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Clinton questions Pak Govt's version on Bhutto's killing

Hillary Clinton questions Pakistani government's contention that the Al-Qaeda masterminded the suicide attack, which led to the death of Benazir Bhutto in Rawalpindi.

world Updated: Dec 31, 2007 17:16 IST

US presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has questioned Pakistani government's contention that the Al-Qaeda masterminded the suicide attack, which led to the death of Benazir Bhutto in Rawalpindi four days back.

"There are those saying that Al-Qaeda did it. Others are saying it looked like it was an inside job -- remember Rawalpindi is a garrison city," the 'NewsDay' quoted Clinton as saying in Iowa.

Clinton, however, refrained from saying whether the Pakistani military was directly behind Bhutto's assassination but called for an international probe into the incident saying "there was no reason to trust the Pakistani government".

She has also offered a detailed prescription for the troubled country, suggesting that the US divert aid away from its military to social welfare programs.

Clinton also delved into Pakistan's internal affairs, suggesting its "feudal landowning leadership" led by President Pervez Musharraf has protected Al-Qaeda to preserve its tenuous grip on power.

It may be mentioned that Bhutto's aides on Sunday claimed that Musharraf had blocked the former Premier's plans to hire bodyguards from Britain and the US to protect her.

"She asked to bring in trained security personnel from abroad. In fact, she and her husband repeatedly tried to get visas for such protection but they're denied by the government of Pakistan," Mark Siegel, her US representative, had said.

The claim was also confirmed by American Blackwater operation. "We were approached to provide (former) Prime Minister Bhutto's security, but an agreement was unfortunately never reached," a spokesperson had told the media.