In a dramatic U-turn, Pakistan government has “apologised” for claiming
that former premier Benazir Bhutto died of a skull fracture after
hitting the sunroof of her car during a suicide attack.
Caretaker Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz Khan has asked the media and
people to “forgive and ignore” comments made by his ministry’s
spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema which were slammed by her Pakistan
People’s Party as “lies” and led to an uproar at home and abroad.
The Interior Minister made the apology during a briefing for Pakistani
newspaper editors on Monday. Punjab province on Tuesday issued a
front-page advertisement in newspapers that offered a reward of Rs 1
crore for information about a gunman and a suspected suicide bomber
seen in the photos and video footage of the assassination.
The government’s apparent damage control exercise on Cheema’s comments
made at a news conference a day after Bhutto was assassinated at
Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi on December 27, came after TV channels aired
privately shot photos and video footage which showed a gunman shooting
The Pakistan People’s Party leader is seen in the footage falling
through the sun-roof before the suicide bomber detonated his
explosives. The briefing by caretaker Prime Minister Mohammedmian
Soomro was also attended by the foreign, interior and information
ministers and senior officials.
I just don’t get it. If she died from hitting her head because a bomb went off in an attempt to kill her, what difference does it make? She died because of the actions of those looking to assassinate her.
Why the made up story?
I have to tell ya, I’m getting more nervous by the day knowing this country has nukes.
Pakistani authorities have pressured the medical personnel who tried
to save Benazir Bhutto’s life to remain silent about what happened in
her final hour and have removed records of her treatment from the
facility, according to doctors.
In interviews, doctors who were
at Bhutto’s side at Rawalpindi General Hospital said they were under
extreme pressure not to share details about the nature of the injuries
that the opposition leader suffered in an attack here Dec. 27.
government took all the medical records right after Ms. Bhutto’s time
of death was read out,” said a visibly shaken doctor who spoke on
condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Sweating and putting his head in his hands, he said: “Look, we have
been told by the government to stop talking. And a lot of us feel this
is a disgrace.”
And the conspiracies rage:
The day she was assassinated last Thursday, Benazir
Bhutto had planned to reveal new evidence alleging the involvement of
Pakistan’s intelligence agencies in rigging the country’s upcoming
elections, an aide said Monday.
Bhutto had been due to meet U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and Rep.
Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., to hand over a report charging that the
military Inter-Services Intelligence agency was planning to fix the
polls in the favor of President Pervez Musharraf.
Safraz Khan Lashari, a member of the Pakistan People’s Party
election monitoring unit, said the report was “very sensitive” and that
the party wanted to initially share it with trusted American
politicians rather than the Bush administration, which is seen here as
strongly backing Musharraf.
“It was compiled from sources within the (intelligence) services who
were working directly with Benazir Bhutto,” Lashari said, speaking
Monday at Bhutto’s house in her ancestral village of Naudero, where her
husband and children continued to mourn her death.