Benazir was promised PM slot: FIA report

Published: February 9, 2011
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Forensics report of BlackBerry phones prepared by FIA shows she had been told high officials had given the nod.

Forensics report of BlackBerry phones prepared by FIA shows she had been told high officials had given the nod.

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister and chairperson of the Pakistan Peoples Party Benazir Bhutto was given a firm assurance from the highest authorities in both Pakistan and the United States that she would be the next prime minister after the 2007 general elections, revealed a forensic report on the data retrieved from the recently-found personal BlackBerry phones of Ms Bhutto.

The Express Tribune has learnt that one of her close associates, who is now a member of the National Assembly, informed the former premier through an email that the then US secretary of state and the then director-general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had also given the nod.

Close to five dozen e-mails have been retrieved from the two BlackBerry phones recovered by a special team of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) a few days ago.

“Respected Prime Minister (Benazir Bhutto), the United States confirmed that a crucial message had been sent to intelligence agencies of Pakistan, specifically not to interfere in party affairs and stay away from the electoral process.  Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and director-general Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) have done a secret deal for your (Benazir Bhutto) premiership.

Congratulations Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and warm regards,” read an e-mail sent by a leading PPP leader on October 23, 2007, to Benazir Bhutto calling her “Respected Prime Minister”.  The name of this person has been kept anonymous by The Express Tribune.

The e-mails retrieved by the forensics laboratory revealed various facts that helped connect the dots in the investigation of the assassination of the former premier.

An email was sent by Benazir to Ron Suskind, an American journalist, some days prior to her assassination. The former prime minister, while referring to the then president of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf said that he wrote to his friend that he (Musharraf) gave her an alarming message: “You (Benazir) should understand that your security is based on the state of relations between you and me (Benazir and Musharraf).”

In another e-mail, dated October 26, 2007, the slain PPP leader wrote a letter to her advisor in Washington DC, Mark Siegel, in which she expressed dissatisfaction over her security.

She wrote: “Nothing will happen, just wanted you to know. If it does, in addition to the names in my letter to President Musharraf, I would hold Musharraf responsible. I have been made to feel insecure by his minions and there is no way what is happening in terms of stopping me from taking private security or using tinted windows of four police mobiles to cover all sides could happen without him (Musharraf).”

Bhutto also sent an SMS message to Daphne Barak, a famous interviewer who often writes for Mail Online. In reply to an SMS message, Barak wrote: “Bibi, you are going to Pakistan. It’s a trap for you now. But you are insisting to go back.”

The Express Tribune further learnt that the FIA’s Forensics Lab, after retrieving data from Benazir’s BlackBerry phones, has collected it to compare with the current facts and testimonies, including those of former City Police Officer Rawalpindi Saud Aziz and Superintendent Police Rawalpindi Khurram Shehzad.

Close to four hundred contact numbers have been saved by the FIA’s Forensics team.

Meanwhile, the latest investigation report compiled by the FIA investigation team probing the Benazir murder case has come down hard on Pervez Musharraf. The report compiled by head of investigation team Khalid Qureshi says:

“Musharraf was equally responsible for facilitation and abetment of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto through his government and justified failure in providing her the requisite security protection that her status demanded twice. There was a security lapse.” The fresh report is likely to be submitted to Interior Minister by end of this week. The report also says: “Musharraf himself appointed Saud Aziz on junior assignment in Rawalpindi on April 10, 2008.”

Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (37)

  • Sonic
    Feb 9, 2011 - 9:01AM

    Why is it everything happening in Pakistan is so weird! Anything about your country is not even anywhere close to what people call as as reality in civilized world. I haven’t read a single news report of any particular normalcy or about day to day life of your citizens. Yes this is my first comment in any Pakistan related forums in my life. Disgusting :( Recommend

  • abc
    Feb 9, 2011 - 9:23AM

    What i feel after reading this article that all things pointing to Mush. What abt all other institution of govt ? like PM , Misistry of Daalkhla and Information etcRecommend

  • Adi
    Feb 9, 2011 - 10:40AM

    i am not a technical guy, but could anyone please explain me how could FIA’s forensic team extract 5 dozen email from BB’s BB 37 months after the incidents? If these emails were never deleted, how could they not be handed over to UN investigation team? what were these gadgets doing with low-paid servent of bilawal house?Recommend

  • Xap
    Feb 9, 2011 - 11:06AM

    The US Secretary of State and ISI Director gave their nod …, but both forgot to ask God!
    Turns out BB never lived up to the day! There’s only so much you can interfere into. Sad!!Recommend

  • Khalid Mashhood
    Feb 9, 2011 - 11:09AM

    Doesnt make sense. Other than the first email cited in this report is new, other than that all is well known.
    I am also not sure that such emails can be retrieved so easily. Recommend

  • Saad Duraiz
    Feb 9, 2011 - 11:13AM

    @Dear Sonic

    If you break out of your “developed world” bubble, you will realise these things have been happening for decades in Latin America, Africa, Middle East and Africa. The irony is that its your “developed world” governments which always meddle into such affairs as is obvious from the US involvement mentioned in this article. While you and your countrymen enjoy the luxuries of the “developed world” its the citizens of developing countries which pay the price for the politics orchestrated by your governements to ensure the conitnuity of the life that you currently enjoy. Recommend

