Benazir killing: Malik in dark about Musharraf being named accused

February 8th, 2011 - 2:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Pervez Musharraf Islamabad, Feb 8 (IANS) Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik did not know that former president Pervez Musharraf was to be included in the list of accused in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case and was taken aback when he saw the news on TV, a media report said.Dawn reported that the Federal Investigation Agency’s joint investigation team, headed by police officer Khalid Qureshi, intentionally did not tell Malik and their agency chief, Waseem Ahmed, that they were going to put Musharraf’s name in the list of accused to ensure that there was no political interference in the case.

“It is shocking for me, I don’t know why they did not inform me? I might issue these officers show cause notices for doing this,” Malik reportedly told some officials.

Bhutto was assassinated Dec 27, 2007, as she was leaving Liaquat Bagh in a motorcade after addressing an election rally in Rawalpindi, Islamabad’s twin city and Pakistan’s old capital in northern punjab.

A teenaged shooter was seen aiming for her head in the CCTV footage before a powerful suicide blast killed at least 24 people participating in the rally.

The interior ministry at that time accused the Taliban of plotting to kill Bhutto while the doctors said as she was standing in her vehicle “her head banged against the lever of the sunroof of her vehicle, which caused her death”.

Advocate Chaudhry Azhar, known to be close to Malik, told Dawn News that Musharraf was not an accused.

Sources said that as soon as TV channels aired the news that Musharraf was an accused, Malik got in touch with Azhar who was in the Anti-Terrorist Court.

Malik asked Azhar who had placed Musharraf’s name in the accused list. Azhar said he himself had come to know about it in the court.

Musharraf’s name was added to the list of accused Monday following a statement from former Rawalpindi city police chief Saud Aziz.

Aziz claimed that Musharraf had given the order to change Benazir’s security in-charge. He also claimed that the murder scene was immediately washed on Musharraf’s orders.

Musharraf ruled Pakistan for nine years after taking power in a bloodless coup in 1999. He stepped down in 2008 and left Pakistan. He now lives in London.

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