[News] Black Merchedes and Benazir’s Assassination

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Action will be taken against all those who have been identified in the UN report including those who were in the black Mercedes,” Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira has promised.

The Benazir Bhutto commission report makes clear that the primary blame for the inadequate security around Ms Bhutto must lie with Gen Musharraf’s government.

But the commission also did not flinch from stating another fact: “Despite considerable and valiant efforts by individual PPP members to protect Ms Bhutto, the PPP as an organisation was inadequate to handle the challenges. There was no person in overall charge of the PPP’s provision of security. As a result, the PPP’s security for Ms Bhutto was characterised by a lack of direction and professionalism.” True, the PPP was a party whose leader had been in self-imposed exile for a decade and the Pakistan she was returning to in October 2007 was going through one of the most violent periods in the country’s history. To expect perfection in her security arrangements by the PPP would have been to ask for too much.

But there were glaring lapses, and the commission names and cites specific examples: “…the Commission finds it incredible that they [Farhatullah Babar, Babar Awan, Rehman Malik and Gen Tauqir Zia (retd) in the back-up bullet-proof Mercedes] drove all the way to Zardari House, a drive of about 20 minutes, before they became aware that Ms Bhutto had been injured in the blast. They should have stopped at a safe distance when they felt the blast so as to check on Ms Bhutto’s condition, the condition of her vehicle and whether the back-up vehicle was required. Indeed, as the back-up vehicle, the Mercedes-Benz car would have been an essential element of Ms Bhutto’s convoy on the return trip even if the occupants of that car had confirmed that Ms Bhutto had been unscathed in the attack.”

Paradoxically, Rehman Malik — who was in charge of Ms Bhutto’s security as his letters to the Musharraf government indicated — told the commission that he was just the PPP leader’s “national security adviser”. But the Commission found that he performed a significant role in the security management. The occupants of the car, not least Mr Malik, should realise that they have been found wanting. It is now up to them to decide whether or not falling on their swords is the right thing to do. source

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