WHO MURDERED THE BENAZIR BHUTTO ?
A special investigative report has been published by British Journalist Christina Lamb on
BB’s Murder, which tries to highlight several new things. The complete story can be read at
I’d known Bibi, as friends called her, since 1987, when her kind wedding invitation to a 21-
year-old led to me falling in love with her country and starting a life as a foreign
correspondent, covering both her spells as prime minister. I was with her on the truck in
Karachi the first time they tried to kill her: two bombs killed 150 people, but she survived.
When the plane landed at Karachi and Bhutto came down the steps, she could not hold back
the tears. Huge crowds had lined the streets. Waving from the top of a special bus, she was
transformed, her face alive, so different to the Bhutto of the last few years in exile, gorging on
ice cream and reading self-help books. I understood then why she had gone back.
But her security people were worried. The jammers promised by the Pakistan government to
impede remote-control bombs were not working. Bhutto refused to go behind the special
bulletproof screen in her bus that would separate her from her people. Eventually, she went to
the armoured compartment on the lower deck to work on her speech. It was nearly midnight
and we had been on the bus nine hours when the first blast came, throwing us to the ground.
Moments later came a second, much larger, blast. There was silence, then screams, sirens and
little pieces fluttering down like black snowflakes: bits of charred skin.
Back in Islamabad, the Musharraf government appeared to be in panic. Within an hour of the
attack the scene had been washed down with high-pressure hoses, wiping out almost all the
evidence. Saud Aziz, then chief of Rawalpindi police, said he issued these orders after
receiving a phone call from a close associate of Musharraf. The interior ministry said they
were worried about “vultures picking up body parts”.
This was in stark contrast to what had happened after two assassination attempts on
Musharraf in the same city, when the area had been sealed off for weeks.
The person fingered by Bhutto, Musharraf, now lives in exile in London, accompanied
everywhere by six Scotland Yard officers. Before Christmas I met him at a dinner at the home
of a mutual Pakistani friend, where he lounged on the sofa, drinking whisky, smoking a fat
cigar and handing out £50 notes to the singers.
When a reporter asked him if he had blood on his hands, he retorted that the question was
“below my dignity”, going on to say: “My family is not a family which believes in killing
people. For standing up outside the car I think she was to blame — nobody else.
Responsibility is hers.”