Benazir Bhutto Murder: US Intelligence Warnings Went Unheeded?
There are many unanswered questions regarding Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. The latest is the AP report that senior American officials have revealed that “the United States provided a steady stream of intelligence to Benazir Bhutto about threats against her before the former Pakistani prime minister was assassinated and advised her aides on how to boost security, although key suggestions appear to have gone unheeded.”
The report adds that even the Pakistan government was provided this information. “The Bush administration has quietly joined calls for Pakistan to allow international experts to join the probe into Bhutto’s Dec. 27 slaying. The officials said they expected an announcement soon that investigators from Britain’s Scotland Yard would be asked to play a significant role. Any U.S. involvement would be limited and low-key, they said.
“Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Mahmud Ali Durrani, said Monday that his government would welcome outside experts to help investigate the assassination, according to The New York Times. But Durrani said his government would not endorse a separate, outside investigation.” More here…
(Meanwhile The Indian Express reports: “Accusing the Pakistan government of trying to spin its way out of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, her husband and PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari has said that the Pervez Musharraf regime had the most to gain from the former premier’s death. Click here for more…)
The Independent has published an article by Tariq Ali, a radical Pakistani who made a name for himself in Europe : “Meanwhile there is a country in crisis. Having succeeded in saving his own political skin by imposing a state of emergency, Mr Musharraf still lacks legitimacy. Even a rigged election is no longer possible on 8 January despite the stern admonitions of President George Bush and his unconvincing Downing Street adjutant.
“What is clear is that the official consensus on who killed Benazir is breaking down, except on BBC television. It has now been made public that, when Benazir asked the US for a Karzai-style phalanx of privately contracted former US Marine bodyguards, the suggestion was contemptuously rejected by the Pakistan government, which saw it as a breach of sovereignty.
“Now both Hillary Clinton and Senator Joseph Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, are pinning the convict’s badge on Mr Musharraf and not al-Qa’ida for the murder, a sure sign that sections of the US establishment are thinking of dumping the President.”
“A solution to the crisis is available. This would require Mr Musharraf’s replacement by a less contentious figure, an all-party government of unity to prepare the basis for genuine elections within six months, and the reinstatement of the sacked Supreme Court judges to investigate Benazir’s murder without fear or favour. It would be a start.”
Roger Cohen offers an intereting analysis on Pakistan…Click here…
Another reports says: “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.”