There is something which is called “shock and awe”. The PPP government in the last four years has been doing things which are considered disappointing for many, however, the most “shocking” things that it has done is to establish a framework for future governance which the naysayers do not acknowledge. Be it amendments to the constitution through unanimous votes, electing senators through consensus, enabling solution of long standing issues like name change of NWFP, NFC Award, giving rights of a province like status to Northern Areas etc, these efforts are not remembered by “analysts”. Talking about “krupshion” and “bad governance”, the last argument they have is that PPP has not been able to arrest the killers of its beloved Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto (MBB). The ultimate conspiracy theory is that President Zardari himself conspired to get MBB out of the way. As a Jiyala, this is not just insulting my intelligence but a matter that makes my blood boil.
On 21st February, 2012, the PPP government did what was truly “shocking” and left a lot of people in “awe”. It did what it does best: approach the People through its representatives. Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Chief of Joint Investigation Team, Khalid Qureshi briefed the members of Provincial Assembly Sindh in a live televised event. To be very honest, it was shocking because this was not publicized and was done quietly. The revelations have left a lot of the naysayers in “shock and awe”. Unlike what our security apparatus does i.e. brief in-camera, the PPP did its job in highlighting the report on a public forum. What better forum than a provincial assembly, which had passed a resolution to make public the findings of the JIT! Another significant reason for approaching the public through the provincial assembly is the lack of faith in the judicial system which fails to provide justice and releases terrorists for lack of evidence! The Supreme and High Courts have been releasing terrorists like Malik Ishaq and many more but choose to indict elected people because of what a “Sipah Salar” says!
Coming to the briefing, the important things that came out were:
- MBB’s assassination plan was prepared by Al Qaeda leader Abu Obaid Al-Misri and was executed by Baitullah Mehsud through the Haqqani network, and Rs400,000 was provided for it.
- The suicide blast was carried out by Saeed alias Bilal who fired three shots and then blasted himself.
- Before her murder, five attempts had been made on the life of Benazir Bhutto, including one by Ramzi Yusuf in 1993 before the general elections.
- 16 persons were behind the gun attack and bomb blast of Dec 27
- Most significant was the information that the conspiracy was hatched in Jamia uloom Haqqania, Akora Khattak, a seminary known to have been the launching pad of the Taliban and led by Molana Sami-ul-Haq.
- Of those who had been nominated in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto case. Five of them were arrested, six killed, and three were still at large.
- It was also clarified that the crime of former President Pervez Musharraf was that he failed to ensure security to MBB.
Now such a briefing is unprecedented in our history. Usually explosive materials are hidden under the carpet and then the naysayers do their best to lambast you. Same has happened to this briefing. Some of the “journalists” have been scratching their heads that if the PPP is able to sort out the killers of MBB, what else will they speak about, but then some of the Jihadi and Hizb-ut-Tahrir representatives in Pakistan’s media are doing what they do best – ridicule the effort! Yes, we are talking about none other than Ansar Abbasi.
In his “perspective” published in The News (Jang Group) on 22nd February, 2012, Ansar Abbasi has shamelessly tried to belittle the results of the JIT report calling it as having “nothing new to offer and seems to be a futile exercise, too little, too late, too old, to satisfy the agitating minds of the PPP voters”. Off course, the real supporter of the PPP and lover of MBB is Ansar Abbasi, we are all nothing but opportunists! He has also tried to give the impression that the JIT probe briefing has political motives than anything else. The biggest revelation of the report remains the involvement of Jamia uloom Haqqania, Akora Khattak, which is known to have created the Taliban. Do a little track back and you get to the real conspirators. Off course, Ansar Abbasi will never see that as it is against his and his masters interest. He has also tried to deflect attention to the lack of an autopsy of MBB as a major flaw and blamed President Zardari for the same. Can one ask, what is found out in an Autopsy? An autopsy is used to find the cause of death. MBB was not poisoned or strangled or died in mysterious circumstances. She was assassinated in broad daylight, in front of cameras and hundreds of people. What will an Autopsy reveal…that she was killed by a bullet or a lever or impact of bomb blast?
Advice to Ansar Abbasi and his Jihadi cohorts in the media. Stop this nonsense against the PPP and our beloved MBB. We have been taking this diatribe for more than 4 years now. Don’t do it anymore. There has to be a limit to this nonsense. You hate the PPP, that’s fine. Keep hating, but remember, the PPP is the Pakistan Peoples Party. The Peoples in the PPP vote for it and support it. We are not a Sipah or a Hizb or a Tehreek or a League. That will always endear our party to the people and something which your types can never digest.
Ansar Abbasi – Perspective
The News, February 22, 2012
ISLAMABAD: The PPP government’s probe into the BB’s murder case, as revealed before the Sindh Assembly, has nothing new to offer and seems to be a futile exercise, too little, too late, too old, to satisfy the agitating minds of the PPP voters.
