Who killed late Pakistan PM Benazir Bhutto? The mystery continues even as 10 years have passed since the fateful day of 27 December 2007 when she was assassinated. A number of conspiracy theories have come up, including a claim by Benazir’s son Bilawal that former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf was one of the conspirators behind her assassination. “The fact is that Musharraf is the killer of my mother,” Bilawal told BBC and accused Musharraf of taking advantage of the turbulent political situation in the country to eliminate her. Musharraf, who was president at that time, had accused former Taliban leader Baituallah Mehsud for orchestrating the murder.
Shockingly, two days before her assassination, Benazir had herself hinted that Musharraf was planning to eliminate her. “Let me tell you today, very clearly, that they have already decided to kill me and they will kill me soon. After they do, they will blame the Taliban or the al Qaeda. But you must name Musharraf as my assassin,” Benazir was quoted as telling Hamid Mir of Geo News. This “stunned” Mir. Benazir had further said that Musharraf didn’t want her return to Pakistan.
“I did not listen to him. So he threatened me on the phone and said your security is based on the state of our relationship with me. Two foreign governments have advised me not to return to Pakistan as I could be killed,” she had told Mir. That Musharraf had told Benazir not to return to Pakistan was revealed by Journalists Mark Seigel and Ron Suskind, who had claimed that months before her assassination, Musharraf told Bhutto not to return to Pakistan.
What Musharraf says
Meanwhile, Musharraf has for the first time acknowledged that rogue elements in the Pakistan establishment could have been involved in the assassination of Benazir. In an interview to BBC, Musharraf was asked whether rogue elements within the establishment could have been in touch with the Taliban about the killing. Musharraf, 74, said, “Possibility. Yes indeed. Because the society is polarised on religious lines.”
“I don’t have any facts available. But my assessment is very accurate I think…A lady who is known to be inclined towards the West is seen suspiciously by those elements,” Musharraf said while denying he had any role in the assassination. “Honestly I laugh at it. Why would I kill her?,” he said when asked about his role.
What role Osama Bin Laden played in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto?
A media report has claimed that slain Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden had shifted to Afghanistan to supervise a plot to assassinate Benazir Bhutto and then military dictator Pervez Musharraf.
The report has cited intelligence gathered by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to claim that the explosives to execute the assassination plot were provided by the courier of bin Laden. This information was also provided to the Interior Ministry in December 2007 by the Army and the ISI in three reports and the letters obtained from the bin Laden’s residence.
These secret reports had warned the government that that bin Laden had issued orders to kill the then President Musharraf, Pakistan People’s Party’s chief Bhutto and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl chief Fazlur Rehman.
One of the most important letters by the ISI to the Interior Ministry was written on 19 December 2007. It said, “He (Osama bin Laden) has planned to send his courier, who is a national of Pakistan and a resident of Multan, named Musa Tariq, through Waziristan with explosives to be used in executing the murder plots. On coming Sunday — which is December 22 — this person will be in the area of Dera Ismail Khan.”
“Osama bin Laden is personally supervising this entire plan and for this reason, he has shifted to Afghanistan,” the letter added.
A letter congratulating Laden over the assassination of Benazir was written to the slain terrorist six days after the assassination. “”We have taken revenge for our brothers and sisters of Jamia Hafsa and Lal Masjid,” letter recovered from bin Laden’s home said.
Interestingly, Laden continued to live in Pakistan until he was eliminated by the US at Abbottabad in Pakistan on 1 May, 2011.
As per the report, the ISI had requested the interior ministry to make urgent security arrangements.
Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in a gun-and-bomb attack during an election campaign rally on December 27, 2007 outside the Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi.