Original Articles

Salmaan Taseer should be careful in his comments on Benazir Bhutto’s murder

Related post: Baseless slander in the name of Shaheed Salmaan Taseer: https://lubpak.net/archives/273049

In a recent tweet (23 December 2010), Mr Salman Taseer (Governor of the Punjab province) commends a “research” which concludes that Baitullah Mehsud was Benazir Bhutto’s killer.

Here is the exact tweet:

Concluded it was Baitullah Masood xcellent researchRT @gpspakistan: Book on BB’s murder launched Daily Times http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\12\23\story_23-12-2010_pg7_23

News item

Here is the news item Mr Taseer referred to which was published in his own newspaper:

Book on BB’s murder launched
Source: Daily Times, 23 December 2010

LAHORE: A renowned journalist, Sohail Warraich, has launched his book on the life and murder of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, based on unbiased research. The author has disclosed thrilling facts about the incident. He has written in detail on undisclosed aspects of the episode and has tried to find out if there is any role of the US, Musharraf, Zardari, Baitullah Mehsud or the intelligence agencies, including ISI, in the incident, the identity of the man wearing a ghazi cap who is said to have stopped the car, etc. Who was behind staging a fake encounter for killing the accused suspects of the murder?

He has also obtained opinions from the world’s top experts to find out if the will produced is a real or a fake document. He has thrown light for the first time on the reasons for the differences between Naheed Khan and Asif Zardari. The book includes the viewpoint of the Taliban on the murder of Benazir Bhutto. Special interviews with 100 VIPs like General (R) Musharraf, President Zardari, Naheed Khan, Khalid Shahenshah and Rehman Malik have been incorporated in the book. The book includes rare pictures, sketches, maps, original reports and tables for illustration. Besides, the interesting details of a number of meetings of the writer with Benazir Bhutto have enhanced the worth of the book.

Using Mr Salman Taseer’s wisdom, let us conclude that Benazir Bhutto’s father, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, was not killed by General Zia-ul-Haq but by Tara Maseeh or Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court Maulvi Mushtaq Hussein.

While Baitullah Mehsud and his nominated suicide bomber may be the footsoldiers, it is criminal to ignore those who master-minded BB’s murder by creating, mentoring and supporting Mehsud and his likes.


We think that Salman Taseer’s comments and actions deserve to be carefully scrutinized.

Is it just a coincidence that he happened to be a common choice of the establishment and the PPP even before the PPP came to power through elections. He served as a minister in the caretaker cabinet of Prime Minister Muhammad Mian Soomro under Pervez Musharraf. He was appointed to the post of governor on 15 May 2008 in place of outgoing governor, Lt Gen (R) Khalid Maqbool by former President, General Pervez Musharraf.

During Musharraf’s military rule while other politicians (including Rana Sanaullah, Yusuf Raza Gilani, Javed Hashmi etc) remained faithful to their party, Taseer deftly managed to placate the former military dictator and expanded his business empire.

The PPP workers in the Punjab province are questioning any good that Mr Taseer has done to the party in the past three years.

Here is another example of a Tweet by Mr Taseer:

“One thing is clear from Wikileaks that elected persons wth peoples mandate don’t run Pakistan. Makes elections pointless”

If Mr Taseer really believes that people’s mandate is unnecessary, then why doesn’t he just resign from the government? How can someone from the ruling party say something like this in a public forum?

Does it show the fact that Mr Taseer is unable to be elected even as a councillor in any constituency in the province he is currently ruling?

True loyalties

Mr Taseer’s comment are particularly bland when he is known to have almost abandoned the PPP when Benazir Bhutto was in exile and her husband was in prison for almost 11 years.

By stating and reinforcing the establishment’s line that Baitullah Mehsud was Benazir Bhutto’s killer, Mr Taseer has not done much service to the party.

Those who are still unclear may feel free to consult the following archive of articles.

