Mystery prevails: The untold story of Murtaza Bhutto’s murder

Published: September 22, 2012

Benazir Bhutto might have been presented fabricated evidence into the death of her brother. PHOTO: EAMS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

Was then Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto misguided about the investigation into the murder of her brother Mir Murtaza Bhutto when she was allegedly provided ‘fabricated evidences’ in a bid to turn it into a ‘blind case’?

Investigations conducted by this scribe reveal that during one of the briefings on Murtaza’s case, the former prime minister received two different ‘packs of photographs’ of Murtaza’s car; one by a senior intelligence official and the other by the police investigators.

“I was shocked at how powerful some of our agencies are… they could even misinform the prime minister, as they did in Murtaza’s case,” she told me two months after the murder.

The photographs provided by the intelligence official showed several bullet holes on the roof of Murtaza’s vehicle, which had been fired upon by the police. The police investigators’ photographs, however, showed no bullet holes in the roof.

“When I asked the police about the bullet holes, DIG Shoaib Suddle denied there were any. But, since I was confused, I sent two close aides to look at the vehicle and they confirmed the police version,” Benazir said.

An unimpeachable source who had closely monitored this case disclosed that during the investigation it was established that some evidence, including the photographs, were ‘fabricated’.

Confusion also prevailed over which bullet hit Murtaza and why was he taken to the nearby Mideast hospital instead of the government-run Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC).

“Murtaza was alive when he was shifted to Mideast hospital and remained alive for two hours. He could have been easily shifted to JPMC,” the source said.

Benazir was misinformed of this as well; she was told Murtaza expired within 30 minutes and could not be shifted to JPMC.

Murtaza Bhutto, head of his own faction of Pakistan Peoples Party-Shaheed Bhutto (PPP-SB), left his 70 Clifton residence in Karachi for a public meeting around 5:30pm after addressing a press conference. Investigations further revealed that the police’s initial plan was to stop him outside his house and disarm his guards. Murtaza had already left, by the time the police arrived. Then SSP Murtaza Durrani (currently heading Highway Police) led the operation.

Murtaza had created quite a stir two days prior after he went to the police lockup for Ali Sunnara’s release following the latter’s arrest.

Sources said the SSP’s team was aware of possible resistance from Murtaza’s motorcade and had special instructions to stop them at all cost. It was decided that his guards would be disarmed and he would be allowed to leave.

Knowing full well that Murtaza would never allow his workers to be taken into custody in his presence, the police entered into a quarrel with him. Subsequently, Murtaza and his party leader Ashiq Jatoi along with their guards were killed in cold blood in what was termed a ‘police encounter’.

Former Intelligence Bureau chief Masood Shareef Khattak, former city police chief Dr Shoaib Suddle, senior police officers Shahid Hayat, Ray Tahir, Shakib Qureshi, and 11 other police officials were charged with murder, arrested and tried. All were acquitted last year. Interestingly the court also acquitted the state case against Shaheed Bhutto activists.

The question is why the intelligence official supplied Benazir Bhutto with fabricated evidence. Sources said Suddle was taken aback when he saw the photographs. When asked to determine their veracity, he went to see Murtaza’s vehicle again. On finding no bullet holes in the roof, he sent a report to the concerned agency about the fabricated photographs.

When Benazir’s government was toppled, former president Farooq Leghari and former interim chief minister Mumtaz Bhutto reached an understanding to proceed against Asif Ali Zardari. No accused police officer, however, was ready to become an approver against him.

How and why the fake photographs were sent to Benazir remains a mystery. With both her and Murtaza not in the world anymore, no one might ever learn why a prime minister was misguided by the intelligence agencies.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2012.

Reader Comments (18)

  • Vikas
    Sep 22, 2012 - 10:58AM

    Good job agencies. Keep killing your civilian leaders. Who is next is line?

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  • Liberal
    Sep 22, 2012 - 11:36AM

    There have been so many murders and assasinations in this country’s political history. I hope the truth will be told about all of them one day.

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  • John B
    Sep 22, 2012 - 12:45PM

    “former president Farooq Leghari and former interim chief minister Mumtaz Bhutto reached an understanding to proceed against Asif Ali Zardari. No accused police officer, however, was ready to become an approver against him.”

    What is this. Can anyone elaborate further?

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  • Ali
    Sep 22, 2012 - 1:48PM

    @Vikas:
    mate, clean your own house first

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  • Abreez
    Sep 22, 2012 - 2:06PM

    Thank God we had no free media when Aurangzeb executed Dara shikoh, if we had a free press then what we know today is, “Some unknown people came where the prince Dara Shikoh with his son had kept by the police and they stabbed Dara Shikoh to death. Hazrat Aurangzeb is in great anger and he ordered a very high level investigation into this senseless killing of his beloved brother.”

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  • Rafi
    Sep 22, 2012 - 2:29PM

    In those days, ISI and USA were on the same page . . . and ZA Bhutto (flaws notwithstanding) had been removed for defying the US . . . Murtaza was becoming a problem and so had to be removed too.
    BB was toeing the US line and was safe then.
    Zardari should be behind bars for many many things . . . but not Murtaza’s murder.

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  • Austin
    Sep 22, 2012 - 2:46PM

    The question is, if the vehicle was available for all to examine, what was the point in showing a fabricated photograph BB? And why was BB so naive and powerless to assert herself and go ahead with a proper investigation? There is much more to it then the scribe has investigated. P.S. BB was assassinated in similar circumstances. Who live by the sword, die by the sword.

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  • Sep 22, 2012 - 3:22PM

    the most dirty game ever played ..Recommend

  • Ozymandias
    Sep 22, 2012 - 4:56PM

    @Abreez:
    And then we could have called for a UN investigation as well

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  • Sep 22, 2012 - 5:17PM

    Army Bashing again! ET what r ur sources and what are evidence of ur baseless allegations ?Recommend

  • maheen shaikh
    Sep 22, 2012 - 5:24PM

    Just read Songs Of Blood And Swords, it says it all. Murtaza might be dead, but his daughter is pretty much alive

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  • Sep 22, 2012 - 5:58PM

    @Abreez:
    i still feel sad when i think about dara..his son suliaman was also poisoned by aurugazeb in jail.using opium..the guy who caught dara was also excuted by aurugazaed instead of giving reward.saying that since he had put a mughal prince in chain he deserved to die………

    Recommend

  • Sep 22, 2012 - 6:13PM

    There are many stories about the private lives of big people. The truth will never come out.

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  • Abreez
    Sep 22, 2012 - 9:29PM

    @ahmed sadiqq
    If you don’t make and obey laws then there will be only one law and that is ‘jungle law’.

    Recommend

  • Mona
    Sep 22, 2012 - 9:57PM

    It’s time for the government to take responsibility and accept that it is incapable and corrupt. Recommend

  • Shazad
    Sep 22, 2012 - 10:03PM

    Those who killed him and her are already in line, every action has reaction, especially when u kill innocent people .

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  • Trustworthy
    Sep 25, 2012 - 9:27PM

    The said and black day in the history of each and every human who bears a kind and tender heart. The way shaheed Murtaza was assassinated i can not forget it. The report of Police Criminalastistics department shows that no bullet was fired by the Shaheed or his guards after the examination of arms even Murtaza Bhutto’s personal pistil was not used even he was a very good shooter. Agencies completed the words of an American statesman for Z.A.Bhutto after assassination of BB Shaheed .

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  • Masood Akhtar
    Sep 28, 2012 - 7:15PM

    O Come on, whether the photos were fabricated or original that’s the secret shared by BB only with you and you kept this secret so far( may be in national interest) and now want us to buy your story? Give me a break !

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