April 20, 2010
Is Benazir Bhutto’s Will a Forged Document?
By Saeed Qureshi
The United Nations Commission’s inquiry report, released on April 15, on Benazir Bhutto’s murder is patently an eyewash. It is tantamount to a distraction, waste of money and time, perhaps a crude bid to gain time and to dilute the impact of the assassination of a towering political personage of international standing and renown. The cardinal need is to mount an indigenous investigation that would decidedly lay bare the contours and masterminds of this diabolic crime that should not be consigned to confusion and a kind of wild goose chase game. A string of questions are being raised by both discerning and common folks in Pakistan with regard to the veracity and genuineness of the will of BB, hand written by her some time before her assassination.
In a television talk show, it was pointed out by the moderator that though the handwriting resembles with that of Benazir. He argued that since it contains several grammatical and spelling mistakes, which are not expected of a Harvard and Oxford graduate, it may therefore, be a fictitious and forged document. It was further claimed in the same discussion that the will was reportedly handed over to a house maid-servant, a possibility which could have never happened because the will is a secret document and kept in the safest custody. Moreover, instead of the whole report, only that portion was revealed which exclusively related to the appointment of Asif Zardari as a successor to Bibi, in case of her death.
In another talk show on GEO channel 902, a disgruntled adherent of PPP claimed that he can catch the Bhutto’s assassins in a few days if he was given authority and an SHO (Station House officer in charge of a police station). Same gauntlet was thrown by Naheed Khan, the closest friend and political secretary of Benazir that any indigenous inquiry to reach the culprits of Benazir should be started from her, adding that she knew who the assassins were and that she could apprehend them sooner than later. She called upon president Zardari to reveal the identities of the perpetrators as was claimed by him some time back.
The United Nations’ report was clamorously applauded and gleefully welcomed by the presidency in particular and the PPP echelons in general. Now every effort is being bent, besides flurry of statements to implicate President Musharraf for masterminding Ms Bhutto’s murder. The speculation is that he wanted to remove a formidable political challenger to his power, who contrary to her previous commitment to sail along Mushrraf, starting blowing rebellious bugles.
But accusing fingers are also being pointed at the people responsible for providing security to Benazir Bhutto. It is being alleged that certain high ranking members within PPP were part of a conspiracy to remove Benazir to clear the path for her husband to lord over the party and to consequently become president or the prime minister of Pakistan. The names that are being thrown up as partners in this conspiracy among others include, the incumbent interior minister Rehman Malik and the law minister Malik Babar Awan.
Another character Shahinshah responsible for the security of BB on that fateful day of December 27, 2007 was also later killed in mysterious circumstances. Shahinshah, it is being speculated, was making queer gestures at a time when Bhutto’s procession has just started moving and she appeared from the roof top of the car. More intriguing question is being posed and that carries some weight that why Rehman Malik, Babar Awan and Farhatullah Babar riding the bullet proof escort car that was supported to be used as a replacement in case of any mobility problem, sped away from the scene , did not reach the hospital and instead went somewhere else.
Two other crucial aspects of this high profile murder case are being debated in Pakistan. One is the hasty washing of the venue of mammoth blast and the place where Benazir was hit by the blast waves as a result of which she fell down in the car and perhaps died instantaneously. It is being argued that even if she had struck her head against the handle of the sunroof, it could not have caused her immediate death. It is also being propounded that a bullet from a silencer gun killed her. The second theory is that it was a strong laser beam that made her collapse without causing any visible big injury or wound to her head. The second conjecture sound more persuasive.
She was rushed to the hospital in the most distressing and prohibitive conditions by the co- travelers who were no experts in providing first aid in a situation of acute and colossal emergency as that of Benazir. The tire of the car burst on the way and there was no other vehicle around for immediate transfer of Benazir to the hospital. Every second was precious and finally some vehicle was stopped and Benazir, in an extremely precarious condition, was taken to the nearest Rawalpindi General Hospital situated on Murree road. The elephantine question is: where were the body guards, the security staff and even PPP’s own custodians from the time of blast to the hospital destination? No one even bothered to make a call to Naheed Khan or Makhdoom Amin Fahim, who everyone knew, were with BB in the car. Doesn’t this entire scenario smack of a conspiracy or some hidden hands pulling strings from behind the scene at that time?
The second aspect that merits attention is the haphazard manner, by which the post mortem was about to be started but was stopped at the behest of someone, presumably a call from BB’s spouse Asif Ali Zardari. But the doctors are privy to the information that they did perform some kind of procedure that aimed at resuscitating her breath for which they opened her chest and tried to enliven heart by pumping it with the hands. These developments however, do not weaken the argument that why a full-fledged post mortem was neither performed for Benazir nor for other two scores of PPP activists perished in the blast.
So if the PPP ministers are confidently pointing their fingers at Musharraf for conspiring to kill Bhutto then let the former president come forward and clear the fuzzy fog that is getting deeper and thicker as the speculations on the identities of the assassins and conspirators gather momentum. In the meantime, the PPP leadership is throwing hints to initiate a domestic investigation into the assassination of Benazir Bhutto who was a political leader of exceptional stature and eminence, who had been instrumental in rekindling a hope for democracy in Pakistan and who was the chairperson of the leading political party in Pakistan.
Such an inquiry is long overdue. So far PPP did not move fast enough to even register a proper FIR. It is time for PPP and particularly for president Zardari who is also the co-chairman of the party; to amend for the otherwise unpardonable delay and dithering in regards unearthing Benazir’s assassins and other collaborators and masterminds. Because of this delay and lack of any passion, many a top notche, even Asif Zardari are not above suspicion. So a prompt investigation, though belated, must be undertaken for redeeming the honor and face that the PPP and its government have lost in the meantime. It’s also time for the PPP to unveil the full text of late Benazir’s will, if the party leadership is earnest about dispelling the floating apprehensions about its authenticity.
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Thursday, April 22, 2010
Is Benazir Bhutto’s Will a Forged Document?
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