FIA report … Murder of Benazir Bhutto

FIA report – Dawn Editorial

At the very least, the country deserves to know who ordered her killing. And yet with her own party in power, little has been done to find her killers.

So it seems that it was Baitullah Mehsud who ordered the killing of Benazir Bhutto after all, at least if an interim report submitted by the FIA in the Rawalpindi anti-terrorism court is to be believed. Two and a half years since the tragic assassination of Ms Bhutto, the state seems to be arguing what was argued within days of the assassination by the Musharraf government: that the TTP was responsible for Ms Bhutto’s death. That is certainly possible. After all, Ms Bhutto was returning to Pakistan with the support of the American and British administrations because they hoped the PPP leader would shore up the fight against militants here. Mehsud had every reason to fear her return.

Yet, that is not the main point here. The main point is this: the PPP-led government in Islamabad has shown a numbing indifference to finding the killers of its leader who had defined the party for over two decades. Does the FIA interim report reflect what the PPP leadership believes? If it does, then what have all the dismissive statements about the possibility that Ms Bhutto was killed by the militants been about? And if the FIA report doesn’t reflect what the PPP leadership believes, then what is it doing to establish the facts credibly and transparently and to lay criminal blame wherever the evidence may take it?

It is remarkable that anyone, least of all those within the PPP, need to be reminded about what Ms Bhutto represented and what her death meant for this country. Ms Bhutto’s assassination in the most horrifying of circumstances was a catastrophic blow to democracy in Pakistan, a fact that even Ms Bhutto’s political rivals readily acknowledge. Here was one of the most famous women in the world, leader of the largest political party in the country, arguably the only one with genuine support across the provinces, killed in the most brutal of circumstances.

At the very least, the country deserves to know who ordered her killing. And yet with her own party in power, little has been done to find her killers. The UN commission was defanged even before it began its work, the follow-up ‘high-powered’ committee set up by the prime minister wrapped up its work and appears to have been disbanded with no further developments made, and now the FIA, which falls under the purview of the interior ministry, is claiming what the Musharraf government had claimed. Can anyone explain what’s going on?

Friday, 28 May, 2010


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