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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Benazir Murder Case: Rehman Malik Comes to Musharraf' Rescue?

Federal interior minister and president Zardari’s close associate, Rehman Malik is reported to have sprung into action to get the name of former military dictator, Pervez Musharraf deleted from the list of the accused in the assassination of former prime minister & PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto.

According to some news reports, Rehman Malik has expressed his anger over the inclusion of former dictator’s name in the list of the accused and has inquired from the head of the Joint Investigation Team of FIA, as to who had given permission to the investigators to include Pervez Musharraf’s name in the list of the accused in the case. He is reported to be putting pressure on the head of the Joint Investigation Team of FIA to delete the ex-dictator’s name.

It may be recalled that the Federal Investigation Agency on Monday had submitted a fresh 57-page report in the Anti-Terrorism Court-III in Rawalpindi, declaring former president Pervez Musharraf as an accused in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case.

As reported in the press, FIA’s Special Public Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali had said in the court that investigators, while reinvestigating the case, had tried time and again to contact the former ‘president’ for questioning him but he did not respond. He said that the FIA had mentioned him as an absconder in the fifth interim investigation report.

According to the news reports, the Joint Investigation Team of FIA had tagged statements of former intelligence bureau chief Ijaz Shah and former director general of the crisis management cell of the Ministry of Interior Brig (retd) Javaid Iqbal Cheema with the report.

They said the investigators had also attached an email sent by Musharraf to Ms Bhutto saying that her security depended on the nature of her relations with him.

The email is being considered as a threat hurled by Musharraf.

The investigators have also submitted a letter written by Ms Benazir to Mark Siegel, a foreign journalist, saying she felt threatened from Mr. Musharraf, former Punjab chief minister Pervaiz Ellahi and Ijaz Shah.

The present coalition government led by PPP has been accused of dilly-dallying the investigations into the murder of its leader. The government first delayed to start any investigations in the case and insisted on UN probe in the assassination. When the UN probe report was disclosed, the government raised objections over it apparently at the bid of the military chief. 

Now when an upright investigation officer has presented a report including the name of former dictator in the list of the accused, the confidant of the president is said to have come to the rescue of Pervez Musharraf. Since Rehman Malik is considered to be president Zardari’s right-hand man, it is impossible to think that he is taking action in this case without president’s nod.

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