Attack on Benazir: FIR mentions three suspects
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Attack on Benazir: FIR mentions three suspects

A leading Pakistani newspaper on Saturday identified the ‘three men’ Benazir Bhutto had mentioned in her press conference after Friday’s blasts, reports Kamal Siddiqi.

world Updated: Oct 22, 2007 00:13 IST
Kamal Siddiqi
Kamal Siddiqi
Hindustan Times

The Pakistan police filed a first information report (FIR) after former PM Benazir Bhutto on Sunday lodged a complaint relating to Thursday's blasts. In the complaint, she again referred to the "three persons" she held responsible for the attack on her welcoming procession. With elections due in January, the government also mooted a code of conduct for political parties to make electioneering safer.

Benazir had spoken of these three people at her press conference after the attack, but refused to name them. She said she had written to President Pervez Musharraf before her arrival, indicating her suspicions.

A leading paper subsequently identified them as Arbab Ghulam Rahim, chief minister of Sindh, Chaudhry Perwez Elahi, chief minister of Punjab and Brigadier (retired) Ejaz Shah, director general of Pakistan's Intelligence Bureau. There has been no official rebuttal of the newspaper's claim.

Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Sindh unit president of Benazir's Pakistan People's Party (PPP) confirmed Benazir had written such a letter to Musharraf and that the same three men had been named in the FIR.

"Our children and women were martyred in the attack," said Shah. "The police had on their own, hurriedly registered an FIR earlier. But this one is the actual FIR."

The police are now legally bound to investigate these three, which is bound to embarrass the government.

The proposed code of conduct envisages much closer cooperation between police officials and political parties during campaigning, with a detailed security plan being drawn up before every political rally. No rallies will be permitted after dark.

Not all are happy. "Now, we will have to wait for permission before calling a political meeting. This is unacceptable," said a politician in Karachi. However, party leaders close to Benazir said she had accepted the conditions.

On Sunday, the former premier visited the homes of PPP workers from Lyari, a PPP stronghold, who had been killed in the blasts. She also met victims recuperating at Karachi's Jinnah Hospital.

First Published: Oct 21, 2007 02:33 IST