Nation special report
WHO killed former Prime Minister of Pakistan Ms. Benazir Bhutto and who was or were responsible for this heinous crime that completely changed the whole scenario in Pakistan politics and democratic system. These questions are seeking correct and absolute truth answer since the day of assassination i.e. 27th December 2007. Pakistan Peoples’ Party blames former military ruler Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf for this tragedy and in return, Pervez Musharraf holds PPP security team responsible and accuses Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsood for this crime. But Pakistani nation and the whole world want a fool-proof answer.
Now a new book by a senior Tehrik-eTaliban Pakistan (TTP) leader claims that his group was behind the 2007 assassination of Pakistan’s first woman Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. The 588-page book, ‘Inqilab Mehsood South Waziristan: From British Raj to American Imperialism,’was released on Nov 30, 2017, and written by Abu Mansoor Asim Mufti Noor Wali, a senior Taliban leader.
By this book full of revelation and claims, the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has broken its silence over the assassination of Benazir Bhutto which was absolutely the murder of an important chapter of Pakistan’s revengeful and dirty politics, the observers have commented.
No group had claimed responsibility for Benazir’s murder until the claim in the Taliban’s Urdu language book ‘Inqilab Mehsood South Waziristan — From British Raj to American Imperialism’. Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in the garrison city of Rawalpindi shortly after she addressed an election rally on December 27, 2007. That rally was the last of the campaign and sadly proved that last of her life. According to the book author, two suicide bombers, Bilal alias Saeed and Ikramullah, were assigned to carry out the attack on Benazir Bhutto on December 27. “Bomber Bilal first fired at Benazir Bhutto from his pistol and the bullet hit her neck.
Then he detonated his explosive vest and blew up people in the procession,” the book says. The book adds that the Taliban was also involved in the suicide attack on Benazir Bhutto’s procession in Karachi October 2007, which had killed nearly 140 people, but Benazir had survived. “Despite attacks on Benazir Bhutto’s procession in Karachi, the government had not taken appropriate security measures that made it possible for the attackers to have easy access to Benazir Bhutto,” the book says.
Then President Pervez Musharraf had blamed TTP for the attack on Benazir Bhutto, and the Ministry of Interior, after the incident, released an audio conversation and said it was between the two men who were assigned to kill Benazir Bhutto. In August 2017 an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Rawalpindi formally charged Musharraf in the case of Benazir Bhutto assassination and declared him “most wanted” in the case. But Musharraf denied any involvement and dismissed the charges as politically-motivated. Taliban leader Abu Mansoor Asim Mufti Noor Wali has written the book and published it on November 30, 2017, at ‘Maseed Computer Center in Barmal, in Afghanistan’s Paktika province, according to the details on the book. The 588-page book, which contains many photographs on the Taliban leaders, was posted online. Military sources say most of the Pakistani Taliban belonging to Mehsood tribe had crossed into Afghanistan’s Paktika and Paktiya provinces after the military launched major offensive there in 2009.
The book says Taliban were also involved in the suicide bombing in the Benazir Bhutto’s procession in Karachi in October 2007, which had killed nearly 140 people but Benazir had survived. “Despite attacks on Benazir Bhutto’s procession in Karachi, the government had not taken appropriate security measures that made it possible for the attackers to have easy access to Benazir Bhutto in Rawalpindi,’ the book says. The book says Ikramullah, a resident of Makeen town in South Waziristan, escaped from the blast site and isstill alive.
The book does not say anything if it is the same Ikramullah, who has been declared absconders by the anti-terrorism court (ATC) along with five others including Baitullah Mehsood, founder of the TTP. Baitullah was killed in a US drone strike along with his wife in South Waziristan in 2009.
The book covers the TTP’s history, its attacks, military operations in the tribal regions, TTP’s activities in Afghanistan, tribal system, Mehsood tribe role in the TTP, TTP operations in Karachi and its campaign against polio vaccination. Musharraf had been formally charged in the case and an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi in August 2017. The ATC also declared Musharraf an absconder in the case. The ATC had named Musharraf in the case in February 2011.
Musharraf on a number of occasions denied any involvement and dismissed charges as politically-motivated. The five TTP suspects in Benazir’s murder case — Rafaqat Hussain, Husnain Gul, Sher Zaman, Aitzaz Shah and Abdul Rashid – were cleared of all charges in the murder trial last year in August. The ATC had, however, convicted two police officials Saud Aziz, who was police chief of Rawalpindi when Bhutto was assassinated in 2007, and Khurram Shahzad, a former Superintendent of Police at Rawal Town. They were each awarded 17 years jail term. In October 2017, Rawalpindi bench of the Lahore High Court had granted bail to both officers, later they were restored to their posts.
The book says that investigators had blamed TTP for the killing of Benazir Bhutto but Baitullah Mehsood had initially denied involvement, who had insisted that those people were behind her assassination who had murdered her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and two brothers – Murtaza Bhutto and Shahnawaz Bhutto. Murtaza Bhutto was assassinated on September 20, 1996 in Karachi while Shahnawaz Bhutto died on 18 July 1985, in Nice, France. The book said the TTP Mehsood leadership had refused any involvement until 27 December 2017, on her 10th death anniversary.
The book covers the TTP’s history, its attacks, military operations in the tribal regions, TTP’s activities in Afghanistan, tribal system, Mehsood tribe role in the TTP, TTP operations in Karachi and its campaign against polio vaccination. It has been revealed in the book that Baitullah had also approved attack on Benazir Bhutto’s procession in Karachi in October, 2007, when she returned to Pakistan to lead party campaign for the 2008 parliamentary elections.
“The return of Benazir Bhutto was planned on the behest of the Americans as they had given her a plan against the Mujahideed-e- Islam. Baitullah had received information of the plan,” the book claimed. “So when Benazir Bhutto arrived in Karachi, two suicide bombers Mohsin Mehsood and Rehmatullah Mehsod carried out attacks on her procession at Karsaz area of Karachi,” the book revealed.
Benazir survived the bombing that occurred two months before she was assassinated in Rawalpindi. Most of the PPP supporters were massacred in the Karsaz attack. The book says the bombers could not stay at the place that was conveyed to them by the planners, who had been assigned to stay near the stage. “The attack had failed to hit the target and the bombers attacked the procession as they seemed in a hurry.” “After the failure of the Karachi attack, the Taliban had also made another plan to attack Benazir in her home district of Larkana in Sindh province after three days of the Karachi attack.
However, a Taliban man, Miraj Katikhel, passed on the information to the police and the plan failed,” the book said. Pakistan Peoples’ Party cochairman Bilawal Bhutto, and the son of Benazir Bhutto, blamed Musharraf for his mother’s assassination on her 10th death anniversary on Dec. 27, last year. Pakistan Peoples Party’s spokesperson Farhatullah Babar said the Taliban claim has strengthened the party’s suspicion that the militants had been “used to execute the terrorist act. “In fact we have been demanding to know who were the masterminds behind the plan to martyr Benazir Bhutto. Whoever the mastermind might have been they should be exposed. They had in fact used these people (Taliban) to execute the plan,” he added.