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Zardari slams Musharraf for death 'insult'

Benazir Bhutto's husband attacks Pervez Musharraf for saying the opposition leader is to blame for her own assassination by poking her head out of her car sunroof.

world Updated: Jan 08, 2008 07:31 IST

Benazir Bhutto's husband has attacked Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf for saying the opposition leader was to blame for her own assassination by poking her head out of her car sunroof.

Asif Ali Zardari also told AFP that Musharraf's admission that a bullet may have killed her -- not a blow to the head from the sunroof lever as officials previously said -- showed the authorities had "something to hide".

"I think he is trying to shift responsibility, to say the least," Zardari, 51, said in an interview last night at the Bhutto family's ancestral home in the rural southern village of Naudero.

"She's on record of having written to him asking permission for international assistance and security which they denied her," said Zardari, who has called for a UN probe into his wife's death.

Zardari's comments intensified the rancour between Musharraf and Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party, now co-chaired by him and the couple's 19-year-old son Bilawal, ahead of February 18 elections.

Musharraf told US television network CBS that Bhutto was at fault for putting her upper body outside the sunroof to greet supporters at an election rally on December 27, moments before she was killed in a gun and suicide attack.

"I think it was she to blame alone. Nobody else. Responsibility is hers," he said.

Asked if he felt insulted by Musharraf's comments, Zardari added: "It's a total insult to the cause of democracy that he could not save the one person that could keep Pakistan together.