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Pak assassin may have aides

world Updated: Jan 07, 2011 00:55 IST

Suspicion has grown over whether the Pakistani policeman who assassinated Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer acted on his own or was assisted in the act following emergence of a raft of evidence that he had been declared unfit for guarding VIPs because of his extremist leanings.

Several police officials have confirmed that Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, the Elite Force personnel who gunned down Taseer on Tuesday, was removed from Rawalpindi Police’s Special Branch about 18 months ago after then regional police chief Nasir Khan Durrani described him as a “security threat”.

Despite a recommendation that Qadri, 26, should not be assigned to guard VIPS because of his extremist views, he was deputed to Taseer’s security detail on five previous occasions.

Investigators probing the assassination have sought a report from Rawalpindi Police to fix responsibility in this regard.

Investigators were of the opinion that the failure of the other guards to stop Qadri as he fired three bursts had strengthened “the suspicions of a conspiracy,” the Dawn newspaper quoted its sources as saying. PTI