Related articles:

SP Ashfaq Anwer’s statement confirms ISI’s role in Benazir Bhutto’s murder – by Kamran Shafi

Report of the UN commission on Benazir Bhutto’s assassination: General Musharraf and the ISI indicted

The UN commission report on Benazir Bhutto’s murder and the ISI’s spin-doctors – by Haider Nizamani

The UN Commission’s report on Benazir Bhutto’s murder is an indictment of Pakistan’s army and intelligence agencies – by Syed Talat Hussain

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

Shame all around – by Kamran Shafi

Benazir Bhutto Case: Access Denied is Justice Denied – by Anas Muhammad

Who murdered Benazir Bhutto? – by Christina Lamb

Questions, more questions about the ISI’s involvement in Benazir Bhutto’s murder – by Kamran Shafi

Investigation of Benazir Bhutto’s murder by a committee and a half – By Kamran Shafi

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

Who killed Benazir Bhutto? Who really is Qari Saifullah Akhtar? – by Yousuf Nazar

About the author

Abdul Nishapuri


Click here to post a comment
  • In the 1990, 1993 and 1997 general elections, he ran as an MNA but lost. In 2007, he was appointed the interim Federal Minister for Industries, Production and Special Initiatives.

    He will never support electoral politics.

  • A friend, who would like to remain anonymous, has sent the following email in Salman Taseer’s defence:

    I think there are reasons to like Salmaan Taseer. Some of them are as follows:

    1. He has been a political opponent of the Sharifs in elections as well as suffered at their hands through victimization. Hence he is not intimidated by the brothers and their henchmen.

    2. If one looks at PPP nominated governors in Punjab since 1988, which included Tikka Khan and Raja Saroop, ST is the most aggressive. Being an opponent of the Sharifs, he has no reason to play a very complicit attitude towards them.

    3. ST has made most of his money in Pakistan through telecom, cable networks, real estate, retail malls etc. Most importantly, majority of his companies are public corporations allowing public shareholding and no reason to be tax evaders.

    4. He has very openly said that he will bring a PPP chief minister in Punjab, something which is the cherished goal of every jiyala but unfortunately this is something no one dares to say.

    5. Jiyalas generally tend to get disappointed and depressed quickly. ST is smart and witty, he does keep you interested. In politics, morale being high is a premium.

    Personally, the choices to have a governor in Punjab were to be made, then it would have been a very docile establishment tout or a ppp jiyala. ST is exposing the sharifs and punjab government whenever he gets a chance and is providing the contrarian view to a “popular” notion of a well governed province.

  • Comment by another friend:

    What I see is appointing Salman Taseer as governor is to hold some power in punjab by PPP and that is politics.But what Salman Taseer has achieved as governor of Punjab?Good or bad but this is the reality that PML-N has popularity in Punjab and Mr Salman seems as villain against Punjab government.

    His perception in public is only to make troubles for PML-N. I do not think he is making good image of PPP in Punjab. Aside from this, what is his achievement and role to provide better service to the people?

    Particularly when he says ‘awaam ko tax dena pare ga”


  • بینظیر قتل کیس میں
    MI اورISI
    کے افسران کو شامل تفتیش کرنیکا فیصلہ

    راولپنڈی . . . . . بینظیر بھٹو قتل کیس میں گرفتار راول پنڈی پولیس کے سابق سی پی او سعود عزیز اور ایس پی خرم شہزاد نے پوچھ گچھ کے دوران ملٹری انٹیلی جنس اور آئی ایس آئی کے چار افسروں کے نام لئے ہیں، جن سے پوچھ گچھ کی جائے گی۔ ایف آئی اے کے پراسیکیوٹر چودھری ذوالفقار نے راول پنڈی کی انسداد دہشت گردی کی عدالت کے باہر میڈیا کو بتایا کہ سعود عزیز اور خرم شہزاد نے پوچھ گچھ کے دوران ایم آئی اور آئی ایس آئی کے میجر اور کرنل رینک کے افسروں کے نام لئے ہیں ، جوبے نظیربھٹوکی شہادت کے بعدان کے ساتھ رابطے میں تھے۔ اس سے پہلے عدالت نے بے نظیر بھٹو قتل کیس میں گرفتار راول پنڈی پولیس کے سابق سی پی او سعود عزیز اور ایس پی خرم شہزاد کو چھ روزہ جسمانی ریمانڈ پر وفاقی تحقیقاتی ادارے ایف آئی اے کے حوالے کردیا۔ بینظیر بھٹو قتل کیس کی تحقیقات کرنے والی ایف آئی اے کی ٹیم نے اس مقدمہ میں سعود عزیز اور خرم شہزاد کو انسداد دہشت گردی کی خصوصی عدالت میں پیش کیا ، ایف آئی اے کے وکیل نے ملزموں کا بارہ روزہ جسمانی ریمانڈ لینے کی درخواست کی جبکہ عدالت نے ان کاچھ روزہ ریمانڈدیا۔


