WEB DESK: PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari led a huge ‘Salaam Shuhada’ rally on Sunday to mark the day twin bombings on Benazir Bhutto’s homecoming procession left at least 150 party workers, sympathisers and onlookers dead and scores of others badly injured.
Benazir survived by chance as she was momentarily sitting inside her bomb-proof bus rather than standing on her open-air designated spot atop the vehicle. Whosoever wanted to kill her ensured that she did not escape a second attempt on her life at her Liaquat Bagh public meeting in Rawalpindi. She was assassinated along with nearly a dozen other innocent people. To date, no one has been brought to justice for the Karsaz massacre. Some individuals allegedly involved in the Liaquat Bagh attack were arrested and tried but the mastermind remains unidentified and unpunished.
Benazir had wanted a UN investigation into the Karsaz carnage. Even though soon after her assassination the PPP came to power both at the Centre and in Sindh the case remains consigned to the cold storage. The party tried to deal with the two attacks by declaring “democracy is the best revenge” which surely does not help the families of so many others killed. Mystery continues to surround a plethora of vital questions such as that who ordered the immediate hosing down of the crime scene at Liaquat Bagh (the same was done at Karsaz) destroying any evidence that could lead to the killers?
Why the police officer in charge wouldn’t order post- mortem examination of the dead despite the DCO’s reminders? Who asked the doctors to hurriedly call a press conference to say that Benazir had died from bullet wounds rather than injuries from a bomb blast? Or why did the then interior ministry spokesman insist, again at a hastily held presser, a fatal wound caused by her vehicle’s roof lever (whereas no such lever existed) killed her, and that this was confirmed by the doctors who attended her? Not without significance either was the Musharraf government’s prompt presentation of an intercept of a conversation which linked Benazir’s purported assassins to a Taliban leader.
The Zardari government called an expensive UN inquiry commission into the Liaquat Bagh attack though with a limited mandate of fact-finding rather than holding a criminal investigation. The commission was denied access to certain individuals in sensitive positions, and for some reason the then prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani felt it necessary to give them a clean chit.
Even so, the UN report provided sufficient leads for the government to proceed with its own investigations. That was not to be. At Sunday’s ‘Salaam Shuhada’ rally, too, there was no mention of holding the perpetrators to account. The Liaquat Bagh case is still under legal proceedings, but given the past history of unresolved political assassinations in this country and the prevailing atmosphere the murder of Benazir is unlikely to come to a logical end. Both cases constitute a challenge not only for the PPP but whosoever is at the helm to try and bring the real perpetrator(s) to justice.
Source: Business Recorder