The Question Remains - Who Betrayed Benazir Bhutto?
Staff Report: The News, January 14, 2008
KARACHI: Politicians and former judges said that the assassination of Benazir Bhutto was a part of a great game against the Federation of Pakistan.
This was stated during a seminar held Sunday on ‘National Security – Challenges and Response after the Martyrdom of Benazir Bhutto’, organised by the Sindh United Forum at a hotel.
They backed the PPP and the Bhuttos’ demand for a United Nations tribunal conducting an inquiry into the assassination. Wajihuddin Ahmed, a former judge and the only contestant in the presidential election against Pervez Musharraf’s re-election last year, said that the assassins must be exposed.
“Ms Bhutto was brought back to the country by some forces that wanted her to tie their policies, but, she defied them and paid the price,” he stated. Ahmed further said that the attack on her in Karachi on October 18, 2007 was the first message from those forces which wanted her to desist from politics of the masses.
He argued that the Scotland Yard team lacked the mandate to conduct an in-depth probe. He urged the regime to inform the entire nation why forensic evidence was washed away from the scene of the October 18 attack. The former judge added that, on December 27, the same scene was repeated by the government as all the evidence was wiped out.
Therefore, he said he supported the PPP’s stance - that the UN should probe into her death to expose the real killers of the most popular leader of the country.
“The government wants to postpone the elections once again. The rulers want to create a Bangladesh-like situation to justify the postponement of the elections and to maintain the status quo,” he said.
He added that sitting rulers should learn from the people’s reaction to the assassination of the PPP chairperson. Sindhi, Muhajir, Pathan, Baloch and Punjabi people did not target each other during the recent riots; it was the frustration of the poor against a regime that creates further differences between the haves and haves-not, he maintained.
He cited the example of Karachi, where many banks and luxurious cars were set ablaze because of mass frustration against the regime. The fact is that the rioters were not PPP workers, they were the deprived and poor classes of the country, he claimed.
He questioned why security personnel didn’t try to stop the theft and arson and protect the citizens of the country.
Former chief justice of the country Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui said that Benazir was a symbol of the Federation. He proposed that the Centre should give provincial autonomy to the provinces to pay respect.
Former speaker of the National Assembly Ilahi Bakhsh Soomro said that her assassination was a great loss to the country. He proposed that President Musharraf should invite all political party leaders to devise a plan to surmount the challenges of national security.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Vice President Imdad Chandio said that anti-democratic forces never tolerated the Bhuttos because Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, his widow and their sons and daughter were considered a constant threat to the dictators in Pakistan.
Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf Secretary General Dr Arif Alvi said that the -Pakistan elements have started a “great game against the country through her assassination”.
Former chairman of Pakistan Steel Mill Lieutenant General (retd) Qayum, who had also served as a military secretary to Ms Bhutto in her second tenure as prime minister, said that her death was a national tragedy since she was the most loyal politician of Pakistan.