On a day of flip-flops, the Pakistan government on Tuesday apologised for its claim that former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was not shot to death but hours later retracted it. Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz Khan clarified that the government still stood by the “factual position” that Benazir died of a skull fracture and not from a bullet wound.
His remarks came hours after he urged people to “forgive and ignore” comments made by his ministry’s spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema that Benazir had struck her head on a metal lever on the sun-roof of her armoured Toyota Land Cruiser, resulting in a fatal skull fracture. But Khan said his apology was only for some “crude words” that the spokesman had used and it had “no effect on the factual position” taken by the government.
The Punjab administration on Tuesday issued a front-page advertisement in newspapers offering a reward of Rs 1 crore for information on the assassins of Benazir.
Meanwhile, Benazir’s son Bilawal, who was anointed the chairperson of the Pakistan Peoples Party on Sunday, traveled to Dubai with his two sisters on Tuesday. He is expected to proceed to Oxford University, UK, to pursue his studies.
After being silent for the last couple of days, President Pervez Musharraf has decided to address the nation. He will address the nation on radio and television at 8 pm local time (8.30 pm IST) on Wednesday, it was announced here.