Benazir murder case: PPP demands to place five released terrorists on ECL

Accused confessed to aiding perpetrators in 2008

News Desk May 17, 2018
Former prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto. PHOTO: FILE

Senior Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Rehman Malik on Thursday wrote a letter to Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and requested him to place the five acquitted in the Benazir Bhutto murder case on the Exit Control List (ECL).

Malik stated that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) formed to probe the murder of Bhutto have flagged all five terrorists as guilty in the case. Aitezaz Shah, Sher Zaman, Hasnain Gul, Muhammad Rafaqat, and Rashid Hamid Turabi have all been charged in connection with the case.

Benazir Bhutto assassination case: JIT complete report

On January 12, 2012, Magistrate Chaudhry Taufiq Ahmed, appearing as a prosecution witness, said that the accused in custody – Aitzaz Sherazi, Hasnain Gul and Rafaqat Hussain – in their recorded statements on February 2008 had confessed to helping the suicide bomber and being aware of the conspiracy.

The JIT formed to probe the assassination revealed the attack on Benazir had been planned in Akora Khattak by former students of Madrassa Darul Uloom Haqqania and one of the prime suspects in the case had revealed to investigators that she had been targeted due to her stance over the Lal Masjid operation.

An Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) official confirmed in the report that he had recorded a telephonic conversation in which Baitullah Mehsud had issued instructions to some of the arrested terrorists to assassinate Benazir. However, the ISI had refused to appear before the court, saying that the CD regarding the telephonic conversation had been prepared by the Intelligence Bureau (IB).

According to phone records, Saeed alias Bilal, Akramullah and Qari Ismael reached Rawalpindi on December 26, 2007, at about 9pm.

Benazir assassination: Accused confessed to aiding perpetrators in 2008, court told

They were picked up by accused Rafaqat and Hassnain and taken to Rafaqat’s house in Quaid-e-Azam Colony.

The next day, the terrorists visited Liaquat Bagh, and the planned route of Benazir Bhutto’s convoy. They then went to Hassnain’s house in Shah Jayyona Colony and obtained suicide jackets and weapons, JIT report further revealed.

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