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Benazir murder, FIA holds TTP responsible

Pakistan News BlogISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency has completed its probe into the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and held the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan responsible for her death in a gun-and-bomb attack, sources in the FIA told Dawn on Monday.

The FIA is likely to submit the investigation report before an anti-terrorism court on Oct 30.

According to the sources, the FIA’s investigation team was reluctant to submit the challan before the court because it could not complete its investigation regarding three absconders in the case, Abdur Rehman, Saddam and Faiz Mohammad.

The investigation report, however, is now saying that the three absconders were killed in a military operation in tribal areas.

Five of the accused, who are all members of TTP, have already been arrested. They are Rafaqat, Hussain, Sher Zaman, Aitzaz Shah and Abdul Rashid.

The head of FIA’s team, Khalid Mehmood, told Dawn that the investigation had not been completed, but he did not deny that its report was being presented before the court on Oct 30.

But his answer raises a question that if the report is not complete, how will it be produced in a court.

The fresh investigation report has accused slain TTP chief Baitullah Mehsud of masterminding the murder of Ms Bhutto.

The UN commission, in its report, had said that blaming the TTP leader for the assassination before completion of investigations was tantamount to throwing the investigation off the scent.

The sources said the FIA team did not take statement of any public office holder who is accused in the case.

Earlier, the FIA team had decided to send a questionnaire to the interior minister because being a sitting minister he could not be summoned or interrogated. However, no questionnaire was sent to him.One of the main accused in the case, Ashfaq Anwar, who was head of Rawalpindi’s Elite Force at the time of the murder and was responsible for the security to Ms Bhutto, has gone to UK on a scholarship.

Maj (retd) Imtiaz, the personal security officer of Ms Bhutto, is at present serving as DIG Quetta. A few days ago he held a meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari.

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