Pak intelligence was diverting US aid to rig the elections, according to Benazir

January 1st, 2008 - 1:15 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Benazir Bhutto
London, Jan.1 (ANI): Benazir Bhutto was scheduled to meet two senior American politicians to show them a confidential report that suggested that Pakistans intelligence service was using US money to rig parliamentary elections.
According to officials of Bhuttos Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the report was to be shown on the day she was assassinated (December 27).
It was alleged that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was running the election operation from a safe house in Islamabad and the aim was to undermine the PPP and ensure victory for the Pakistan Muslim League (Q) party, which supports President Musharraf.
The Times said that Rhode Island Democratic Party Congressman Patrick Kennedy and Republican member of the Senate sub-committee on foreign operations, Arlen Specter have confirmed that they were planning to have dinner with Bhutto on Thursday evening, but were not available for comment yesterday.
Sarfraz Ali Lashari, a senior PPP official who works in its election monitoring cell, told The Times that he had helped to compile a 200-page report on the Governments efforts to rig the poll, which Bhutto planned to give to the Americans and to the press the day she was killed
But there is another report relating to the ISI and she was going to discuss it with them, said Lashari, an environmental economist who taught at Cranfield University for several years.
The second report, which Bhutto did not plan to release to the media, alleged that the ISI was using some of the 10 billion dollars in US military aid that Pakistan has received since 2001 to run a covert election operation from a safe house in G5, a central district of Islamabad, he said.
The report was done by some people who weve got in the services. They directly dealt with Benazir Bhutto, he said, adding that Bhutto was planning to share the contents of the report with the British Ambassador Robert Brinkley and the US lawmakers.
Asif Ali Zardari, Bhuttos husband and the new co-chairman of the PPP, confirmed the existence of the report, its basic contents and his wifes plans to meet the US lawmakers last Thursday.
Asked if such a report was in his possession, he said: Something to that effect.
The allegation is likely to fuel the already intense speculation surrounding the death, which triggered nationwide riots and raised fears that President Musharraf could reimpose emergency rule and postpone the elections.
Electoral fraud is nothing new in Pakistan, which has been led by military rulers for more than half of its 60-year history, and whose politics is dominated by feudal and tribal loyalties.
Lashari, the PPP official, said that Bhutto wanted to share the report with them because she did not entirely trust the US Government, which still regards President Musharraf as a key ally in the War on Terror. (ANI)

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