KARACHI: Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik, abiding by his promise, revealed the investigation report of the murder of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in the Sindh Assembly on Tuesday, and vowed to bring then president Pervaiz Musharraf back to the country.
The minister said that Musharraf has been declared a proclaimed offender in the case on the grounds that the VVIP security status entitled to Benazir Bhutto was deliberately denied. “We will issue a red notice and involve Interpol to bring back Musharraf to the country.”
“The then CPO Abdul Aziz is also being held responsible for the deliberate destruction of evidences,” he added.
The minister revealed that the same Taliban group which has been held responsible in the investigation report is also responsible for carrying out several other attacks on Benazir Bhutto in the past. “Wherever Mohtarma went for her rallies, the suspects left their remnants at those places where they tried to kill her. There was an element of the TTP [Tehreek-i-Taliban] everywhere. The main accused in the case not only planned but also conspired and executed the whole plan.”
He also revealed that terrorist Saeed Bilal, with the help of Qari Ismail, carried out the suicide bomb on Benazir’s rally on October 18. “Before leaving for the attack, Saeed changed his clothes to merge into the gathering. The DNA samples retrieved from his body parts after the attack matched with the DNA samples collected from the clothes at his house.”
He pointed out that the investigations took a long time to complete as it usually takes time to collect circumstantial proof. “It is not just important to find out the implementers, but also see who planned the whole attack.”
The minister added that the case is in trial and 13 witness prosecutions had been done in the case.
Commending Benazir Bhutto’s courage, he said that many fake cases were initiated against the former prime minister but still she opted for reconciliation with the then president and decided to come to the country.
“In the presence of Mark Siegel, Musharraf threatened her: If you come to Pakistan before the elections, you will be responsible for the consequences. If you come to Pakistan before the elections, I will not be responsible for our security.
But she said: General, the decision to come to Pakistan is mine, not yours,” Malik said.
Chief Investigator of Benazir Bhutto murder case Khalid Qureshi revealed to the Sindh Assembly that Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud was responsible for the planning and execution of the attack on Benazir Bhutto.
He said that the people recruited to carry out the task were all trained in the Haqqania madrassa in South Waziristan.
“On December 20, in room no. 11 of Haqqania madrassa, Baitullah Maisood gave money to carry out the task.”
All the suspects of the attack were traced after the main accused Hasnain Gul one day mistakenly called his landline number in Rawalpindi. “All terrorists have strict instructions of not calling any landline number,” Qureshi said.
Musharraf dismisses warrant threat as ‘blame game’
Former President Pervez Mushrraf, speaking to Express News on Tuesday said that he had passed on the intelligence reports of threats to Benazir Bhutto’s life.
He said that the former Pakistan Peoples Party stalwart had been warned that suicide bombers had reached the venue. “I had personally called Benazir Bhutto and told her that there exists a threat against her life,” the retired general said.
Calling it a blame game, Musharraf pointed out that those who were sitting inside the vehicle when assailants opened fire before blowing themselves up, remained safe. Bhutto had stood up through the sun roof of her armoured car to wave to gathered loyalists as her convoy exited the Benazir Bhutto Park (then Liaquat Ali Khan Park).
“She unfortunately was martyred, but those sitting inside the car are perfectly fine. If she had been sitting inside the car, she too would have been safe,” Musharraf said.
He said that accusations against him of not providing security were ‘illogical’, and that since he was not in Pakistan, the government found him an easy target to deflect the blame away from them.
Musharraf recalled that the security for the rally in Rawalpindi had been taken over by PPP loyalists. Even the policemen on duty were PPP loyalists, he exclaimed.
Maulan Sami ul Haq denies allegations against Haqqania
Meanwhile Maulana Sami ul Haq, chief cleric of Darul Uloom Haqqania Akora Khatak has denied Malik’s allegations against the seminary.
Talking to The Express Tribune, he said that not a single student from his seminary was involved in terrorist activities, “Several times I have asked the government and security officials that instead of levelling allegations against my madrassa students, take concrete step to prove them guilty. I offer my cooperation in this regard even now.”
The cleric also denied security officials’ claims that students of Haqqania were involved in targeting security installations, adding that his seminary followed a balanced and ‘peaceful’ curriculum, which was open to inspection by the authorities.
Haq demanded for an open trial of Benazir Bhutto’s murder.