Minister’s assassination: Taliban behind Bhatti’s murder, says top cop

Published: August 24, 2011
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Bhatti was shot as he left his mother’s home in a residential area of Islamabad. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Bhatti was shot as he left his mother’s home in a residential area of Islamabad. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

Shahbaz Bhatti, slain minister for minority affairs, was killed by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Islamabad’s most senior police officer told a Senate panel on Tuesday.

IGP Bani Amin Khan told the Senate standing committee on interior that the TTP was responsible for the “act of terrorism”.

The high-profile murder on the streets of the capital in March had raised concerns on the inability of the police to ensure security. A pamphlet attributed to al Qaeda and TTP found with the minister’s body claimed responsibility for the killing and said he had been punished for being a “blasphemer”. However, some recent reports had also claimed that the murder could have been a result of a family feud.

The IGP said that the police had identified two suspects, but they had gone abroad before they could be caught. Sources familiar with the matter told The Express Tribune that the suspects had flown to Dubai.

“A request for the issuance of red warrants through Interpol (International police) has been made and an interim challan submitted to the court,” said Khan.

He claimed that all cases of terrorism, except for the twin suicide attacks on the International Islamic University in Islamabad and the suicide attack on Silk Bank have been solved by the Islamabad police. “The attack on the university was linked to people across the border,” he told the Senate panel.

Khan said the police have traced the car used for transporting the suicide bomber at the Silk Bank. “The arrest of suspects is likely in a few days,” he said.

The committee chaired by Senator Talha Mehmood noted with concern that almost all suspects arrested in different terrorist activities have been acquitted by courts. The committee blamed weak prosecution and legal branch of the police for this circumstance to which the IGP replied affirmatively.

A majority of cases have been disposed of for a lack of sufficient evidence, the panel was told.

Chief Commissioner Islamabad Tariq Mehmood Pirzada said that it is impossible to find witnesses in state cases and the only option is to produce police officials as witnesses. “This has been the strongest point in favour of defence because courts do not consider such evidence as sufficient,” added Pirzada.

He agreed that there were serious weaknesses in the prosecution and legal branch. The IGP said the weakness of the legal branch lies in the unavailability of competent officers. “Make laws, amend them where necessary and give us qualified law officers for the legal branch,” the police officer said.

He supported the chief commissioner’s suggestion to further amend evidence laws so that they are more workable for both the police and courts.

The committee recommended that the government initiate work on amending the legislations, while focusing on laws of evidence. The committee said that registration of false cases should be made a cognisable offence and its sentence should be increased to a minimum of three years.

The committee, irked at Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s absence, said  that he must be present at the next meeting.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 24th,  2011.


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Reader Comments (8)

  • breitzer
    Aug 23, 2011 - 4:01PM

    Last week some family memeber invovlved and now them…gentlemen take your time do your work complete with prrof and then present your results….

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  • AnisAqeel
    Aug 23, 2011 - 4:37PM

    Every official of this category is below the competence level and Pakistan needs a complete clean wash of public servants at this level to stay near survival. These guys are upgrades of bribes and without competence.Three times I have seen these different conclusions.
    Bottom line is whoever it is bring them to justice, where are the culprits?!
    These shameless official are holding Shaheed Taseer’s murderer and a couple of murderers caught by the Ahmadis during their brutal murdering spree yet no justice.
    Karachi has become a world’s capital of murderers despite officials saying we know who they are?
    We need action instead of cheap political statements. These shameless officials should resign, as they are not at all capable of handling their jobs.Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Aug 23, 2011 - 6:39PM

    It is better to involve UN as was done for Shaheed Bibi. It is not possible to indict any jehadi outfits even if they claim to be behind this cowardly act. The case of late governor of Punjab Mr.Salman Taiseer is right on our faces. Qadri accepts his act but still is more comfortable than his own home in Jail. Treated like VVIP. The news in ET is only for the consumption of foreign embassies. Indoctrination has taken over our systems of positive thinking.

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  • Aug 23, 2011 - 6:56PM

    AneesAqeel, thanks for your bold, correct observations of the brutal, barbaric most inhuman kind of horrible situation from Jamrood to Karachi and from lahore to Quetta and what a shame that ministers and officials safely entrenched in their seat of authority have had their hreatlessness in saying that they know who is behind this sort of persistent killing spree of innocent civilians. Will the authorities at central and provincial level let the nation know the fate of the killers of Pj. Governor Shaheed Salman Taseer and the one captured alive from the Model town place of worship of Ahmadiyyia community and who was handed over to the police standing outside the gate. One wonders why the law of the land is not being applied in these two particular cases in which killers are being given VIP treatement? Here one may recall an urdu verse@ dhekha jo teer kha key kameen ghah ki taraf, Apney hi doostoon say mullaqat ho ghai?

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  • Aug 23, 2011 - 9:39PM

    Easy job for police deptt.in pakistan.
    If they can’t trace the murderer,then they say,”TALIBAN ARE RESPONSIBLE”
    Bad show by police deptt.

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  • Babloo
    Aug 23, 2011 - 10:57PM

    So TTP has been found guilty and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment ( after it surrenders ) or has it being asked to leave Lahore ?
    Please keep the jokes coming.

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  • Ahmer Ali
    Aug 24, 2011 - 9:47AM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.This is not surprising news for the nation because this has been our leaders and law enforcement agencies’ investigation teams’ favorite game that when they fail to trace the real culprits or criminals they accuse TTP of that crime so that they camouflage their demerits and disabilities before the nation to deceive and fool the nation especially in the most important tragic events to close the case.

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  • curious1
    Aug 24, 2011 - 11:20PM

    @AnisAqeel:
    good observation and very well said. We all are angry whatever is going on in Pakistan, the land of contradictions, bigotry and bias.

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