Benazir’s niece calls Zardari the killer of her father

May 18th, 2008 - 7:39 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf

London, May 18 (IANS) Fatima Bhutto, niece of the slain former Pakistani premier Benazir, said in comments published Sunday she will continue to pursue her aunt’s widower Asif Ali Zardari whom she accuses of involvement in her father’s death. Fatima Bhutto’s father and Benazir’s brother Murtaza was killed in 1996 in an ambush that Fatima blames on both Benazir and Zardari, who is now the head of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party.

“We are currently waiting for Zardari’s acquittal judgement. But I am not going to give up this struggle. I am not going to stand down quietly. This is bigger than us - this is about justice. I will continue to do all I can to stand between Asif and a clean record,” Fatima Bhutto told the Sunday Times in an interview.

Zardari is set to be acquitted of four murder charges, including the one for Murtaza, and several corruption allegations under the terms of an agreement - the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) - between Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and Benazir Bhutto.

The newspaper said the NRO, which dismisses all outstanding charges against political figures, had been signed by Musharraf under pressure from the US and been insisted upon by Benazir before returning to Pakistan last year.

Fatima Bhutto also blames Benazir for Murtaza’s murder, telling the newspaper: “If she didn’t sign the death warrant then who else had the power to cover it up? I would love to believe in the innocence of my aunt, but why else did she so obviously obstruct the investigation?”

A tribunal set up to probe the killing concluded the assassination could not have taken place “without approval from the highest level of government.”

At the end of the interview the newspaper asks Fatima if she feared for her own safety.

She replied: “Well, I am certainly very afraid for this country. Even before Zardari, this was a country where anything can happen, a country that regularly disappears its own people….

“You just don’t know what’s waiting for you, especially if you stand up and say what you think.

“So perhaps I should be anxious. After all, this man knows no limits. He has a record. He has, as they say, form. And he is now clearly indulging in the politics of revenge and retribution. It’s nothing new - it’s how he has always been.

“But what can you do? You just have to carry on as you can, and try to tell the truth as you see it.”

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