Action Against Musharraf On Concrete Evidence: Malik

Rezaul H Laskar/Islamabad
Action Against Musharraf On Concrete Evidence: Malik
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Action will be taken against former President Pervez Musharraf after concrete evidence is obtained with regard to a UN panel's finding that his regime did not provide adequate security to former premier Benazir Bhutto, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said today.

He also blamed the former government of Punjab province for failing to provide adequate security to Bhutto.

"We welcome the UN (commission's) report because it is independent and transparent. The people already knew what the commission has pointed out," Malik told reporters outside the parliament.

"It is the people's wish that the killers of (Bhutto) should be arrested. This is also our endeavour and it will be done," he added.

The independent UN commission that probed the facts and circumstances of Bhutto's assassination has indicted Musharraf's regime for "failing" to provide effective security to her despite numerous threats to her life.

The panel's report also found several faults with the probe by Pakistani authorities into the assassination in a gun-and-suicide attack on December 27, 2007.

Malik said a Pakistan investigation team will further probe Bhutto's assassination in the light of the UN commission's report.

The panel clearly mentioned in its report that Musharraf's government and security institutions were unsuccessful in providing security to Bhutto, he said.

Blaming the Pakistan People's Party for not providing security to Bhutto is irrelevant because security is the responsibility of the government and not party workers, he contended.

The UN panel's report accused intelligence agencies and some officials of hampering its investigation into the assassination.

It also raised questions about Malik's role in providing security to Bhutto.

Meanwhile, a media report quoted sources in the PPP as saying that an FIR would be registered by the party against Musharraf, seven civil and police officials who have been removed from their posts and some PPP leaders who were held responsible for Bhutto's security. 

The PPP's top leadership had decided during a meeting on Saturday to take legal action in the light of the UN report.

The meeting was chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari.

Six police and civil officials who were responsible for protecting Bhutto or involved in the probe into her assassination were removed from active duty yesterday.

The government also terminated the contractual employment of former interior ministry spokesman Brig (retired) Javed Iqbal Cheema.

Cheema, who was holding the post of Director General of Civil Defence, had claimed that Bhutto had died after hitting her head on a lever in her bulletproof vehicle.

The names of these officials were included in the Exit Control List, a document with the names of people barred from travelling out of Pakistan.

Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said action was taken against these officials on the orders of the Prime Minister.

The Nation daily reported that the names of former Inter-Services Intelligence chief Hamid Gul, former Intelligence Bureau chief Ijaz Shah and former Interior Secretary Kamal Shah had also been placed on the Exit Control List. However, there was no official word on this development.

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