  • Saad Duraiz
    Feb 9, 2011 - 11:15AM

    Its funny how Bibi was confirmed a victory well before the elections. And here we thought our votes really meant something!Recommend

  • Babruk
    Feb 9, 2011 - 11:20AM

    dear Sonic, please tell me about YOUR country and i promise to give you some facts. besides don’t judge people by what is happening politics. just like OTHER countries, here too people exist who are compassionate and loving bu their voices get suppressed in the brouhaha of politics. please come out of your narrow nationalism and patriotism that stops you from showing sympathy towards fellow humans’ plight.
    hope you will be a little wiser.
    a citizen of ‘disgusting’ country.Recommend

  • Timur Beg
    Feb 9, 2011 - 11:36AM

    Now we know how election results are in pakistan. What a waste of electionsRecommend

  • Adeel Ahmed
    Feb 9, 2011 - 11:41AM

    And they say they are “elected” and have come through power of the people and all nonsense.
    It is all doctored democracy. Americans make win and lose whoever and however they please.
    Its all a sham… there is no democracy in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Waqar
    Feb 9, 2011 - 12:35PM

    Who paid the price of Bibi’s death…I think it was Musharaf…Bibi made her own choice…she chose Prime Ministership over her life…
    Musharaf himself govt attacked and bombed so many times….the only difference was that he SATYED INSIDE HIS CAR where as BIBI Didnt…Recommend

  • Farrukh Siddiqui
    Feb 9, 2011 - 12:38PM

    Why these selective leaks are being made? What is the point? If the FIA has done a forensic study, its full results should be presented in the court instead of making selected leaks through the press. Recommend

  • ali
    Feb 9, 2011 - 12:49PM

    @saad

    it really meant that there would be no interference in internal party matters and that if ppp won majority benazir shaheed would be allowed to make govtRecommend

  • ahmed
    Feb 9, 2011 - 12:57PM

    @Adeel Ahmed:
    Sir,
    —- there is no democracy in Pakistan. O.K. But can some of the Pakistanis who value democracy, not take steps to ensure that in the near future there does evolve an semi-ideal
    democratic state ?
    It is worth struggling for. Do not dispair.Recommend

  • Not-Surprised
    Feb 9, 2011 - 1:32PM

    Pakistan is the perfect example of democracy gone wrong. Jinnah must be turning in his grave by seeing the current situation pakistan is in. Recommend

  • AA
    Feb 9, 2011 - 1:59PM

    The daughter of democracy dealing with intelligence agencies… this was obviousRecommend

  • Feb 9, 2011 - 2:22PM

    @Not-Surprised:
    Hope that Jinnah knows NOTHING about what’s going on in Pakistan right now. Recommend

  • Waiting4Revolution
    Feb 9, 2011 - 3:01PM

    Its already hard enough trusting any thing related to the Pakistani government and ruling classes however this case really takes the cake. Its what you might call, next level when it comes to lies and deciet.

    I agree with Adi! It is hard to believe that any of this evidence is genuine anymore. They keep finding phones, pulling off a list of contacts, finding e-mails and text messages 3 years after the assasination! Then mysteriously this evidence comes into the public domain when the hearings are apparently happening in private.

    I think the government is just trying to put pressure on the so called “accused” by leaking lies to their media mouthpieces. Recommend

  • GH
    Feb 9, 2011 - 4:20PM

    @Sonic:
    At least you wrote in a Pakistani Forum but i never wrote on any forum other than Pakistan. :PRecommend

  • A Khan
    Feb 9, 2011 - 4:57PM

    Then they still call it a democracy, however, in essence it is hypocrisy.

    Down with all these politician, generals and bureau-crates who played with our sentiments.

    “WAKE UP PAKISTAN” we need to kick them all out.Recommend

  • SK
    Feb 9, 2011 - 5:17PM

    So this is how democratic leader (aka daughter of the east) wanted to get “s”elected- some courage she had as a true democratic leaderRecommend

  • Ali
    Feb 9, 2011 - 6:00PM

    This certainly goes to show again that Musharraf was right once again: democracy in Pakistan is a sham! It in no way represents the choice of the people, only the interests of their feudal masters.
    Democracy in Paksitan is the play thing of the feudal elite. Period.Recommend

  • Basit
    Feb 9, 2011 - 6:10PM

    @Sonic:
    I hope you can meet few pakistanis and then make ur mind about them. Im living abroad for quite long now, and whomever I met, they have an initial bad impression about pakistanis but after a week or so their views totally change… im sure ur views will also change if u hang around with some pakistani.

    moreover the situation is pakistan is bad because of many reasons. the foremost is that almost all of the big powers of world wants to keep influence on pakistan and that region… US, China, UK, India, Russia and European countries also have interests… this makes mess…

    secondly is the currupted regime which is never elected by the people but by the US and intelegence agencies…

    and thirdly is the education, i dont understand that why people dont work for the education sector with few exceptions…

