Benazir’s assassination

  • Elimination of arguably Pakistan’s most famous prime minister needs legal and political closure

Jan 20, 2017-

The status of investigations and trials related to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto nine years ago can perhaps be summed up by this: the Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights has referred the matter to the National Commission on Human Rights—and demanded that the NCHR submit its report in two weeks. What the Senate committee may have inadvertently highlighted is the utter helplessness of public officials and the disregard of the state when it comes to bringing to justice those responsible for the assassination of an iconic woman.

Consider the role played by the PPP itself in the current impasse. Less than a month ago, as the PPP gathered near the mausoleum of Ms Bhutto to commemorate her ninth death anniversary, there was nary a word mentioned by either party leader—or, indeed, anyone else in the party—about the stalled investigations and prosecutions. Meanwhile, the five individuals in custody and accused of involvement in or having knowledge of the plot to kill Ms Bhutto have largely been disregarded by the PPP. Perhaps, though, no explanation of the PPP’s apparent disinterest in concluding what has sadly become a saga of trials related to Ms Bhutto’s assassination can be complete without an examination of the state’s utter disregard for solving what remains a national mystery. 

The Constitution was amended, military courts were created and more than 150 so-called jet-black terrorists sentenced to death—many for high-profile attacks against military targets. But the interest in identifying and prosecuting the cabal involved in Ms Bhutto’s assassination is nil. Why? The long, bitter political history stretching from the assassination of the country’s first prime minister to the elimination of arguably its most famous prime minister needs legal and political closure.

 

-DAWN

Published: 20-01-2017 08:39

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