Zardari blames ‘people within, outside government’ for Benazir’s assassination

Benazir BhuttoWashington, Jan 5 : Calling for a UN probe into the assassination of ex-premier Benazir Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari has said that the people within and outside the Pakistan Government must be held accountable for his wife’s death.

Zardari also urged the US and Britain to endorse his demand of a United Nations thorough investigation as it was done after the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri.

Showing no faith in an investigation that will be carried out by the Musahrraf regime, Zardari said, “One does not put the fox in charge of the henhouse.”

Benazir was assassinated to weaken the case for a democratic government in the country and “it is perhaps easier to block the path of democracy by discrediting democratic politicians,” Zardari wrote in the Washington Post.

Recalling his wife’s tenure as the Prime Minister, he said that military used to intervene into her administration and “a treacherous intelligence network; a fragile coalition government; and a presidential sword of Damocles” always threatened to dismiss her government.

Commenting on the postponement of the general elections in Pakistan, Zardari wrote in the daily that the Musharraf Administration did so not because of logistical problems, but because of the fear that his “King’s Party” would lose elections and that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and other pro-democracy parties would have garnered a majority.

“Democracy in Pakistan can be saved, and extremism and fanaticism contained, only if the elections, when they are held, are free, fair and credible,” Zardari wrote.

Talking about the future of the PPP, he said that he would work with his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and would “protect him (Bilawal) to the extent possible in the trying times ahead.”

Claiming that apart from the Bhutto family no one has rendered their service to the country, and that in the present scenario “it is critical that the party remain unified and focused.”

He also recalled that even before Benazir’s first term in the Prime Minister’s Office, the intelligence agencies had started “working to discredit her, targeting me and several of her friends.”

He pointed out that it was the hired people of intelligence who gave him the name of “Mr. Ten Percent”, adding, “The names of her friends abroad were besmirched with ridiculous charges that they headed the nonexistent ‘Indo-Zionist’ lobby.”

Zardari further said that such a campaign of character assassination was perhaps the “first institutional application of the politics of personal destruction.” (ANI)