ISLAMABAD -  Pakistan People’s Party Senator Rehman Malik said on Friday that the government must seek Interpol’s help to arrest former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s killer who was hiding in Afghanistan.

Addressing a news conference, the lawmaker referred to a recently released book “Inqilab (revolution) Mehsud South Waziristan: From British Raj To American Imperialism”, which provided details about Bhutto’s assassination in 2007.

“I have written a letter to Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal to take action against the writer and those who are mentioned in the book,” he said.

Benazir Bhutto was assassinated after she finished addressed a rally in Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007, in a gun-and-bomb attack. The then military ruler Pervez Musharraf blamed Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud for the killing.

But a UN investigation report said lack of adequate security was the main reason behind the successful attack by the terrorists. This automatically questions Musharraf’s role as he was asked for security a number of times by the late Bhutto. However, Musharraf – who denies any role in the murder - is just a co-accused in the case.

Malik, who remained Bhutto’s chief security officer, had earlier blamed the judicial system for a delay in punishing the killers. The former interior minister said that Bhutto’s assassins would long have met their fate if former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry had shown sincerity. Malik said prosecutor Zulfikar Chaudhry – who according to him was doing a splendid job – was killed as he was closing in to get the killers punished.

The PPP senator said he has demanded of the interior minister to make a request to Interpol to issue red notices for Maulvi Ikramullah and the author of the book, Abu Mansoor Asim Mufti Noor Wali, enabling Pakistan to request for the deportation of these two Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan leaders.

He said the government should make a request to Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani to deport Maulvi Ikramullah, the surviving suicide bomber, and the writer Mufti Noor Wali who were hiding in Afghanistan. He said that their interrogation will further unearth the facts of the conspiracy behind the assassination of the late Bhutto.

He said the book had been written by Mufti Noor Wali, reportedly a senior leader of Taliban, in which he has claimed the responsibility for the assassination of Bhutto.

“It is for the first time that Taliban on record have confessed the murder of Benazir Bhutto. As the book has made leading claims, therefore, it is necessary that investigation into the Bhutto’s case be revisited” he demanded.

He said the investigation by a joint investigation team (JIT) headed by a senior officer of the Federal Investigation Agency has also concluded that the TTP and Al-Qaeda had carried out the assassination of Bhutto and TTP chief Baitullah Mehsud and his associates hatched the conspiracy in Miranshah, North Waziristan Agency.

Malik said that according to the earlier investigations by the FIA, two suicide bombers sent by Baitullah Mehsud were identified as Bilal aka Saeed who blew himself up at Liaquat Bagh resulting in the death of Bhutto and Maulvi Ikramullah, the second suicide bomber who escaped the scene and his current whereabouts have recently been reported in Afghanistan. “He is presently in the area of Paktia, which falls under the control of Afghanistan,” the PPP senator said.

Citing the book, Malik said the writer had claimed that the TTP wanted to assassinate Bhutto as she, according to them, was coming back to carry out plans against ‘Mujahideen-e-Islam’ under an alleged deal with the US.

“In order to frustrate the American plan, two suicide bombers namely Mohsin Mehsud and Rehmatullah Mehsud carried out suicide attacks on Benazir Bhutto at Karsaz, Karachi, in October 2007, which resulted in the killing of approximately 200 people but Benazir Bhutto survived the attack. The reason for the unsuccessful attack was the deviation of the instructions by the suicide bombers.  The suicide bombers abandoned their place of position, which was near the stage, and carried out their attacks in hurry. Both the suicide bombers were associated with the training camp of Maulvi Azmatullah. The planned attack on Benazir Bhutto at Larkana could not be carried out due to a tip-off to police by a so-called Taliban mujahid, Mehraj Kaikhel,” he said, quoting the book.

The author of the book wrote that: “Benazir Bhutto was killed in a suicide attack in Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007, carried out by the TTP. Two suicide bombers Bilal a/k/a Saeed and Ikramullah were tasked to carry out the attack on Benazir Bhutto on December 27, 2007. The first suicide bomber Bilal a/k/a Saeed, hailing from Badar, first fired at Benazir Bhutto from his pistol and the bullet hit her neck. Then, he detonated his explosive jacket and blew himself up in the middle of the participants of the procession. The second suicide bomber Ikramullah, a resident of Makeen town in South Waziristan, escaped the blast site and is still alive.”

Senator Malik said that this was also the conclusion of the JIT that Gen Musharraf’s government did not provide adequate security despite knowing the level of threat and according to Taliban they had identified the lack of security.

The revelations in the book, he said, indicated that the evidence submitted in the trial court in the form of a Challan (charge-sheet) was authentic, duly substantiated with the evidence against all the accused persons, whether arrested or proclaimed offenders.

Senator Malik said that he as Chairman Senate Committee on Interior had taken up the issue in the committee. “A high powered inquiry team should be formed to investigate the claims made by the writer,” he said.

 

 

SHAFQAT ALI