Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bhutto Wants Foreign Help For Bomb Probe

By Cernig

Underscoring just how mistrustful Benazir Bhutto and her supporters are of the the Musharaff government, she has called for international help in investigating the source and directors behind Friday's assassination attempt.
No one claimed responsibility for the attack but the government suspects al Qaeda-linked militants based on the Afghan border were responsible. They have carried out a string of similar attacks on the security forces and other targets, killing hundreds of people in recent months.

"We want the government of Pakistan to seek assistance from the international community. They have anti-terrorism expertise to investigate attacks of this nature," she told reporters after attending a Muslim prayer ceremony for the victims.

While Bhutto also suspects Islamist militants were behind the attack, she has also alluded to the involvement of unspecified elements of security agencies in abetting such violence.

She has said she had written a letter to President Pervez Musharraf before her return to Pakistan citing at least three people she said could be involved in attacks against her. She did not give their names.
The Guardian adds:
The finger of blame has been pointed at various people by Bhutto, her husband Asif Ali Zardari and supporters. What is clear is that before her return two militant leaders - accusing her of being a 'slave of the US' - had threatened to kill her. Her husband blames those associated with the Musharraf government, while Bhutto has suggested associates of former president General Zia-ul-Haq, who hanged her father, were involved.
There are good reasons to believe that these accusations have some truth to them - Pakistan's intelligence agency - the ISI - has long been a directing and funding force behind Islamist terror groups including the Taliban and, recently, Musharaff promoted the head of the ISI to his second-in-command of the Pakistani military in a move widely seen as consolidating his hold on the army.

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