Scotland Yard team to arrive in Pakistan Sunday

By Muhammad Najeeb, IANS

Islamabad : A counter terrorism team from Britain’s Scotland Yard will land here Sunday evening to assist investigations into the assassination of former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto, an interior ministry official said Friday.

Support TwoCircles

He said Scotland Yard had deputed a small team of officers from the Metropolitan Police Service Counter Terrorism Command for Pakistan.

“The officers will travel to Pakistan on Sunday and will be reaching here in the evening same day,” the official said, specifying that Scotland Yard would only be helping the Pakistani probe.

“Pakistani experts would continue to lead the investigation,” he said.

In his televised address to the nation Wednesday, President Pervez Musharraf had announced that the Scotland Yard team would help Pakistanis investigate the assassination – Bhutto was killed in the garrison city of Rawalpindi Dec 27 after addressing a public rally.

British Foreign Minister David Miliband had followed it up Thursday with a statement that the team would leave for Pakistan by the weekend.

“At the request of President Musharraf, the prime minister has agreed to send a UK police team of technical experts to assist the government of Pakistan in the investigation of the death of Benazir Bhutto,” he said.

However, Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has rejected investigations by Scotland Yard saying it wanted a probe by the United Nations.

“We don’t think that Scotland Yard will be able to carry out investigations into the complicated killing; we want that it should be done on the pattern of Rafiq Herari and by the United Nations,” PPP leader Amin Fahim told IANS, referring to the killing of the former Lebanon prime minister.

According to Fahim, the decision to make Bhutto’s son Bilawal chairperson of the PPP had been taken unanimously and the party was united under his leadership.