The Supreme Court formed a five-member bench on Tuesday to hear the Benazir Bhutto assassination case next week.
PPP Chairperson Benazir Bhutto was killed in a gun-and-bomb attack outside Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007.
Advocate Chaudhry Aslam, the protocol officer of Benazir, petitioned the apex court for the registration of another FIR against the main suspects, many of who are now government officials.
During a previous hearing, a three-judge bench of the apex court – headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry – had noted that a second FIR needed to be registered as the first one did not include the names of key suspects.
The court had also issued notices to former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, incumbent Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Interior Affairs Rehman Malik, Senator Babar Awan and other prominent figures, including some senior military officials.
All of them, however, denied involvement in the assassination plot and assured the court of their cooperation for a transparent investigation.
The court observed that for a fair inquiry, all suspects, including Malik and Elahi, should relinquish their official posts because it was not possible for ASI-level officers to investigate them.
The court had proposed a high-level commission should investigate Benazir’s murder. For this purpose, Justice Chaudhry had asked then-attorney general Maulvi Anwarul Haq to consult the government. However, the attorney general had opposed the registration of a second FIR.
Expressing its surprise, the court had questioned the government’s reluctance to investigate the high-profile murder. The court had also asked why action was not taken in light of a UN inquiry report.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2012.
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