  • راولپنڈی کی انسداد دہشت گردی کی عدالت نے سابق وزیر اعظم بینظیر بھٹو کے قتل کے مقدمے میں گرفتار ہونے والے ڈی آئی جی سعود عزیز اور ایس ایس پی خُرم شہزاد کو چھ روزہ جسمانی ریمانڈ پر وفاقی تحقیقاتی ادارے یعنی ایف آئی اے کے حوالے کر دیا ہے جبکہ سرکاری وکیل کا کہنا ہے کہ اس مقدمے میں آئی ایس آئی اور ایم آئی کے اہلکاروں کو بھی شامل تفتیش کیا جائے گا۔

    کلِک مناسب سکیورٹی ہوتی تو بینظیر بچ سکتی تھیں: اقوامِ متحدہ کی رپورٹ

    عدالت نے تحقیقاتی ٹیم کو ملزمان کے خلاف چالان جلد از جلد پیش کرنے کا حکم دیا ہے۔

    بینظیر بھٹو کی لیاقت باغ کے باہر ایک خودکش حملے میں ہلاکت کے وقت ڈی آئی جی سعود عزیز راولپنڈی پولیس کے سربراہ تھے جبکہ ایس ایس پی خُرم شہزاد راول ٹاؤن میں تعینات تھے۔

    بی بی سی اردو ڈاٹ کام کے نامہ نگار شہزاد ملک کے مطابق ان ملزمان کو پولیس کے سخت پہرے میں عدالت میں پیش کیا گیا اور تفتیشی افسر نے ملزمان کے بارہ روزہ جسمانی ریمانڈ کی استدعا کی۔

    اس مقدمے کے تفتیشی افسر اور سرکاری وکیل کا موقف تھا کہ مذکورہ افراد بینظیر بھٹو قتل کے بارے میں بہت سی معلومات رکھتے ہیں جو ابھی تک اُنہوں نے خفیہ رکھی ہوئی ہیں۔ اُنہوں نے کہا کہ اس مقدمے کے حوالے سے ملزمان کے زیر استعمال موبائل فون کا ریکارڈ حاصل کیا جانا چاہیئے۔

    خفیہ ایجنسیوں کے ان اہلکاروں کو بھی شامل تفتیش کیا جائے گا اس کے علاوہ دیگر افراد سے بھی پوچھ گچھ کی جائے گی
    سرکاری وکیل ذوالفقار احمد

    ملزمان کے وکیل ملک رفیق نے اس کی مخالفت کرتے ہوئے کہا کہ پاکستان میں کسی بھی موبائل کمپنی کے پاس ایسی کوئی ٹیکنالوجی نہیں ہے جو ایک سال سے زائد عرصے تک کسی موبائل فون کا ریکارڈ رکھ سکے۔ اُنہوں نے کہا کہ اُن کے موکلوں کے خلاف ابھی تک کوئی ناقابل تردید شواہد عدالت میں پیش نہیں کیے گئے جس سے یہ ظاہر ہوتا ہو کہ اُن کا بینظیر بھٹو کے قتل کی سازش میں کوئی کردار ہے۔ اُنہوں نے کہا کہ ایسا محسوس ہوتا ہے کہ سیاسی فائدہ حاصل کرنے کے لیے اُن کے موکلوں کو اس مقدمے میں شامل کیا گیا ہے۔

    سرکاری وکیل ذوالفقار احمد نے سماعت کے بعد میڈیا کے نمائندوں کو بتایا کہ دوران تفتیش ملزمان نے بتایا ہے کہ وقوعہ کے روز فوج کے خفیہ ادارے آئی ایس آئی اور ایم آئی کے افسران اُن کے ساتھ رابطے میں تھے۔ سرکاری وکیل کا کہنا تھا کہ خفیہ ایجنسیوں کے ان اہلکاروں کو بھی شامل تفتیش کیا جائے گا اس کے علاوہ دیگر افراد سے بھی پوچھ گچھ کی جائے گی۔

    سرکاری وکیل کا کہنا تھا کہ ان پولیس افسران نے وقوعہ کے ایک گھنٹے کے بعد ہی جائے حادثہ کو دھو دیا جبکہ جائے وقوعہ کو پندرہ دنوں تک محفوظ کرنے کی قانون میں گُنجائش موجود ہے۔

    اُنہوں نے کہا کہ سابق فوجی آمر پرویز مشرف پر جب راولپنڈی میں قاتلانہ حملہ ہوا تھا تواُس وقت جائے حادثہ کو چار روز تک نہیں دھویا گیا تھا۔


  • Baitullah Mehsud: Scapegoat or Perpetrator in Benazir Bhutto’s Assassination?

    Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 6 Issue: 5March 7, 2008

    By: Afzal Khan

    Baitullah Mehsud speaks with reporters in 2008 (Photo: Reuters)

    Baitullah Mehsud, chief of Pakistan’s Tehrek-e-Taliban (Movement of the Taliban), was declared a “proclaimed offender” on March 1 with a warrant of arrest issued for him by an anti-terrorist court in Rawalpindi for allegedly masterminding the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in that city on December 27, 2007. Four others still at large have had warrants issued for their arrest, while another four suspects remain in custody after their arrests in January and February. Those in custody have allegedly confessed their links to the plot and the leading role of Baitullah (Dawn [Karachi], March 1).

    Despite this, there are signs that Baitullah may not have been directly involved in the operational aspects of the assassination plot. As an unrelenting foe to the Pakistani military in the hard battleground of South Waziristan, he may have already had his hands full. In addition, he is reported to be leading his Pakistani Taliban to aid the Afghan Taliban under Jalaluddin Haqqani and his sons in neighboring Afghanistan during various forays against U.S.-NATO forces there (Newsline [Karachi], February).

    Making the Links to Baitullah

    In the first place, days after Bhutto’s assassination, retired Brigadier Javed Iqbal Cheema, a spokesman for Pakistan’s Interior Ministry, became the laughingstock of the Pakistani nation when he appeared on television and claimed that Bhutto died from neither a bullet wound nor the explosion that followed. He claimed Bhutto was the victim of a freak accident that fractured her skull against a metal lever as she climbed down from the roof of the armored van and stumbled when the van was rocked by the explosion. This contradicted widely viewed television footage that clearly showed a gunman firing at her from almost point-blank range just before the explosion that killed 21 other people (Weekly Pulse [Islamabad], January 3).

    To add to the controversy, Brigadier Cheema played an audio tape that purported to have captured a conversation between Baitullah and one of his religious leaders in which Baitullah congratulated those who carried out the assassination. The original tape was not shown and there was no proof that the voice was that of Baitullah (Dawn, December 28; Newsline, January).

    Earlier, Pakistani media had widely reported that the medical doctors who tried to revive Bhutto in the hospital had noticed possible bullet entry and exit wounds in the neck and head. But no autopsy was allowed by security forces and the body was hurriedly flown to her ancestral home in Sind province for burial. Thereafter, more than one medical report surfaced that pointed to a shrapnel wound from the bombing or fracture of the skull from a blunt object. Bhutto’s aides, who cradled her body in the armored van after the explosion, also claimed to have seen bullet entry and exit wounds in her neck and head (Newsline, January).

    A subsequent and belated Scotland Yard investigation conducted without an autopsy—denied by Bhutto’s husband Asif Zardari—left the cause of her death in a murky area, citing a blunt force injury to the right side of her head and the appearance of a neck wound from an undetermined source in the final report (Dawn, February 9).

    Baitullah, through his spokesman, denied his involvement in the killing, saying that it was not in the Pashtun tribal tradition to kill women. But there were earlier reports of threats against her life from Baitullah and other Pakistani Taliban leaders in the context of her unwelcome return to Pakistan as a perceived “stooge of America.” President Musharraf is, of course, seen by Baitullah as the main collaborator in the United States’ terrorism war in Waziristan, Swat and other areas in the tribal borderland abutting Afghanistan.

    Involvement of the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi?

    As the elected leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Baitullah has become fair game for various accusations, especially since his movement has attracted al-Qaeda members, Kashmiri jihadis and criminal elements. Among these is the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (Army of Jhangvi), a group whose leaders took refuge among the Taliban in Afghanistan during the 1990s when Punjab police were after them. This fundamentalist Sunni group centered in southern Punjab province became notorious for assassinations of rival Shiite leaders, politicians and professionals.

