی۔ اسی روز راولپنڈی میں صدارتی کیمپ آفس میں جنرل مشرف کی زیر صدارت ہونے والے اجلاس میں پریس کانفرنس کے انعقاد کا فیصلہ کیا گیا۔ اجلاس میں آئی ایس آئی اور ایم آئی کے ڈایکٹر جنرل شریک ہوئے۔ اجلاس کے شرکاء کو طبی شہادتوں کے بارے میں بریفنگ دی گئی۔ اس اجلاس کے بعد ایک اور اجلاس منعقد ہوا جس میں سیکریٹری داخلہ کمال شاہ اور کرائسسز مینجمنٹ سیل کے بریگیڈیئر چیمہ کو بھی بلایا گیا۔ اس میٹنگ میں بے نظیر قتل کیس کے بارے میں بریگیڈیئر چیمہ کی پریس کانفرنس کی تفصیلات طے کی گئیں۔ اس پریس کانفرنس کے بنیادی نکات یہ تھے کہ دھماکے کے بعد جب بے نظیر بھٹو گاڑی کی چھت سے نیچے گرنے لگیں تو گاڑی کا لیور، ان کے سر پر لگا جس سے ان کی موت واقع ہوئی۔ اس پریس کانفرنس میں بے نظیر کے قتل کی ذمہ داری بیت اللہ محسود پر ڈالی گئی اور یہ بھی بتایا گیا کہ بیت اللہ محسود اور ایک مولوی صاحب کے مابین ہونے والی گفتگو پر مشتمل کال پکڑی گئی ہے۔ بیت اللہ محسود کام ہو جانے پر مولوی کو مبارکباد دے رہا تھا۔بے نظیر بھٹو نے اپنی موت سے دو ماہ ایک روز قبل 26/اکتوبر 2007ء کو مارک سیگل کو جو ای میل ارسال کی تھی اس میں صاف کہا گیا تھا کہ ”اگر مجھے کچھ ہوگیا تو اس کی ذمہ داری پرویز مشرف پر ہوگی۔ جب تک تفتیش کا آغاز پرویز مشرف سے نہیں ہوگا تحقیقات کبھی مکمل نہیں ہوں گی۔

    http://search.jang.com.pk/details.asp?nid=493956