These voters and workers have been in frustration, waiting for uncovering the faces of the real conspirators despite the lapse of over four years under their own party’s regime.
The Sindh assembly show is, therefore, expected to bring more pressure than before on the party leadership to find the real culprit in this high profile murder. The fundamental question: “Who was behind BB’s assassination” has been repeatedly reminded by no less than President Asif Ali Zardari during the last four years of his rule, but remains unanswered.
The interior minister and his team of investigators could not go beyond Baitullah Mahsud, the man who was identified as BB’s alleged killer by General Musharraf’s regime in the very early days of the PPP leader’s assassination on Dec 27, 2007.
The report instead exposed the inaction on part of the PPP governments at centre and in Sindh to probe the crimes committed against their slain leader as both the Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah and Interior Minister Rehman Malik were heard demanding on the floor of the house to initiate an investigation into the Oct 18, 2007 Karsaz suicide attack on Benazir Bhutto upon her return from exile.
Why has such a demand come from key political players of the Sindh and Federal governments after a lapse of four years of their tenure and towards the fag end of their rule? What prevented them from probing Oct 18th failed attempt on Benazir Bhutto life but had killed dozens and injured many?
Those at the helm of affairs demanded what they were supposed to do on day one of their rule four years back. Not only that the interior minister sniffed a great conspiracy behind the Oct 18 Karsaz attack but the chief minister Sindh repeatedly said that there was mischief, BB was provided inadequate security, the PPP’s FIR was not lodged and the repeated requests of the PPP leaders to provide foolproof security to the returning exiled leaders had fallen on deaf ears.
It seems like the BB’s murder case, the Karsaz attack probe has also been left for the future government to investigate and unravel the real conspiracy.
Whether or not it was Interior Minister Abdur Rehman Malik’s political gimmick to say that a red notice would be issued through Interpol for the arrest of former President Pervez Musharraf and that he would be brought back to Pakistan to face the trial of Benazir Bhutto’s murder but now the challenge is to do this impossible act.
It is impossible for the reasons that from the introduction of the PPP suited NRO till President Zardari backed honourable exit of Musharraf from Presidency and then the former dictator’s trouble free running away from the country – everything was done under deals to which there are international guarantors including Washington and London.
Malik said that the former president Pervez Musharraf had denied Benazir Bhutto the promised security. Before BB’s arrival, he explained that Musharraf in the presence of Mark Siegel had told Benazir Bhutto not to come back and threatened her to face consequences. There is even nothing new about these “revelations” but still one wonders why after over four years of Benazir Bhutto’s murder, the PPP has issued the same old “charge sheet” against Musharraf and announced to get him back handcuffed from foreign lands.
Even on this particular point of bringing Musharraf back handcuffed as an accused in the BB’s murder case, the PPP government is lagging behind. No one asked the interior minister on the floor of the house that an anti terrorism court in Pakistan had issued arrest warrants against the Musharraf in June 2011 in BB’s murder case but still why no red warrants had been issued by Malik. Musharraf was already declared a proclaimed offender and his property was confiscated as per the order of the same court.
A member of the interior minister team while briefing the House said that not carrying out BB’s autopsy was a serious flaw in the murder case. The interior minister passed the buck on to the then CPO Rawalpindi, explaining that in a murder case autopsy is a must but despite having been asked by the doctors the Rawalpindi police chief did not allow them to do this procedure. There was, however, no mention of the fact in the House that the postmortem of Benazir Bhutto was not carried out on the desire of Asif Ali Zardari, who himself has publicly admitted the reality.
Not only this the UN Commission on Benazir Bhutto’s murder had also showed in its report statements of three senior officers, who had told the commission that Asif Zardari had declined to allow the police to conduct the autopsy of his slain wife on Dec 27, 2007.
The then Home Secretary Punjab, Khusro Pervez, Capital Police Officer (CPO) Rawalpindi Saud Aziz and the then District Coordination Officer, Irfan Elahi, had told the UN Commission in their respective statements that Asif Ali Zardari had stopped the police from conducting the autopsy of Benazir Bhutto.
At the Chaklala air base on the night of Dec 27, 2007, it was CPO Saud Aziz who told Asif Ali Zardari that the autopsy of Benazir body was to be done but Asif Zardari did not allow him to do so. On this, the then DCO Rawalpindi Irfan Elahi, arranged a call between Asif Zardari and the then Home Secretary, Khusro Pervez, who too refused the autopsy to be performed.
On December 31, Asif Ali Zardari had admitted that he had declined a request for a post-mortem. “It was an insult to my wife, an insult to the sister of the nation, an insult to the mother of the nation,” he is quoted having said and adding that he knew that their forensic reports were useless. “I refuse to give them her last remains,” the New York Times had quoted Asif Zardari as saying.