Press Release, February 9, 2008
Lahore: Pakistanis are looking for a dignified closure to the tragic assassination of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. The Scotland Yard findings do not satisfy the basic requirements of any investigation. In addition, there is also a contradiction in the report as all those present in the car of late Mohtarma Bhutto confirmed that the explosion took place seconds after she slumped back into her seat in the vehicle. The findings of the report on the one hand admit that “what happened was complicated by the lack of an extended and detailed search of the crime scene, the absence of an autopsy, and the absence of recognized body recovery and victim identification processes”, and yet it concludes that “nevertheless, the evidence that is available is sufficient for reliable conclusions to be drawn”. A categorical conclusion in the absence of basic forensic and freedom of deposition by doctors can only be viewed as a hunch of the investigators. Other observers in Pakistan have different intuitions but the fundamental objective of any investigation must be of categorically identifying the authors, perpetrators, and accomplices of the attack. This has not been achieved and cannot be reached by an investigation that is carried out under the shadows of the present authorities. A proper investigation must go deeper into establishing the links of those suspected, so far arrested, or identified by Mohtarma herself or her family.
The murder of late Benazir Bhutto has left a huge vacuum in the political arena and severe wounds on the people of Pakistan.
Uncovering the truth of this most tragic crime is crucial for Pakistan. Without it, there can be no reconciliation amongst Pakistani society and acts of violence will be feared but not wholly condemned or resisted. An impartial investigation will have wider positive implications. The lives of several innocent Pakistanis too have been lost to acts of violence and yet no credible investigation has been carried out. Future lives are at stake as is now evident by the bomb blast in Charsada. It is therefore imperative that in the interest of the people of Pakistan a United Nations led investigation into the assassination of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and the sources of violence in Pakistan be carried out. Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto believed in justice and not revenge. An impartial investigation will lead to the truth being uncovered and for the wheels of justice to its natural course.