“Doubts about the move to bring BiBi’s murderers to book” – by G.N.Mughul
– Frontier Post
Karachi, May 1: With the blatant denial reportedly made by Ex-MI Chief, Maj Gen Nadim Ijaz of having not issued orders at all to the Police Officers to hose down the site of the assassination of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and his statement reportedly endorsed by the Police Officers concerned, particularly ex-CPO Rawalpindi Saud Aziz, the said three member fact finding committee to investigate the hosing murder site has emerged mere as a lollipop -not more than that.
Wonderful! It is really wonderful. With these statements/disclosures the chapter concerning the investigation in to the assassination of first woman Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto looks closed forever despite the position firmly taken by the UN Enquiry Commission, in its report, that,” the investigation has been severely hampered by intelligence agencies and Government officials, which impeded an unfettered search for the truth”.
The question being widely asked by the people on the constitution of the said “poor” three member fact finding committee, was that” Is the said three member investigation committee, headed by a civil bureaucrat i.e. Federal Cabinet Secretary, competent enough to take an Army officer of the rank of Major General to task and subject him to such a sensitive investigation – that also in a country like Pakistan?”
It is also interesting to note that as soon as UN Enquiry Commission made public its report, a planned propaganda was seen launched in Pakistan from all corners to prove that the said report was of no worth and that it has miserably failed in unearthing facts worth mentioning.
As against that, one opinion among the people is that the UN Report has in fact done wonders in unveiling the “routes” which lead to the murderers & planners as well as financiers of the murder of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto.
However, the manner in which present Government of Pakistan has reacted to UN Report is also not less depressing and rather an eye opener. Because, firstly, a three member committee having no audacity to investigate in to the role of an ex-MI was constituted just to fill in the blank. Secondly. It is also being asked as to Why, in addition to forming a three member committee to investigate the role of some Police Officers in addition to ex MI Chief, one more committee was not formed to investigate the role of two Federal Ministers viz Rehman Malik and Babar Awan in the light of the lapses on their part as identified in the UN Report. Even various PP circles are of the opinion that it would have been in the interest of Zardari-Gillani Government as well as Awan & Rehman malik them selves if both of them had announced to resign for the time being from their ministries, present themselves for an independent investigation and then rejoin the Government after being white washed beyond any doubt. But, this was not done. And what ever was done is being widely considered as eye wash – perhaps to shelve the murderers of Ms. Bhutto.
In view of these doubts, vast segments of society all over the country, in general, and Sindh, in particular, are reported to be demanding to wrap up this “drama”, be more serious if there is sincerity in apprehending the murderers of Ms. Bhutto, and announce setting up of a high level Judicial Commission, headed by a Judge like rtd Justice Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim to conduct multi-dimensional investigation in each and every aspect of the said sad event in the light of the observations and recommendations of UN Commission Report. Let it be known to each and every one that each and every person, particularly belonging to Sindh is watching very closely the follow up developments after the publication of UN Commission Report. It can be safely said that if the demand of whole Sindh- rather of whole Pakistan, to apprehend the real culprits responsible for the killing of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto is accepted with all seriousness and sincerity, and no hanky panky is allowed, there is no reason that real culprits are not brought to the book. It is rather a test case for the present “system” as to how far it is genuine and as to how far it enjoys real powers. If people do not feel satisfied with the outcome of the criminal and other investigations- as is being currently perceived, the reaction of the people might be beyond any one’s guess. If it proves so as being apprehended, the unprecedented reaction might lead this country to one more tragedy – may be having no precedent in the past.
There are innumerable parts of UN Commission Enquiry Report – very important and need further investigation at proper level and by a proper forum.
Particularly, the chapter of the Report entitled as “ Threats from the Establishment” is very important. Here, some of the excerpts from this portion are reproduced, which are: -The establishment in Pakistan is generally used in Pakistan to refer to those who exercise de facto power. It includes the Military high command and the intelligence agencies, together with the top leadership of certain political parties, high level members of the bureaucracy and business persons that work in alliance with them. The Military High Command and intelligence agencies form the core of the establishment and are its most permanent and influential components.
– Ms Bhutto, through her writings and public statements, was outspoken as to the sources of the threats she faced; key among these were elements of the establishments, whose tactics and reach she knew well. She and many others held the military and the intelligence agencies responsible for a number of “dirty” campaigns against her when she ran for office in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as for orchestrating the sacking of her governments. She believed that the policies she advocated – a return to civilian rule and democracy, human rights, negotiations with India, reconciliation with non-Muslim world, and confrontation with radical Islamists – threatened the establishment’s continued control of Pakistan.