    Indeed, a telephone call to the Asia Times Online Bureau Chief in Karachi from an al-Qaeda commander in Afghanistan claimed that they assassinated Bhutto to “terminate an American asset which vowed to defeat the mujahideen.” The commander said the “death squad” consisted of Punjabi associates of the underground anti-Shiite militant group Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, operating under al-Qaeda orders (Asia Times Online, December 29, 2007). The Bhuttos are Shiite.

    But according to a poll conducted by GlobeScan for BBC Urdu before the release of the Scotland Yard report on February 8, the largest number of respondents at 39 percent believed that “Pakistan’s security agencies or people linked to them” were responsible for Bhutto’s assassination. Other responses were 24 percent blaming “some other party,” and 21 percent saying that they did not know. Only 16 percent believed the government’s contention that Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah and his al-Qaeda network carried out the assassination (Dawn, February 14).

    Pakistan’s Interior Ministry had previously linked Baitullah to the October 18, 2007 suicide attacks on Bhutto as she traveled from the airport to her residence in Karachi. In that connection, police on February 26 arrested Qari Saifullah Akhtar, a well-known Kashmir jihadi leader who had previously gone underground for other crimes. But some days later, Interior Ministry spokesman Brigadier Cheema told newsmen that there was no record of Qari Akhtar’s arrest (Dawn, March 4).

    Tehrek-e-Taliban Operations in the Tribal Areas

    On the eve of the formation of a new civilian government, Pakistan’s interim government and new military chief appear to be keen on pursuing Baitullah. The military went into action again in South Waziristan after Baitullah brazenly captured the Sararogha Fort in a night attack on January 15 that overwhelmed the skeleton force of Frontier Corps troops manning it. After other forts were attacked, regular army troops backed by aircraft and artillery moved in a three-pronged attack on the Mehsud tribal territory in central South Waziristan. Supply roads to many Mehsud villages in the snowy mountains that rise to 11,000 feet were cut off and there was an effective blockade. In the ensuing stalemate and harsh weather conditions, both sides were ready for another ceasefire. Baitullah was reported to have first made the move on February 6, ordering his Taliban forces to stop attacking the Pakistani military not only in Waziristan but also in Swat and other tribal areas (Geo TV, February 6).

    But there is speculation that apart from the pressure of the impending parliamentary elections on February 18, the indefinite ceasefire appeared to have been quickly accepted by the military because that same day, on February 6, a military helicopter crashed soon after it took off from Wana, the agency’s headquarters. Among the eight killed was Major General Javed Sultan, the commander of the Kohat garrison, who was also in charge of military operations in South Waziristan. Two brigadier-generals were included among the dead. A military spokesman ruled out hostile action and blamed the crash of the U.S.-made Bell 412 helicopter on a technical fault (Daily Times [Lahore], February 7). However, Indian security officials tracking developments inside Pakistan believe that the helicopter may have been shot down (Times of India, February 7). Helicopters have been known to be vulnerable to rocket-propelled grenades fired from mountainsides in previous conflicts in Afghanistan.

    A Coming Offensive Against Baitullah’s Command

    There is more ominous news ahead for Baitullah. Pakistan’s military appears to be preparing for a new offensive against him and there is speculation that it may be done in coordination with U.S.-NATO forces attacking the Taliban in a spring offensive from the Afghan side of the border. U.S. officials say that the Pakistani tribal region has become a growing threat because it provides a safe haven to al-Qaeda, which is believed to be deepening its ties to the Afghan Taliban, Baitullah’s Pakistani Taliban and other militant groups. Top U.S. defense officials have already publicly offered help to Pakistan against these militants (The News [Karachi], March 1).

    Already the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has agreed to send a limited number of its officers to train the Frontier Corps in counter-insurgency. Besides providing help with their high-tech equipment, these Special Forces may also accompany Pakistani troops for purposes of surveillance and coordination (Asia Times Online, February 21).

    In a possibly life-threatening development for Baitullah, targeted missile strikes from across the Afghan border and U.S. Predator drone attacks appear to be on the rise. An unmanned Predator killed al-Qaeda leader Abu Laith al-Libbi near Mirali in North Waziristan on January 28, while a further eight suspected militants were killed by a missile attack in the Kalosha area of South Waziristan on February 28. The militants reportedly included four Arabs, two Turkmen and two Punjabis. Local tribesmen reported seeing a pilotless drone over the area (AFP, February 28).


