Benazir murder plotted at terrorist hideout: Malik


Islamabad : The plot to assassinate former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was hatched at a terrorist hideout, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said, dismissing reports that the 2007 murder was planned at an army brigadier’s home.

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Malik asked the media to avoid speculation on the issue until the final report of the investigation was presented to the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), The Express Tribune reported Sunday.

The remarks came a day after the daily said a fresh probe conducted under the interior ministry’s supervision had unveiled the role of nine men, including the brigadier, in the killing of Benazir Bhutto.

The startling findings had been kept under wraps and the report is with Malik, the report said, adding the finding had only been seen by President Asif Ali Zardari, her husband.

Bhutto was assassinated Dec 27, 2007 as she was leaving a ground in a motorcade after addressing an election rally in Rawalpindi, Islamabad’s twin city and Pakistan’s old capital.

A teenaged shooter was seen aiming for her head in the CCTV footage before a powerful suicide blast killed at least 24 people at the rally.

Speaking to reporters in Karachi Friday, Malik said the investigation report of the assassination had not been presented to anyone, not even to President Zardari.

Malik said that according to investigation reports submitted to him, the plot wasn’t hatched at the residence of any brigadier.

A news channel also quoted Malik as saying that the report was incorrect.

Presidential spokesperson Farhatullah Babar refused to confirm or deny the report. He said he would comment on the report after meeting with the president.

According to the Associated Press of Pakistan, a joint investigation team has been formed to look into the veracity of the news carried in a section of the media regarding Benazir’s murder conspiracy.