Zardari suppressing Benazir probe: PPP leaders


London : Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari may be suppressing the investigation into the assassination of his wife Benazir Bhutto, a British newspaper reported Saturday quoting members of his own ruling party.

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“It is intriguing why the government has not even ordered any investigation into Ms Bhutto’s killing,” Safdar Abbasi, a senator belonging to the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), was quoted saying in the Times newspaper.

The paper said little progress has been made in finding those who had plotted Bhutto’s assassination a year ago Saturday, adding: “The Pakistan authorities’ investigation has ground to a halt and police have been ordered not to speak about the case.”

It said many leading PPP members accuse Zardari of suppressing the investigation that had been launched by the previous government led by President Pervez Musharraf.

Although Zardari blamed Musharraf and Pakistani intelligence services for Bhutto’s assassination, Musharraf said Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud was to blame.

Scotland Yard police officers flew to Pakistan to help in the probe, but the paper said “the trail has gone cold since the new government halted the investigation”.

Zardari’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar confirmed that there was no investigation currently, telling the paper: “We do not want to appear witch-hunting.”

However, Pakistan has asked the United Nations to conduct an inquiry – and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday he hoped that an inquiry would be set up “in the near future”.