    It increasingly appears that Baitullah may have been more of a scapegoat rather than a perpetrator in the assassination of Bhutto. In the shadowy world of the many Islamist groups, renegade elements of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and rival politicians who have hated Benazir Bhutto, Baitullah registered more clearly in the public eye. The proscribed Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (Army of Jhangvi) could very well be the real culprit. But in the tradition of blaming all terrorist acts on Osama bin Laden, Pakistan’s military and the U.S. government have found it convenient to lay the blame squarely on Baitullah, especially since he has become such a public figure in the global war on terrorism. The elimination of Baitullah would now meet with greater public approval.



    From another thread:


    It is really entertaining to see our civil society types showering uncritical applause at Salman Taseer’s (opportunistic) photo sessions with Aasia bibi.

    And then I saw him celebrating the failure of Indian space rocket. Indeed a great patriot and a champion of human rights!

    امیر شہر غریبوں کو لوٹ لیتا ہے
    کبھی بحیلہ مذہب کبھی بنام وطن

    Just happened to read this tweet:

    @SalmaanTaseer big fan of your liberal political struggle. Id join u tomorrow if u lead a rally against blasphemy laws on mall road

  • So much for Slaman Tasir’s photo sessions on the blasphemy law. Will he resign now as a sign of protest against the PPP policy? Morality and civil society are two different things.

    حکومتِ پاکستان کا کہنا ہے کہ وہ توہین رسالت قانون میں ترمیم کا کوئی ارادہ نہیں رکھتی اور وہ اس بات کو یقینی بنائے گی کہ اس قانون کا غلط استعمال نہ کیا جائے۔

    ادھر حکومت کی جانب سے قانون میں ترمیم نہ کرنے کا واضح موقف سامنے آنے کے بعد حقوقِ انسانی اور سول سوسائٹی کی تنظیموں نے اسلام آباد میں احتجاج کیا ہے۔

    اطلاعات و نشریات کے وزیرِ مملکت صمصام بخاری نے بدھ کو اسلام آباد میں ایک پریس کانفرنس سے خطاب کرتے ہوئے کہا کہ پیپلز پارٹی حکومت کا توہین رسالت قانون میں ترمیم کا کوئی ارادہ نہیں ہے۔

    ان کا کہنا تھا کہ اگر پیپلز پارٹی کی جانب سے ترمیم کا کوئی بل ایوان میں پیش ہوا ہے تو وہ ذاتی حیثیت میں تھا نہ کہ حکومت کی جانب سے۔

    انہوں نے کہا کہ جہاں حکومت اس قانون میں ترمیم کا کوئی ارادہ نہیں رکھتی وہیں اس امر کو بھی یقینی بنایا جائے گا کہ اس قانون کا غلط استعمال نہ ہو اور اسے اپنا مطلب نکالنے کے لیے استعمال نہ کیا جائے۔

    حکومت کو ایک قانون نافذ کرنے کی کوشش کرنی چاہیے جس سے تمام شہری اپنے آپ کو محفوظ تصور کر سکیں۔
    فرزانہ باری
    توہین رسالت کے قانون میں ترمیم سے حکومتی انکار مبصرین کے خیال میں سیاسی و معاشی بحرانوں میں گھری پیپلز پارٹی حکومت کی بظاہر کسی نئے بحران سے بچنے کی ایک کوشش ہے۔ خیال رہے کہ مذہبی جماعتوں نے اس قانون میں کسی بھی ترمیم کی کوشش کے خلاف جمعہ کو ملک بھر میں ہڑتال کی کال دی ہے۔

    دوسری جانب قانون میں ترمیم نہ کیے جانے پر حقوق انسانی اور سول سوسائٹی تنظیموں پر مشتمل انسانی حقوق اتحاد نے جمعرات کو اسلام آباد میں پارلیمان کے سامنے یہ احتجاج کیا۔

    ان کا مطالبہ تھا کہ وفاقی شریعت کورٹ اور عورتوں اور اقلیتوں کے خلاف امتیازی قوانین ختم کیے جائیں۔ تقریباً تین درجن مظاہرین نے پلے کارڈز اٹھا رکھے تھے جن پر امتیازی قوانین ختم کرنے کا مطالبہ درج تھا۔

