Pak Court Issues Notice to Musharraf in Benazir Assassination Case

A Pakistani court on Monday issued notices to former president Pervez Musharraf and nine others after they failed to appear for a hearing in a case relating to the assassination of former prime minister and top PPP leader Benazir Bhutto on December 27, 2007.

Judge Ejaz Ahmad Chaudhry of the Rawalpindi bench of the Lahore High court, who issued the notices, had on September 1 summoned, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Babar Awan and then Punjab chief minister Pervez Elahi and others to appear on September 28.

The judge is hearing a petition, filed by Bhutto’s former protocol officer Chaudhry Aslam, seeking the registration of a First Information Report (FIR) into the assassination.

Aslam’s petition contends that these individuals were involved in the gun and bomb attack that killed Bhutto as she left a political rally in Rawalpindi and that an FIR should be registered against them.

Musharraf, currently on a lecture tour in Britain, is not likely to respond to the summons.

Pakistan’s investigations into Bhutto’s killing, as also one by Scotland Yard, failed to make headway largely because the assassination site was hosed down soon after the incident, destroying any evidence that might have existed.

Pakistan then requested a UN probe into the assassination and this is currently underway.

A UN team had on August 24 visited the Rawalpindi hospital where Bhutto was rushed after the fatal attack to collect details about her wounds and treatment.

The UN officials interacted with the staff of the Benazir Shaheed Hospital, where they were told that Bhutto’s autopsy was not conducted on the request of her husband Asif Ali Zardari, who is now the president of Pakistan.

Another UN team arrived in Islamabad Monday to continue the probe.

On completion of investigations the team will submit a report to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who will share the report with the Pakistani government and the Security Council.

Baitullah Mehsud, the Pakistani Taliban commander killed in a US drone strike last month, was suspected of involvement in the gruesome assassination.

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