The ATC court judgment on Thursday is built on a faulty investigation of ‘Handle Theory’ by Ministry of Interior Pakistan, Scotland Yard UK, UN Investigation Team and FIA. The inconclusive nature of evidence is pointed by Scotland Yard and UN investigators. Yet this faulty theory provides the template for court proceedings. The primary motivation is that beneficiaries want to eclipse crucial facts and trails. Many principal witnesses were never investigated.

My research falsifies the Handle Theory and could turn all investigations upside down. Fear compels people who know to remain quiet. The evidence I collected on this case is shared with some important leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Veterans of Pakistan (Pakistan Ex Servicemen Association), lest it becomes the end of the story.

In Pakistan’s legal system, a court judgment is as good or bad as the criminal investigation and the prosecution. Two decisions by Pakistan’s courts within a week are the latest examples related to Pakistan People’s Party.

First the absence of prosecution led to acquittal of Asif Ali Zardari from Accountability Courts. Mysteriously, the Chef prosecutor despite trove of irrefutable evidence disappeared. The court could do nothing.

On Thursday, an anti-terrorist court handed out long prison sentences to two police officers for showing negligence that led to assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Who were the actual planners and killers of this assassination was and perhaps never will be determined. Right on top of the chain, President Musharraf was singled out because he has become a convenient punching bag. In between, no one was brought to question.

Had those who mattered in PPP shown the same maverickism as acquittal of Zardari, the results could have been different. PPP or its stalwarts never showed the desire or chivalry through the investigations to court proceedings. The judge had to rule on facts that were never available in completeness. Yet he was right in acquitting the accused from Darul Uloom Haqqania.

The Joint investigation of the case was completed by FIA in 2012 while Asif Ali Zardari was the President and Rehman Malik the interior minister. This investigation went head over heels to blame TTP of the actual crime and Ex-President Musharraf and the two police officers as accomplice through negligence. All this was deliberate misleading.

The Handle Theory as presented by the ministry of interior is substantiated by the Scotland Yard. This report rules out gunshot wounds and states that, “The limited X-ray material, the absence of a full post mortem examination and CT scan, have meant that the UK Home Office pathologist, Dr Nathaniel Cary, who has been consulted in this case, is unable categorically to exclude the possibility of there being a gunshot wound to the upper trunk or neck. However when his findings are put alongside the accounts of those who had close contact with Ms Bhutto’s body, the available evidence suggests that there was no gunshot injury. The UN Report on the subject in roundabout way also confirms these investigations. But this entire chain of events, missing crucial witnesses, creates more doubts.

The interesting point about this report relates to statements of persons who had close contact with the body of Benazir Bhutto. These witnesses do not include Dr Safdar Abbassi, Sherry Rehman and Nahid Khan who were present in the bullet proof vehicle when Benazir Bhutto collapsed. Mr. Amin Fahim and Shahinshah the body guard with his mysterious sign language are now dead. Interestingly, the prime witness who made the most incriminating video of the incident from Sherry Rehman’s SUV was never made a subject of the investigation.  Why this very important aspect was consistently and deliberately ignored by three investigating teams and PPP government is mysterious.

As written by me in Nation on 25 April 2010, “much before the UN Investigation, every Pakistani was convinced that all investigations into the tragedy are deliberately misleading. Scotland Yard appears as much an accomplice in the cover up as the Handle Theory”. It appears that even the most incriminating video released by Channel Four through CNN and Dawn was deliberately blurred and edited to create confusion. This fact alone warrants expanding the ambit of inquiry to handlers outside Pakistan. This was neither done by FIA, nor the government in power that was also the affected party. Combined with the non-investigation of the prime witnesses by investigation agencies, the irresistible conclusion is that all investigations into the murder of Benazir Bhutto were in facts cover ups.

If the handle theory is falsified, then new investigations will take another course. The actual planners and culprits are either dead, or hibernating in Pakistan or abroad. Complicity of international actors cannot be ruled out.

Anyone interested in unraveling this mystery must find answers to the following questions: -

Question 1: Benazir’s chief of security merits inquest solely on the basis of his changing statements and whereabouts hours following her murder.

Question 2: Why did Rehman Malik and Babar Awan the ‘get away men’ flee the scene in Benazir’s reserve vehicle?

Question 3: Why was the most loyal Khalid Shahanshah, who had probably lost that element during his visits abroad, the first to jump into Benazir’s vehicle and bolt to Zardari house, only to be gunned down in Karachi?

Question 4: News broadcast by channels within the first two hours of the incident need to be replayed. There were eye witness accounts by doctors of RGH that Benazir had received one to two fatal gunshot injuries. Then there was a blackout. Even Sherry Rehman sings no more.

Question 5: Why was the original video shot from Sherry Rehman’s SUV held back by PPP central secretariat. Why it was not provided to Scotland Yard and FIA?

Question 6: Were cell phone communications through towers close to RGH within minutes and hours of the crime ever investigated to check conversations of doctors and paramedics eagerly disclosing to friends and families the extent and type of Benazir’s injuries?

The most damming evidence suggesting that all investigative misleads comes from the frame by frame analysis of the original video posted on ORKUT as also the frames within an hour of the assassination. Later these disappeared. This two minutes fourteen seconds video shows three shots fired between 1 minute 23-24 seconds.

The three shots can be heard. The first shot missed. The second and third shot show BB’s hair and Dupatta taking the impact. Then BB falls down, empty frames followed by the explosion. The shooter is followed by a suicide bomber. A security person grapples with the shooter when the suicide bomber blows up.

My analysis is that both Benazir Bhutto and President Musharraf disowned the NRO because it was violated due to premature return of Mian Nawaz Sharif. Benazir had agreed to be a powerful Prime Minister under President Musharraf. The combination was too powerful for a frail compromised system as desired by international actors. One of them had to go. Eventually both went. The one who is alive remains a punching bag.

Benazir Bhutto, the Daughter of the East is dead, buried and treacherously abandoned by her party leadership. Someone needs to explain why that hyperactive Benazir, the Princess of the day, infused with vigour like an elixir had to die. The Bhutto legacy will endure treacherous times. ‘The pyre will burn’.

The photo taken from a clip says it all. Benazir has fallen down the hatch and the explosion is yet to come.


n             The writer is a political economist

and a television anchorperson.