Was hand that pulled trigger the Pak state's? | india | Hindustan Times
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Was hand that pulled trigger the Pak state's?

As per a senior official, the Indian government feels that Benazir Bhutto's assassination was a "well planned, professionally executed" hit, reports Nilova Roy Chaudhury.

india Updated: Dec 30, 2007 03:14 IST
Nilova Roy Chaudhury

The Indian government feels that Benazir Bhutto's assassination was a "well planned, professionally executed" hit, a senior official said.

It would be difficult to imagine such an exercise, involving "at least two people", without the involvement or knowledge of at least someone within the country's security establishment. Yet "while we will never know exactly who was responsible" for the former Pakistan Premier's killing, "what is important is the public perception of who is responsible, the official said".

The common perception appears to indicate a certain level of state involvement, with prominent people in Pakistan, including former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Opposition leader Imran Khan and those within the Pakistan People's Party that Bhutto headed, blaming President Pervez Musharraf.

"Even if he did not order the hit, he (Musharraf) has to accept part of the blame for the security lapses that caused her death," a senior government official said.

According to officials, whoever killed Bhutto is ultimately not important in the context of carrying bilateral relations forward. What is important is for the government to remain engaged with whoever is in power and impress upon that government the common dangers from terrorist elements.

"At every level, we have been urging them to rein in terrorists and jihadis and ensure they do not use Pakistani soil to launch attacks on India," an official said. "We are not fighting any one else's battle. We have to look out for our own interests."

"Obviously we are worried," another official said. "We have been trying to impress upon them the dangers from rogue elements within the establishment, who have links with the so called state-sponsored jihadis and terrorist groups like the Lashkar. It's coming back on them like Frankenstein's monster."

Bhutto's death and the subsequent developments in Pakistan have caused concern in India and, according to National Security Adviser MK Narayanan, "proved" correct Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's observation that both countries faced the common threat of terrorism.

"We have always been worried about the security situation in Pakistan," Narayanan said on the sidelines of a function.

"(The observation by) the Prime Minister is proving to be true. Both countries face the common threat of terrorism," he said, calling Bhutto "a person hoping to restore democracy in Pakistan".