    انسانی حقوق اتحاد کے مظاہرے میں شریک حقوق انسانی کی کارکن فرزانہ باری کا کہنا تھا کہ حکومت کو ایک قانون نافذ کرنے کی کوشش کرنی چاہیے جس سے تمام شہری اپنے آپ کو محفوظ تصور کر سکیں۔

    حقوق تحفظ نسواں بل کی شق گیارہ اور اٹھائیس میں ترامیم بری طرح اثرانداز ہوں گی کیونکہ اس سے زنا اور قذف جیسے آرڈیننس یا قوانین دوبارہ نافذ ہوجائیں گے۔
    شاہ تاج قزلباش
    لاہور سے نامہ نگار علی سلمان کے مطابق جوائنٹ ایکشن کمیٹی فار پیپلز رائٹس اور خواتین محاذ عمل نے بھی وفاقی شرعی عدالت کے اس فیصلے کی مخالفت کی ہے جس میں حقوق نسواں بل کی بعض شقوں کو آئین کے متصادم قرار دیا گیا ہے۔

    جے اے سی کے ایک جاری کردہ بیان میں کہا گیا ہے کہ وفاقی شرعی عدالت کے حالیہ فیصلے سے صاف ظاہر ہے کہ یہ عدالت انسانیت بالخوص عورتوں کے خلاف امتیازی سلوک اور رویوں کے نشونما میں سرگرم رہی ہے۔ اتحاد کی کنوینر شاہ تاج قزلباش نے کہا ہے کہ حقوق تحفظ نسواں بل کی شق گیارہ اور اٹھائیس میں ترامیم بری طرح اثرانداز ہوں گی کیونکہ اس سے زنا اور قذف جیسے آرڈیننس یا قوانین دوبارہ نافذ ہوجائیں گے۔

    ان کا کہنا تھا کہ اس کے علاوہ زنا بالجبر اور زنا بالرضا کے مابین جس فرق کو واضح کیا گیا تھاوہ حقوق نسواں بل کی ان شقوں میں ترمیم سے ختم ہوجائے گا اور فوجداری عدالتی نظام میں الجھاؤ پیدا ہوگا۔

    خیال رہے کہ پنجاب میں آسیہ بی بی کا کیس کے سامنے آنے کے بعد ملک میں ایک مرتبہ پھر توہین رسالت قانون پر بحث شروع ہوگئی ہے۔


  • Who killed Benazir?

    By Khaled Ahmed

    Journalist Sohail Warraich asks some serious questions

    Warrants of arrest have been issued for ex-ISI officer Brigadier (Retd) Ijaz Shah and Musharraf. Benazir was not given the kind of security she deserved under law and Musharraf sent her a message which sounded like a threat. Security officials who allowed Benazir to get killed had been protected so far in a conspiracy to keep everything concealed

    Qatil Kaun: an impartial inquiry into the life and death of Benazir Bhutto; By Suhail Warraich; Sagar Publications, Urdu Bazar, Lahore (2011)

    The kernel of the book is in the details recorded in it of the connection the killers confessed to with Darul Ulum Haqqania of Nowshehra, led by Maulana Samiul Haq, the guide and mentor of the Taliban. What is more important is that a team visiting the Darul Ulum found that all the killers were indeed registered there as pupils

    he latest on the assassination of Benazir Bhutto is the indictment of the killers on the basis of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT). If this case flies, we will see the Taliban and Al Qaeda formally charged along with their collaborators inside the state structure.

    According to Daily Express (12 Feb 2011) the latest development in the famous Benazir assassination case, Musharraf, police official Saud Aziz and Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud were ‘directly involved’ and that Baitullah provided Musharraf with two suicide-bombers for Rs 10 lakh.

    Warrants of arrest have been issued for ex-ISI officer Brigadier (Retd) Ijaz Shah and Musharraf. Benazir was not given the kind of security she deserved under law and Musharraf sent her a message which sounded like a threat. Security officials who allowed Benazir to get killed had been protected so far in a conspiracy to keep everything concealed.

    Ex-ISI officer Brig Ijaz Shah has told the investigators that officer in charge of Crimes Management Cell Brigadier (Retd) Javed Iqbal Cheema – who confirmed it – was made to hold a press conference putting the blame on Baitullah because Musharraf wanted to divert the inquiry.

