In some ways the findings presented by the UN probe into the murder of Benazir Bhutto on Friday can be described as insipid.
People seemed to have been hoping the probe committee would, in stark black and white, declare who had killed the late leader and detonated the bomb that ended her life. This was always an unrealistic expectation, especially given the terms under which the probe was working.
The probe report nevertheless throws up facts that cannot be ignored, particularly the role of the intelligence agencies with certain aspects of the tragedy and its most immediate aftermath.
Two points in particular need to be recounted: the first has to do with the hosing down of the crime scene immediately after the assassination which prevented any meaningful forensic investigation or analysis. The police chief of Rawalpindi, the UN report said quoting 'sources', was being given directions by the head of military intelligence and this is a very worrying revelation.
The other has to do with the way the vehicle in which Ms Bhutto was killed was treated by investigators. Material was taken from it and put back before any forensics could be carried out, the report says, rendering its worthless for those tasked with the immediate probe. At this stage too, the report says, there was involvement of ISI officials.
In addition to this, the report says that intelligence apparatus attempted to hamper the inquiry itself and that, apart from the role of the Taliban and the late Baitullah Mehsud, that of the establishment needed to be further investigated. These comments, from a neutral body, are telling.
There are other questions that crop up too. Has the nexus between the establishment and militants been sufficiently explored? Was this a factor in the Bhutto death? People within her party believe so. There are also other questions. Why, with a PPP government in power since 2008, has so little effort been made to pursue the matter?
The UN probe lays down some very explosive leads. The question is who will ensure that they are pursued?
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