Pakistan's ruling PPP should try to unmask the killers of Benazir Bhutto while the party is in power or else the masterminds of her gruesome assassination are unlikely to be brought to justice, feels journalist-writer Amir Mir, who has come up with a new book about the murder of the charismatic former prime minister.
"In my personal opinion, the Pakistan government should immediately proceed against all the murder suspects, no matter how powerful they are," says Mir, who has authored "The Bhutto Murder Trail: From Waziristan to GHQ", published by Tranquebar.
Drawing on personal anecdotes, meetings, off-the record conversations with Benazir, and the emails that he exchanged with her just before her death, Mir brings out a carefully documented reconstruction of the assassination that rocked the world, the events leading to it, and its aftermath.
"President (Asif Ali) Zardari needs to understand one thing: It was the personal sacrifice of Benazir that ostensibly brought the PPP into power. Therefore, the masterminds of her assassination should be taken to task before the next general elections," says Mir.
"If her killers cannot be unmasked now, while Bhutto’s PPP is in power in Islamabad, it is less likely that they will ever be unmasked, and there is a possibility that like all infamous murder cases, the mastermind of Bhutto's murder will also remain a shadowy figure," Mir, who has authored three books on the subject of militant Islam and terrorism, told PTI in an interview.
"The Bhutto Murder Trail" also speaks of a symbiotic relationship between Pakistan's formidable military and intelligence agencies, and the radical Islamic terrorist groups entrenched there.
The book touches sensitive topics like 'election rigging cells', inside information about Bhutto's 'designated killers', the security cover, the alleged cover-up that began soon after the murder, the arrests and investigations.
Mir feels that the military and the militants ail Pakistan.
"The establishment's slogan of Pakistan being the fortress of Islam remains the central idea that the Pakistan Army cares about. The military leadership is still not ready to withdraw from politics come what may. Therefore, the spectre of religious radicalism born of this policy today haunts Pakistan and the Pakistanis alike," he says.
"Nine years after the 9/11 terror attacks in the US that shook the entire world, Pakistan, despite being a key American ally in the so-called war against terror during all those years, is imperilled by growing Talibanisation," he adds.