Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani pulled an impossible, unthinkable surprise when yesterday in a joint press conference with Britain’s Gordon Brown in London he claimed that it was Baitullah Mehsud who was behind the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Anyone who has any respect for Benazir and the rule of law in Pakistan must be shocked by Gilani’s statement. The question is: who is Gilani is working for? Who is he trying to please?
What Gilani has done is close Benazir’s assassination once for all. Baitullah Mehsud is dead now and he cannot be tried and punished for masterminding the assassination.
Those Pakistanis who want to know who assassinated Benazir have just one question for Gilani: Was Baitullah Mehsud behind the washing away the evidence from the assassination scene?
Benazir was assassinated during the rule of General Musharraf and at that time Pakistan’s interior minister was a retired general. Baitullah Mehsud was hiding in the mountains of Waziristan at that time and was being pursued by the Americans.
Gilani’s statement has another extremely damaging implication. Gilani has rendered irrelevant and useless the entire work of the United Nations’ investigation team which has been investigating Benazir’s assassination for a year now and for which the government of Pakistan has spent millions of dollars.
Gilani has also made a fool of President Zardari who has claimed that he knows the people behind Benazir’s assassination. Had President Zardari also believed that Baitullah Mehsud was behind the assassination, he would have said so.
Gilani has done great injustice to Benazir, his benefactor… Benazir was a great person and leader. She believed that some good can come from anyone. That is why she supported the likes of Gilani so that every Pakistan could be inducted into the democratic stream of Pakistan’s politics. Gilani has paid her back by protecting her assassins at a time when Benazir’s party and her principled politics are besieged by the enemies of democracy. Perhaps Gilani thinks that he can continue to be in power by aligning with the powers which the people of Pakistan think are behind her assassination.
Gilani must carefully think about his future statements and steps; any wrong move may damage Pakistan irreparably. Gilani must keep in mind the fate of Farigh Leghari, who has been consigned by historians to be dustbin of history along with General Zia. Every Pakistanis who believe that truth must not only be told, but also prevail must seek to find the people who killed Benazir Bhutto. Baitullah Mehsud and his men were mere foot soldiers. But whose agenda were they working on needs to be investigated.
Naheed flays Gilani’s statement on Benazir’s killer
Saturday, December 05, 2009
LAHORE: PPP central leader Naheed Khan has said that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani should not have said that Baitullah Mehsud was involved in the killing of Benazir Bhutto as the investigation into her murder was still in progress.
Talking to the media before addressing a ceremony in connection with the 43rd Foundation Day of the PPP on Friday, Ms Naheed said though two years had passed, the elements involved in the assassination had not been traced yet, which was a matter of grave concern for the party workers. She said that if the PPP government was unable to trace the perpetrators of the heinous crime, it would be a severe setback to the party in the next polls.
Commenting on the PM’s statement regarding the involvement of Baitullah Mehsud, Naheed Khan said it would not be right to nominate anyone as the UN commission was yet to submit its report on Benazir Bhutto’s murder.
She said the PPP leaders should not neglect committed party workers and save the party from splitting. She said that the PPP government would gain an edge if it abolished the 17th Amendment and ensured the supremacy of parliament.
Senator Dr Safdar Abbasi demanded of the PPP rulers to start a process of accountability within the party. He said the party’s image could have improved had the ministers, who had availed the NRO, resigned.