– Ms Bhutto’s relevant policy proposals, including those laid out in the PP’s Manifesto for 2007, called for restrictions on the power of the military and intelligence agencies. She proposed bringing them under civilian, democratic controls, with provisions for transparency and control of the military budget and spending. She vowed publicly to use reforms to rid the intelligence agencies of elements driven by political or religious motives. Some of the positions taken by Ms Bhutto that touched Establishment concerns included: (a) Her publicly stated position on the need to eliminate al remnants of military-militants nexus. Her proposal was to eliminate military and intelligence ties to the Talbans and Jihadis, although many in those institutions still publicly regarded these groups as important foreign policy tools to advance national interests against India in the sub-region. In this vein, Ms Bhutto denounced the military’s various truces with Taliban militants in Swat and tribal areas, arguing that they amounted to appeasement, (b) Her frequent denunciation of the role of the military and the intelligence agencies in domestic politics, (c) Many sources interviewed by the Commission believe that the establishment was threatened by the possibility of Ms. Bhutto’s return to high public office and that it was involved in or bears some responsibility for her assassination. Their analysis is based on years of observation and knowledge of how the Establishment works, although they do not offer any specific evidence with regard to the Bhutto assassination,
– Several of these sources spoke of the existence of elements with in the Establishment who saw her return to an active political life in Pakistan as threat to their power. These elements included, in particular, those who retain links with radical Islamists, particularly, the militant jihadi, and Taliban groups and are sympathetic to their cause or view them as strategic assets for asserting Pakistan’s role in the region.
– Ms Bhuttos’ own concerns about threats to her by Al-Qaida and other militants resulted in part from her knowledge of their links with people who had worked with or been assets of the ISI. She feared that the authorities could activate these connections using radical Islamists to harm her, while hiding their own role in any attack. This was the basis for her allegations against Lt. General (rtd) Hamid Gul and Brigadier (rtd) Ejaz Shah, in her 16 October letter to General Musharraf. Gul was Director General of MI under Zia ul Haq and then Director General ISI when Ms Bhutto was Prime Minister in 1988-90. Although, he was retired, Ms Bhutto believed he still maintained former close ties with the militant jihadis. Brigadier Ejaz Shah, Director General of IB in 2007 and a former ISI officer, was a member of General Musharraf’s inner circle.
Political observers here are of the view that any investigation- criminal or for fact finding, can not be useful until and unless, investigation is not conducted on the “leads” provided in the above mentioned pieces of Un Enquiry Commission as well as in the light of some other very important & relevant parts of the report of this commission.
Some political observers are of the view that battle was the same as the part of which the father – Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was eliminated and now in its second part “daughter” Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto has been wiped out. Here, some observers, recall that just before hanging, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had used a term “ Coup-Gemini” as responsible for the toppling of his Government and latter his likely elimination. According to PP stalwarts, Bhutto himself meant by this term as “ Coup brought about by Generals in collaboration with US imperialism”. Latter, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, in her initial political battle used to hold “ Mulla-Militaryl-Imperliasm” Complex responsible for toppling Bhutto’s popular Government in Pakistan. But, afterwards, Mohtarma continued to soften her stand as the part of her diplomacy cum strategy to try to make in roads in some of these “entities” aimed at disintegrating the said “Complex” working against the peoples forces of Pakistan – rather in whole third world for that matter.
Meanwhile, some political observers have drawn attention that actual approval to start enquiry in to the murder of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto through UN Commission was accorded by UN Security Council. These circles are also of the view that now while making public the said report, the Secretary General UN also reportedly advanced a copy of the said report to Security Council. According to these circles, if these reports are based on fact then, any further enquiry – criminal or of further fact finding nature, needs to be launched under the aegis of UN Security Council – if some results are sought while defeating the designs to shelf the whole investigation. These circles are of the strong opinion that if further investigation in the murder of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto is not done under the over all supervision of UN Security Council or some International Tribunal, the chances to apprehend real culprits involved in the murder of Ms Bhutto look to be very dim. If these arrangements cant be made due to any valid reason, then only reliable course left is to constitute a high level Judicial Enquiry Commission to be headed by a Judge like Justice (rtd) Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim.
Courtesy: Frontier Post