Pakistan to ask UN for Bhutto probe ‘very soon’: Qureshi

May 23rd, 2008 - 1:00 am ICT by admin  

Benazir Bhutto

Islamabad, May 22 (ANI): Pakistan will soon submit a formal request to the United Nations for a probe into the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Thursday.
The letter of request is ready and it has been decided that the law minister and I will carry the letter with us and deliver it to the UN Secretary General, Qureshi told a news conference.
He said they were waiting for an official appointment with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, saying that the martyrdom of Benazir Bhutto had created confusion and that people were asking a lot of questions.
The way the matter was handled after her death has also created some confusion, Qureshi said.
Federal Law Minister Farooq Naik said Pakistan wanted the probe to take the form of an international commission to ascertain the truth, point out culprits, financers and perpetrators of this crime.
Last month, Pakistan’s National Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution calling for a United Nations probe into Bhuttos assassination.
The move was not surprising given that Pakistan’s new government and Bhuttos Pakistan Peoples Party and Nawaz Sharifs Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz dominate parliament.
Party members and Bhutto’s family have repeatedly called for such an investigation since she was killed December 27 after a campaign rally in Rawalpindi.
The resolution calls for an international inquiry into the people behind the killing. Until now, President Pervez Musharraf has balked at calls for a United Nations inquiry. His government — before it was ousted from power after parliamentary elections in February — had contended that Baitullah Mehsud, who as leader of the Pakistani Taliban and has ties to Al Qaeda, orchestrated the killing.
The CIA reached the same conclusion. But two nationwide polls conducted this year found that a majority of Pakistanis believe Musharraf’s government was complicit in Bhutto’s assassination.
The cause of Bhutto’s death is not clear. Her family has refused to carry out an autopsy. Bhutto was standing in a moving armoured car after rallying supporters for the parliamentary elections. Her head was above the roof and unprotected at the time of the attack.
A bomber blew himself up near Bhutto’s limousine, and videotape showed a gunman present.
Musharraf’s government concluded that Bhutto was not shot but died when the force of a bomb blast slammed her head into an escape hatch on her SUV.
Detectives from Britain’s Scotland Yard — who assisted Pakistani authorities in coming up with a “precise cause” of death — agreed with that assessment.
But Bhutto aide Sherry Rehman — who had been riding in the car behind Bhutto’s when it was attacked — called the government’s conclusion “the most bizarre, dangerous nonsense.”
The former prime minister’s husband, Asif Ali Zardari, has also called for an international and independent investigation, one under the auspices of the U.N. (ANI)

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