Pak formally asks for UN probe in Benazir murder

June 7th, 2008 - 1:24 pm ICT by ANI  

Benazir Bhutto

United Nations, June 7 (ANI): Pakistan is learnt to have formally requested the United Nations to hold a high-level inquiry into the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

Pakistan ambassador at the UN Munir Akram met UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last evening and submitted a letter written by his countrys Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi requesting the world body to investigate the murder of the PPP leader on Dec 27 last year.

According to UN sources, Qureshi recalled the events in Pakistan which led to Bhuttos assassination and subsequent resolutions by Pakistan s national and provincial assemblies. They, however, refused to divulge any information about contents of the letter.

Later, Akram said that the UN chief had promised to respond to the request as soon as possible, but gave no timeline, reported the Dawn.

Confirming that the UN chief has received a letter in this regard, UN secretary generals spokeswoman Michelle Montas said: We are studying the letter. She too refused to give any timeline on the response.

Earlier, it was reported that Ambassador Akram had opposed the request for a UN probe and is believed to have briefed PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on the consequences of such a move. He was supported by former foreign secretary Riaz Mohammad Khan, who was reportedly removed for his opposition to such a probe.

According to one scenario, the UN chief could order an investigation himself and appoint a commission. But, if he deems that a much wider investigation is required he could ask the UN Security Council to order the investigation, like the one it instituted in the case relating to assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, in which the UN had spent over 45 million dollars without reaching any conclusion.

The United States which heads the UN Security Council for the month of June would have to submit the request to the 15-member council to make a decision on ordering any such an investigation. (ANI)

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