Monday, December 29, 2008

Who Killed Benazir Bhutto?

By Saeed Qureshi

December 27 is the first death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto, the Chairperson of the Pakistan Peoples Party and the wife of Asif Ali Zardari the President of Pakistan. She was killed in mysterious circumstances after her address at the Rawalpindi Public rally. It is still to be concluded whether she was killed by snipers or by the mammoth blast that killed scores of others. Besides filing of an FIR after much of hassle and arresting some youngsters, there is no other progress in sight to unearth the plot, the plotter and the identity of the assassins of a remarkable political icon.

Referring the case to the United Nations for investigation has further delayed the probe and perhaps placed the emergent matter indefinitely on the back burner. The ruling PPP has seldom issued any updates on the development or progress with regard to the probe that in fact should have been conducted with a sense of utmost urgency and due speed. It appears no one is truly serious in the party echelons, about assassination of BB for unexplained reasons.

To mark her first death anniversary, however, certainly a high sounding program has been announced by the prime minister and party cadres. Among this is the reading of the holy Quran (Quran Khawani) for more than 10 million times to bless her soul and for her redemption. There would be rallies, public and party meetings to recall her services and sacrifices and pay tribute to her. She is no doubt a political martyr and this aspect of her political struggle would be highlighted during the anniversary period. As is customary, some prisoners might also be released to add compassion to this sad event.

But this sublime show of love and solidarity with BB cannot distract the people of Pakistan generally and the PPP rank and file especially from the nagging question as to who killed her. This distressing question would keep lurking in the minds as to why this high profile murder case is being evidently turned into a blind and closed case. If there was a government other than the PPP at helm in Pakistan then one could expect such willful sidetracking of this heinous crime that has deprived the PPP of its celebrated leader of international repute and fame. This utter disregard and patent indifference towards Benazir Bhutto’s assassination by her own party in power is as baffling as it is questionable.

At the media level many intriguing and valid question marks are being pointed out that provide positive and worthwhile clues to the suspects who could have masterminded the physical removal of BB from the political scene. The latest is a special investigative report presented on Geo by Hamid Mir, the reputed journalist and well known anchor person. This report gives well researched and abundant indicators towards the killers and their abettors of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. If at all the incumbent government of PPP and especially the widowed president Asif Ali Zardari and Interior Minister Rehman Malik are still curious about finding the culprits of Benazir’s murder then they can pick up the threads from this report. To suppress, discourage or shelve the inquiry for indenifte period will not end the matter and in due course of time it would raise more questions. The biggest question would be why PPP didn’t show the required zeal and concern to find the murderers of a person who was not only a great political figure, daughter of the party’s founder but also the Chairperson of the PPP, that is now in power because of her epic struggle and consequential martyrdom.

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