Pak govt objects UN report on Bhutto assassination

Last Updated : 09 July 2010, 02:31 IST
Last Updated : 09 July 2010, 02:31 IST

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Pakistan's objections were conveyed in a letter written by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to the UN Secretary General on June 23. The letter was made public by the UN on Thursday.

In the letter, Qureshi said the Pakistan government appreciated the work done by the commission as it will provide authorities a basis for a serious and credible criminal investigation against those who planned and executed the assassination.

However, he also conveyed the government's objections and concerns over certain aspects of the panel's report.

The Pakistan government has its "reservations on certain observations in the report that imply a nexus between the Taliban and the Pakistan Army", Qureshi said.
"It is clear from the terms of reference that such an assessment was not within the scope of the work given to the commission," he added.

The government feels that "such formulations undermine the method, manner and commitment of actions undertaken by the Pakistan Army" against terrorists, Qureshi added.

He further said that several of the commission's comments and observations about the military and security establishment were not "properly verified" or supported by any material.

The comments and observations about the Pakistan Army, ISI and the security establishment are only the "opinions of the members of the commission" and do not represent "authenticated determinations based on any fact or evidence", Qureshi said.

Without giving details, Qureshi also said that some "observations and discussions in the report have the effect of influencing regional matters, which may affect positions that Pakistan has been taking in certain sensitive bilateral relations".

Qureshi's letter also made repeated references to the UN commission's failure to approach third states for cooperation in the collection of material or information relevant to the assassination and "vagueness and ambiguity" caused by the panel's failure to name the sources of some information.

"Individuals located outside Pakistan who have some relevance to the incident and are also equally important in providing some leads to the actual perpetrators and executors of the plan should have been contacted by the commission itself for interviewing by making greater efforts to do substantial justice," Qureshi said.

"In this connection, it is relevant to mention that the government of Afghanistan conveyed to the government of Pakistan that (President) Hamid Karzai was willing to meet the members of the commission in Kabul on any day before April 25, 2010, which fact was brought to the notice of the commission. However, the commission neither met him nor gave any reason in its report for not meeting him," he added.

The UN panel's report had indicted the regime of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf for failing to provide adequate protection to Bhutto, who was killed by a suicide bomber in the garrison city of Rawalpindi in December 2007.

It also raised several questions about the functioning of the security establishment and the Inter-Services Intelligence agency.

Published 09 July 2010, 02:31 IST

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