Govt made no attempt to block UN report: Malik


Sardar Sheraz April 16, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Thursday denied that the government had made any attempt to stop the UN commission’s report on the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto from being made public.

Speaking to the media he said that those who were behind the murder would be punished at all costs. Malik reiterated that the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan had sent security alerts on Benair Bhutto’s security.

The minister said that the government would announce its strategy, and the progress made so far, to apprehend Benazir’s killers. A three-member commission was scheduled to present its report to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York.

He was then expected to turn it over to Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations Hussain Abdullah Haroon.

Ban will also submit it to the UN Security Council. After presenting the report to Ban Ki-moon, the head of the commission, Chile’s UN Ambassador Heraldo Munoz, was to release the report at a press conference early on Friday.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday local media reported that the Punjab police had already told the UN commission that Benazir’s murderers had been arrested and were under trial.

The police had solved the case back in February 2008. The police had found that former TTP leader Baitullah Mehsud had masterminded the attack.

The UN commission to probe into Benazir Bhutto’s killing was set up following a request from the Pakistani government, which began its work in July 2009.

The commission included Marzuki Darusman, the former Attorney-General of Indonesia, and Peter Fitzgerald, a veteran of the Irish National Police who has also served the UN in a number of capacities. Its tenure ended on March 31.

The commission was to present its report on March 30 but delayed it at the request of President Asif Ali Zardari.

Pakistan had asked the commission to interview more people regarding the killing. A UN spokesperson, speaking on Thursday said the Commission has informed the Secretary General that all relevant facts and circumstances have been explored, and the report is complete and will not be changed.

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