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Jan 11, 2008
PPP gives govt 48 hours to submit UN probe request
NAUDERO, The Pakistan People’s Party has asked the government to submit a request to the United Nations ‘within 48 hours’ to set up a commission to investigate into the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, and said that if it is not done the party itself would approach the world body to take suo motu action.
PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari said at a press conference here on Thursday that the party had raised the demand in a letter to the caretaker prime minister. He also released the letter to the media.
Mr Zardari said: “We on behalf of the Bhutto family and the PPP demand that a commission under the UN Security Council be formed to investigate Benazir Bhutto’s assassination.”
He said two other letters -- one addressed to the Security Council president and the other to the UN secretary general -- had also been attached to the letter being sent to the government. He expressed the hope that the government would forward the letters along with its consent.
Mr Zardari urged the people to pressurise the government to send the request to the UN. He said that an appeal would be made to world leaders to compel the government to seek UN probe.
Answering a question, he said the PPP didn’t seek revenge for the assassination, it simply wanted to know who had committed the heinous act.
He did not answer a question relating to reconciliation with President Pervez Musharraf.
Responding to a question about condolences from the government, the PPP leader said nobody had contacted him so far.
When asked if the PPP would opt for protest rallies in case the government did not forward its appeal to the UN, he said the party would refrain from holding demonstrations because it didn’t want to provide an excuse to the government to again postpone the elections. “We want peace till the elections,” he added. He condemned Thursday’s Lahore blasts.
Farooque H. Naik read out the letter at the press conference. He referred to the Oct 18 bomb blasts and UN Security Council’s meeting of Oct 22 in which it had condemned the attack and underlined the need to bring its perpetrators, organisers, financers and sponsors to justice.
He said despite Ms Bhutto’s apprehensions regarding her safety and requests for security, the government had failed to do so. He alleged that the investigation process in Pakistan suffered from serious flaws and interference from powerful figures in the establishment. He said that they (security services) had neither the capacity nor the commitment to reach a satisfactory and credible conclusion, as was evident from the fact that the security services of Pakistan had failed to provide adequate protection to Ms Bhutto.
Mr Naik said it was not possible for the security services to carry out an impartial and credible investigation into the assassination which would lead to truth and bring the culprits to justice.
He said that even the detectives from Scotland Yard would not be able to reach any definitive and credible conclusion because they were working with limited powers and under the control, guidance and supervision of the Pakistani authorities.
PPP leaders Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Yusuf Raza Gilani, Jahangir Badr, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Aftab Shaban Mirani, Farhatullah Babar, Jamil Soomro and Khalid Shahenshah were present at the press conference.
(Source: M. B. Kalhoro, "PPP gives govt 48 hours to submit UN probe request", Dawn news, 11 January 2008)
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