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'Musharraf expected to seek help of Scotland Yard'

An American official tells the New York Times that sending British officials from Scotland Yard would be less likely to inflame tensions in Pakistan.

world Updated: Jan 02, 2008 13:06 IST

Amidst growing skepticism about the competence and objectivity of the probe into Benazir Bhutto's assassination, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf is expected to seek the help of Scotland Yard technicians in the inquiry, an American official was quoted as saying.

While a team of forensic experts from the America's Federal Bureau of Investigation has been on a stand by to fly to Pakistan, an American official told the New York Times that sending British specialists from Scotland Yard would be less likely to inflame tensions in Pakistan.

Senior Bush administration officials and American lawmakers from both parties have privately been urging Musharraf to allow international involvement in the inquiry to give it credibility with Bhutto's family and supporters, and to help tamp down civil unrest, the paper said.

Outside experts joining the inquiry are unlikely to assuage Bhutto's most fervent supporters, including her widower Asif Ali Zardari and her 19-year-old son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who has been chosen as chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party, the paper noted.

The elder Zardari had called for an inquiry modeled on the United Nations probe into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri.

Pakistan's ambassador to the United States, Mahmud Ali Durrani, seemed to rule out that possibility, saying that such an international investigation posed "a lot of complications."