UAE cautioned Benazir of suicide attacks

January 5th, 2008 - 1:36 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Benazir Bhutto
Islamabad, Jan 5 (ANI): The United Arab Emirates had tipped off slain former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto of possible suicide attacks on both the occasions, October 18 failed attempt on her life at a reception rally and December 27 fatal attack in Rawalpindi, media reports have said.
According to a report in the News, prior to Benazir’s return to Pakistan eight years after her self-imposed exile on October 18, a senior UAE official personally informed her about a threat to her life and the possibility of she being a target of suicide attack on the day of her return to Pakistan.
Despite the UAE sharing the intelligence information with the Pakistan Government, the suicide attack on Benazir’s reception rally could not be averted, the daily said.
Although she escaped unhurt, the explosion claimed over 150 lives.
Later, the UAE warned Benazir again of yet another suicide attack on her and the intelligence information was again shared with Islamabad.
While former Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao said he did not know of the sharing of intelligence information by the UAE Government, but confirmed that the Pakistani intelligence agencies had forewarned the government of a possible suicide attempt on Benazir’s life.
Rehman Malik, the security adviser to the slain PPP chairperson, said that a brotherly Islamic country in the Middle East had issued warnings to Benazir on both the occasions.
However, he was reluctant to disclose the name of the country, but revealed that the country had pointed its finger at al-Qaeda.
On October 27, the PPP again approached the Interior Ministry saying that “a reliable source from a friendly country,” same as the one that warned of the October 18 suicide attack, had informed about a similar attack on Benazir.
In view of the latest threat the party requested the government to provide additional security to Benazir, reported the daily.
In the meantime, the government also warned Benazir of threats based on its intelligence reports and informed that terrorists pose serious threat to her life.
Instead of getting an enhanced security, the PPP on November 21 complained to the Interior Ministry of doing the opposite.
A fortnight before Benazir’s assassination, the PPP wrote a three-page letter to the Interior Ministry expressing its complete dissatisfaction over the security arrangements.
On December 24, the party again wrote to the Interior Ministry and regretted that jammers provided by the government were defective, the daily said. (ANI)

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