Benazir murder case : Musharraf back in the hot seat

FIA looks to send a 32-page questionnaire to the former president.


Zahid Gishkori November 23, 2010



The government has decided to send a 32-page questionnaire along with relevant documents to former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf as a part of investigations into the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Special Investigation Unit had sought permission to send the queries to Musharraf.

After the lapse of some 35 months, the FIA has sent queries to interior ministry for approval, which will then be sent to Musharraf, who had neither been nominated in the case nor had been a part of any formal investigation, sources told The Express Tribune. “The FIA was ambivalent on including the former president’s name in the investigations,” the sources said.

Earlier, the PPP-led government had requested the Scotland Yard investigation team to probe the case and a United Nations commission had also conducted a investigation. An Anti-Terrorism Court in Rawalpindi is hearing the case of Bhutto’s murder at a public rally in Rawalpindi  on December 27, 2007.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Malik refused to comment on the contents of the questionnaire. “The matter is sub judice with a special court in Rawalpindi,” he said.

However, FIA Director-General Wasim Ahmad confirmed that a report carrying more than 12 questions had been sent to the interior ministry for approval. He said the FIA wanted to dispatch these questions and related documents to Musharraf.

Meanwhile, sources in the FIA said that the questionnaire had been made by the investigation wing responsible for Bhutto’s murder case. The questionnaire mostly comprises questions related to security arrangements provided to Bhutto. “The documents seek to obtain an explanation for what it terms gross negligence in providing security to Benazir Bhutto.”

Some questions are related to the findings of a Scotland Yard inquiry. The questionnaire also states that the steps taken by the interior ministry during the tenures of former interior ministers Aftab Sherpao and Hamid Nawaz are important for the investigations.

The reference of names of the then interior minister Lt-Gen Hamid Nawaz and the spokesperson for the interior ministry Brig (retd) Javed Iqbal Cheema has also been given in the documents being sent to Musharraf. Gen Musharraf had directed both officials of the interior ministry to hold a press conference immediately after Bhutto’s assassination, the documents state.

The names of Sherpao and former interior secretary Kamal Shah have also been mentioned in the report as they continued to keep in contact with Bhutto pertaining to her security matters during her public addresses in her election campaign.

Sherpao said that all intelligence reports were regularly being shared with Bhutto’s representatives, including Rehman Malik. “One of the most important intelligence reports, which claimed that some banned outfits could be a serious threat to BB’s life, was also handed over to the then security incharge of Benazir Bhutto,” he recalled.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 23rd, 2010.

COMMENTS (17)

mir | 11 years ago | Reply All the rulers of Pakistan are corrupt.Either they are from military or elected by so called elections............ Nothing could be happen here........Only faces change....
Gohar Abbas | 11 years ago | Reply its a mockery of the self, a mockery of investigation and above all mockery of the great slain leader.
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