Pak gives $1.5 mn to UN for probe into Benazir’s killing | world | Hindustan Times
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Pak gives $1.5 mn to UN for probe into Benazir’s killing

Pakistan has given $1.5 mn to the UN as seed money to partially cover the cost of a fact-finding commission which will look into the assassination of former Premier Benazir Bhutto. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson Michele Montas described the transfer of money by Pakistan as “significant” step towards facilitating the probe work.

world Updated: Mar 07, 2009 12:52 IST

Pakistan has given $1.5 million to the United Nations as seed money to partially cover the cost of a three-member fact-finding commission which will look into the assassination of former Premier Benazir Bhutto.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson Michele Montas said the world body chief also spoke to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday and among the subjects discussed were matters related to the Commission.

During the phone conversation, Ban and Zardari also discussed John Solecki, the kidnapped UNHCR official, as also the recent terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team, the spokesperson said.

Solecki, a US national heading the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ office in Balochistan, was kidnapped on February 2 while on his way to his office and his driver, Syed Hashim, was killed in the attack.

Montas described the transfer of money by Pakistan, which has been received by the UN Secretariat, as “significant” step towards facilitating the work of the commission which will be headed by Chile’s UN Ambassador Haraldo Munoz.

Indonesia’s Marzuki Dar Usman will be a member of the commission but the third member is yet to be announced.

In a letter to the Security Council last month, Ban, who paid his maiden visit to Islamabad on February 4, had said that the international commission would be funded by voluntary contributions from Member States.

Pakistan had offered to provide ‘seed money´ to help an early deployment of the security and technical assessment missions.

Sources at United Nations said that Pakistan’s contribution could go up to $5 million.

Bhutto was killed in a gun and suicide bomb attack on December 27, 2007, as she left an election rally in Rawalpindi.