Assasination of Ms Bhutto: A letter to Transparency International

To: Chairman,

Transparency International

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the people of Pakistan and the free world are shocked at the tragic assassination of former Prime Minister Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. We strongly condemn this cowardly and barbaric act of terrorism by the forces of evil against the forces of democracy and moderation in Pakistan. Mohtarma Bhutto was a courageous and dedicated leader, who was the vanguard of democracy in Pakistan. She struggled against the forces of extremism and terrorism, and believed in liberty and freedom for all. She visualized a moderate, pluralistic, democratic and prosperous Pakistan.

The PPP rejects the inquiry being conducted by the Musharraf regime into the assassination of Mohtarma Bhutto and calls upon world leaders, civil society, and human rights bodies to urge the regime in Pakistan to let foreign experts conduct an independent investigation of the tragic incident, preferably under the auspices of the United Nations by a UN prosecutor, as conducted in the assassination case of the Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Harriri.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has already recognized that former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination has implications for international security by calling a special session of the UNSC and condemning the assassination.

“The Security Council condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist suicide attack by extremists that occurred in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, on 27 December 2007, causing the death of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and numerous other causalities, ” said Italy’s U.N. Ambassador Marcello Spatafora as he read out a statement in council chambers in his current capacity as president of the council. He also said the Council also “expresses its deep sympathy and condolences to the victims of this heinous act of terrorism and their families, and to the people and the government of Pakistan.”

In addition to calling on Pakistanis to “exercise restraint and maintain stability” in the aftermath of the attack, the council also reiterated its call to bring the perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of the attack to justice. The council in their statement also reaffirmed the need to combat “by all means” threats to international peace and security caused by such terrorist acts. “The Security Council reiterates its determination to combat all forms of terrorism, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations,” the statement also said.

Two months before her assassination, Mohtarma Bhutto wrote to Mark Siegel, her U.S. spokesman, lobbyist and friend, saying that if she were killed, General Musharraf would bear some of the blame. “Just wanted u to know if it does in addition to the names in my letter to Musharaf of October 16th, I would hold Musharaf responsible. I have been made to feel insecure by his minions and there is no way what is happening in terms of stopping me from taking private cars or using tinted windows or giving jammers or four police mobiles to cover all sides could happen without him.” as reported by CNN. Siegel forwarded that e-mail to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, with instructions he not report on it unless Bhutto was killed.

Mohtarma Bhutto in a secret email to Foreign Secretary David Miliband written weeks before her death had claimed three senior allies of Pakistan’s General Musharraf were out to kill her, as reported in Daily Mail of December 30, 2007. Astonishingly, one of them is a leading intelligence officer who was officially responsible for protecting Ms Bhutto from an assassination. The second is a prominent Pakistani figure. The third is a well known chief minister in Pakistan who is a long-standing opponent of Ms Bhutto. Ms Bhutto told Mr Miliband she was convinced that the three were determined to assassinate her on her return to the country and pleaded with him to put pressure on the Pakistan government to stop them.

Earlier, in an interview with the French magazine Paris Match, she said that “I know exactly who wants to kill me. It is reminiscent of the former regime of General Zia who are today behind the extremism and the fanaticism.”

Mohtarma Bhutto wanted to hire British and American security experts to protect her, The Sunday Telegraph revealed on December 31, 2007. But the plans collapsed because General Musharraf refused to allow the foreign contractors to operate in Pakistan, according to senior aides. “She asked to bring in trained security personnel from abroad,” said Mark Siegel. “In fact she and her husband repeatedly tried to get visas for such protection, but they were denied by the government of Pakistan.”

The PPP and calls upon world leaders, civil society, and human rights bodies to urge the regime in Pakistan to let foreign experts conduct an independent investigation of the tragic incident, preferably under the auspices of the United Nations by a UN prosecutor as performed in the assassination case of the Lebanese Prime Minister Harriri.

Sincerely,

Ali Nawaz Memon

Senior Financial and Institutional Development Consultant

Good Governance Support Group

Jan 8, 2008

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