The United Nations on Thursday rejected Pakistan’s request to reopen the independent probe into the killing of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, saying there is no need to include any further information as the report is “complete“.
“The Commissioners have informed the United Nations that the report is complete,” U.N. spokesperson Martin Nesirky told journalists here.
“They believe that they have finished their work and that there is no need to include any further information. It is for them to consider whether they need to change their report,” he said, a day after Pakistan’s president Asif Ali Zardari requested UN to delay the release of the report on the assassination of his wife Bhutto.
The three-member commission, led by Chile’s U.N. envoy Heraldo Munoz, was ready to share its findings but this was postponed following an overnight communication received by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon from Mr. Zardari requesting that the disclosure of report be delayed until April 15. Neither Ban nor Pakistani officials have seen the report.
The U.N. has not commented on the reason for the delay in disclosing the report but Pakistan’s presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said the government wanted the commission’s report to include the comments of the three countries that had warned Bhutto.
Pakistan wants the commission “to include in its report the comments of those three countries which had warned (Bhutto) on her return to Pakistan (in October 2007) that there were serious threats to her life and that she should take adequate precautionary measures,” Mr. Babar told the media.
“We suggested to the commission that it would be helpful if the viewpoint of those three countries and their heads of governments, which had warned (Bhutto), are also incorporated,” he said.
Responding to whether the commission would open investigations in light of Pakistan’s assertion about including the three governments, Mr. Nesriky said, “Commissioners have seen a considerable amount of relevant information, including what has been in the news media in recent days.
“After conferring in light of the latest information, they continue to say that they have completed their work.”
Ms. Bhutto was killed in a gun and bomb attack at a rally in the garrison town of Rawalpindi in December 2007 while campaigning for her Pakistan People’s Party in parliamentary and provincial elections.
Investigations carried out by then President Pervez Musharraf’s government blamed Baitullah Mehsud, a Pakistani Taliban commander who operates in the lawless tribal areas of northwest region.