    I hope u understand me quite well Sonice.
    Greetings.Recommend

  • Basit
    Feb 9, 2011 - 6:34PM

    @Ali:
    Dear Ali,

    One bad thing can not be corrected by a bad thing…. this only make things worse…
    just look at the history… after every dictatorship period there is a chaos… and in pakistan, u will notice that after ever dictator there is a formation of some extremist organization… i hope u will agree to me…

    no doubt democracy is the best.. but it will be fruitful only if it comes fairly…
    just consider an example that what if someone is ruling some1s home… if u say its mine… then neither i will bend down to some1 who is dictating me in my own home neither i will go for some1 who is just making mess …

    Musharraf by no means right.. n i am still of the view that he should be punished for what he has done.Recommend

  • Arrosa khan
    Feb 9, 2011 - 7:22PM

    US will keep spilling beans; they know in what closet Kayani’s dirty laundry is,till Davis is released.Recommend

  • Feb 9, 2011 - 9:17PM

    On the first place she was not Murdered but died here own natural death by hitting her head with the upper chamber of her Pajero. She acted over-smartedly and waiving hands to supporters knowing she will be open moving target.

    How the hell Musharaff involved in this stupidity of her. She asked for it and let this matter be burried for ever.Recommend

  • Abdinur Mohamed
    Feb 9, 2011 - 9:45PM

    Nice story. Zahid keep it up dear i am sure ur journalistic talent and ur deisre to continue it furtherRecommend

  • ehsanali
    Feb 9, 2011 - 10:20PM

    If BB had no confidence in Musharraf why she started to deal with him in the first place and why she did not listen to his advice and came to Pakistan before election.What was this blackberry doing in bilawal house so long? These are all political gimmics.Till now PPP was claiming there was no deal atall!Recommend

  • SJ
    Feb 10, 2011 - 7:00AM

    @Sonic. Have you ever heard of Abdul Sattar Edhi. Find one Edhi in developed world. Not talking about multi millionaire or rather billionaire to have their charity fund/organisation. Just google him. All Pakistanis know what I’m talking about. Recommend

  • WTF?
    Feb 10, 2011 - 7:41AM

    How can Benazir be “PROMISED” the position of Prime Minister UNLESS the Elections are Rigged?

    Blackberry devices should be banned in Pakistan. Recommend

  • Abdul Latif
    Feb 10, 2011 - 9:08AM

    If Musharraf really meant it he has done a favour to the nation!Recommend

  • Nael
    Feb 10, 2011 - 2:29PM

    This is utter nonsense. Retrieving emails after two years from two BlackBerrys of BB, gag. Were the investigators comatosed for the last two years.

    To the cynics here, Pakistan is what it is, instead of latching on to the web stories, do a bit of search on all the good it has and continues to exhibit. Another nation with so much happening against it would have died. We are a strong 180,000,000 and all the bad you read about comes from about 1800, that is 0.001% of us, not bad if you know what I meanRecommend

  • Ali Haider
    Feb 11, 2011 - 4:36AM

    Ms. Clinton, who is our next Prime Minister? Please let us know before hand.Recommend

  • SZA
    Feb 11, 2011 - 3:24PM

    @Saad Duraiz and:
    I don’t know your age, but if you are in your 30s (or even 20s); it took you this long to realize your vote does not matter????Recommend

  • khurram kaleem
    Feb 12, 2011 - 1:32AM

    @Sonic:
    pakistan a living nation in the developing world.we are a strugling nation standing against all odds.

    you seem to be short tempered why do you feel disgusted.All this has been happening on this planet for 5 millinium only format is different.

    Historically assasination were spread in europe and america and everywhere where there is a struggle for a change and a better future and Paksitan is no deifferent.

    Good to see light of freedom in Egypt and arab world.Not unlike america and UK where you kill a million ppl in iraq and afghan on concocted reports

    The East shall enjoy more freedom than the west.it has begun!!!!!Recommend

  • Aj
    Feb 12, 2011 - 2:12PM

    Almost 37 to 38 months have passed since Benazeer Bhutto Shaheed departed from this world, and after 37 months two blackberrys are found.. where were they when the Scotland Yard or even the UN investigations team were investigating. Its just politics which we can never understand, the only thing we can do is just get pushed around, and go on a track which is laid down before us,and not to think out of the box or fight for our rights.Recommend

  • Feb 12, 2011 - 6:35PM

    @Sonic
    Leaders in the World are always killed. Following are few Leaders which were killed but still no trace of his Murderer or motives:

    a. J.F Kennedy
    b. Rafiq Hariri
    c. Gandhi
    d. Indira Gandhi
    e. Anwar al Sadaat

    Leaders life are always at stake. The point in case Benazir head was smashed with the upper chamber of her SUV Pajero and she died of her natural death. So it is not a murder. Investigators (Local and overseas) came to this conclusion. Therefore case closed and pointing fingures on others is just to defame them otherwise no fact and no motives.Recommend

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