THERE is a consensus, barring lunatic fringes here and there, that the hanging of former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was a judicial murder. It is one of the darkest chapters in the history of the nation. The government of the country's first directly elected Prime Minister was not just overthrown, but he himself was hanged; the sheer symbolism of this brutal contempt towards a polity's will struck a sad, resonant chord throughout the world. There is no doubt about that. But Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's announcement to reopen the Bhutto trial is puzzling. There was another PPP Prime Minister between the incumbent and Mr Bhutto. The manner of the investigations into her death have begun to arouse suspicions in the public's mind that are far worse than mere allegations of incompetence. These suspicions might be vulgar and unfounded, but one cannot control the way the public thinks. Justice must not only be done but be seen to be done. The government has not been able to explain how conducting the investigations on its own, with the state's own machinery, is unfeasible. And it has also not been able to make a case clear enough for the investigation by the UN, neither to the public nor to the international body itself. Getting back to the case of Bhutto himself, the principal actors in that case are dead. Though there is an argument for digging them out from the dead (figuratively speaking) for symbolic reasons, there are far greater symbolic issues at stake. The murder of ZA Bhutto, were it not for the Kasuri case, would have been based on another case, the establishment having already made up its mind to hang him. The greater issue is that of the military takeover. Why not take to task the deceased dictator and his cohorts, dead or alive, over that? And that was not the only military takeover. Why not take Ayub Khan and his cronies to task, if only symbolically? Why are we missing Yahya Khan and why are we, most importantly, missing Pervez Musharraf?