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New tribunal to probe Karachi rally blast

world Updated: Apr 07, 2008 13:40 IST
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A new tribunal will be set up to investigate the suicide bombing of former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto's homecoming rally in Karachi last year and former Sindh chief minister Arbab Ghulam Rahim will be among the suspects, the ruling PPP has said.

Zulfiqar Ali Mirza, the head of the Sindh unit of the Pakistan People's Party, said the tribunal will be constituted after the party forms government in the province, where it has a majority in the assembly.

Two suicide bombers attacked Bhutto's motorcade hours after she returned to Pakistan from exile on October 18 last year, killing 140 people and injuring hundreds more. The PPP leader was later assassinated in another suicide attack in Rawalpindi in December.

PML-Q leader Rahim will be on the list of suspects because a day before the attack, he made a statement that "Benazir's caravan will end at midnight", Mirza said.

Bhutto had reportedly alleged that Rahim along with several other PML-Q leaders and government officials were involved in a conspiracy to target her

Mirza told reporters in Karachi yesterday that if Rahim is found guilty by the new tribunal, he would be "hanged".
He said the PPP had "no trust" in the inquiry tribunal headed by retired judge Ghous Mohammad that was set up by the previous government to probe the suicide attack on Bhutto's rally and wanted to set up a new probe panel.

The PPP has boycotted the proceedings of the Ghous Mohammad tribunal on the grounds that it had no faith in it.
The tribunal's proceedings were stayed till April 15 by the Sindh High Court in response to a petition filed by PPP lawyer

PPP workers had hounded Rahim during the inaugural session of the new Sindh assembly on Saturday and he was unable to take oath as he had to flee from the assembly building.

The PPP workers later damaged Rahim's portrait that was in the building. Taking a dig at Rahim, Mirza said if the PML (Q) leader wanted to lodge an FIR to complain about what had happened on Saturday, he could do so since it was his "hobby" when he was in power to register FIRs against political opponents.

"He didn't deliver justice while he was in power, but now the PPP will try to deliver justice to him. Rahim is now our colleague in the assembly and we will ensure that he can take his oath peacefully," Mirza said.