    On 27 Dec 2007, two suicide-bombers, Saeed alias Bilal was posted at one gate of Liaquat Bagh, and Ikramullah was on the other gate, to follow if he failed to kill. Qari Ismail brought the two bombers from South Waziristan to Rawalpindi to the local minder Nasrullah alias Ahmad.

    Another dozen killers were present at the gates to make sure that the plot was successful. Out of these five Aitzaz Shah, Sher Zaman, Rafaqat Hasnain, Abdur Rashid were arrested. The others were able to run away, but all of them were killed later on, including Baitullah Mehsud himself.

    Suhail Warraich’s large tome (811 pages) gives all the facts about what has transpired in regard to the assassination, including reports by a Scotland Yard unit and a UN inquiry team, to satisfy a PPP government that thought the killing an international conspiracy. He also tracks the ‘conspiracy’ theory that implicates Zardari himself through Khalid Shahinshah, the bodyguard, who was a Khattak Pakhtun and is supposed to have travelled to Wana in South Waziristan in 2007 to tie up the killing with the Taliban.

    The author interviews Khalid and comes to the conclusion that the charge against him was not proved on the basis of evidence (p.28). His gestures during the Liaquat Bagh speech are also scrutinised. The kernel of the book is in the details recorded in it of the connection the killers confessed to with Darul Ulum Haqqania of Nowshehra, led by Maulana Samiul Haq, the guide and mentor of the Taliban (p.128).

    What is more important is that a team visiting the Darul Ulum found that all the killers were indeed registered there as pupils (p.129). On page 133, the book contains the statement of ISI operative Muhammad Ismail who recorded the incriminating telephonic conversation between Baitullah Mehsud, in Miramshah, and the handler of the killers, in Tank.

    Suhail Warraich has pursued the spoor of police officer Saud Aziz too. The in-charge of the elite force, Ashfaq Anwar, is recorded as saying that Saud Aziz caused the security to be rolled back to allow Ms Bhutto to be murdered (p.38). He also records that Ashfaq Anwar stated what he stated because of the bribe offered him in the permission by the government to go abroad for study for an LLM degree.

    Benazir had stated to Wolf Blitzer of the CNN that if something happened to her then Musharraf would be responsible for it. Can this be held to be enough of an evidence? Suhail thinks she was indeed scared of him (p.157). She was also scared of Brig Ijaz Shah, Pervaiz Elahi and Hamid Gul. Every time Suhail talked to her he felt that she was convinced that Musharraf was linked with the religious extremists. He goes on to note her thoughts on this topic from her last book Reconciliation: Islam Democracy and the West .

    On page 207 there is a very important interview of Ijaz Shah, often regarded as an important link between the state and Al Qaeda through Umar Sheikh, who was finally arrested from his house after the murder of Daniel Pearl. Strategically, Shah comes across as hostile to Nawaz Sharif (‘He loves flattery’) and complains that businessman Iqbal Z Ahmad spoiled his equation with Benazir (p.206).

    Iqbal Z Ahmad was busy as a mediator between Benazir and Musharraf (p.208). Ijaz Shah told Z Ahmad not to work on a pact between the two because after that the PPP would lose elections. He denies that he had held a meeting with terrorist jihadi leader Qari Saifullah Akhtar and says he doesn’t know who released him from jail (p.210). About terrorist Umar Sheikh he says he had family relations with his own family. Umar’s uncle Rauf Sheikh was later a judge at the sessions in Lahore. It was Rauf who had brought Umar Sheikh to his house.

    There is an interesting chapter on Baitullah Mehsud and it contains the transcript of his telephonic conversation with the handler Maulvi Sahib showing them talking of the success of the suicide attack by Ikramullah and Bilal, both owned by the arrested band of backup killers (p.212). After this it is difficult to accept the view that the transcript does not prove that Baitullah had got her killed.

    The book also contains a very important bunch of photographs, including those of the six ancillary killers who were in state custody: Nasrullah, Ismail, Rafaqat, Aitzaz Shah, Hasnain Ali and Usman Farooq. It also contains the photo of Mustafa Abu Yazid of Al Qaeda who announced that Al Qaeda had had her killed. The book is a conclusive gathering of evidence about what has so far taken place. After reading it, it is up to the reader to decide who should be held responsible.