Saturday, January 12, 2008

Exhume Bhutto's body is reporting the following:

3:39 MECCA TIME, 0:39 GMT

Musharraf: Exhume Bhutto's body

Pakistan's president has called for the body of Benazir Bhutto to be exhumed to confirm exactly how she died.

Pervez Musharraf's comments come amid growing accusations that the government was complicit in her assassination on December 27; but while he rejected the charges, he stopped short of ordering the exhumation.

Her supporters insist she was shot before a suicide bomber blew himself up, but the government says she died when she hit her head on her car's sun-roof as she waved to supporters after a campaign rally.

"Exhume it, 100 per cent," Musharraf told Newsweek magazine, "I would like it to be exhumed."
However he ruled out using his executive power to order a post-mortem examination without the agreement of Bhutto's family."Everything is not black and white here," he said. "It would have very big political ramifications."

"If I just ordered the body exhumed, it would be careless, unless [Bhutto's] people agreed; but they will not ... because they know it's a fact there is nothing wrong."

However Bhutto's family said it would only agree to an exhumation if Musharraf allows the UN to lead the inquiry into her murder, something he has ruled out. No autopsy was ever carried out.

"There cannot be a UN investigation," Musharraf said. "There are not two or three countries involved. Why should there be a UN investigation? This is ridiculous."

No trust

Benazir Bhutto's son backed the UN investigation, saying he does not trust officials in Pakistan.

"We do not believe that an investigation under the authority of the Pakistani government has the necessary transparency," Bilawal Bhutto Zardari told reporters in London. "Already so much forensic evidence has been destroyed."

The Oxford University student was chosen to succeed his mother as leader of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), but day-to-day leadership is currently in the hands of his father, Asif Ali Zardari.The party wants an international investiagtion similar to the probe into the killing of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.

Bilawal criticised the US administration's support of Musharraf as a key ally in its "war on terror".

He said: "I believe that the problem is that dictatorships feed extremism, and once the United States stops supporting dictators we can successfully tackle the extremist problem as well."
Bilawal pleaded for privacy as he pursued his studies at Oxford, where he is in his first year.

Musharraf's pledge

Meanwhile, Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's president, has said his government is committed to finding the truth behind the assassination of Bhutto and vowed to punish her killers.

At the beginning of January, Musharraf asked the UK to assist in the investigation of the murder and a team of British police officers was sent to Islamabad.

Musharraf met the Scotland Yard detectives and said the Pakistan government was committed to "unearthing the evidence, finding out the truth and bringing those responsible for this heinous crime to justice".

The British police said they were thoroughly sifting the evidence to ascertain the facts.
At the same time it was announced that the Pakistani detective who solved the 2002 murder of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter, had joined the Bhutto killing inquiry.

A senior Pakistan government official said: "He has joined the investigation and will co-ordinate with the Scotland Yard team."

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