KARACHI: Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf has alleged Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman and his successor in Presidency Asif Ali Zardari of complicity in the assassination former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. In a video posted on the Facebook page of his political party All Pakistan Muslim League, Musharraf said Asif Zardari has named him recently as the main accused in the assassination.
“Therefore I am responding to his allegation. I want to tell this to the children of Benazir Bhutto- Bilawal Bhutto, Bakhtawar Bhutto, and Asifa Bhutto and the people of Sindh that Asif Ali Zardari is responsible for the Bhutto and her brother Murtaza's assassination because he had everything to gain from the assassination. This is my analysis that he gained the most out of it,” he said. Bhutto was killed in a terrorist attack in Rawalpindi, on December 27, 2007. Her brother Murtaza had faced a similar fate during Bhutto's second government, on September 20, 1996. Zardari rose to power, becoming the president from 2008 to 2013, and taking over the reigns of PPP.
The video comes after a United Nations-mandated investigation by Scotland Yard remained inconclusive on Benazir Bhutto's murder. An anti-terrorism court had exonerated five alleged terrorists involved in her murder, but the authorities are yet to release them and the PPP has filed an appeal against the verdict. Two senior police officials have been convicted and sentenced to 17 years each for destroying evidence by ordering a hasty washing of the crime scene.
In the video, Musharraf questioned why Bhutto's phone wasn't found for over two years after the assassination attempt. “Who forced her to come out of the sun roof of the vehicle? Naheed Khan (Benazir Bhutto's political secretary), PPP leader Makhdoom Amin Faheem and security in-charge Khalid Shehenshah were all in the car but the court never even summoned these people to record these statements,” he said. He said the security in-charge was murdered. “Who is capable of eliminating him? The answer is Asif Ali Zardari.”
The PPP has dismissed all the allegations, saying Musharraf was trying to cover his own involvement. A party press release stated, “This video statement is admission by the Dictator that he was involved not in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto but also was one of the planners of murder of Mir Murtaza Bhutto. General Musharraf had threatened Benazir Bhutto not to return to Pakistan before the general elections. Time has come that General Musharraf be arrested in Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto's murder case and tried accordingly.”