INTERNATIONAL

Someone fired at Benazir: Dy.SP

Nirupama Subramanian

Scotland Yard team calls on Pervez Musharraf

ISLAMABAD: The Scotland Yard team that is in Pakistan to assist in the investigation of Benazir Bhutto’s killing called on President Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday and was reported to have been assured by him of the government’s commitment to finding out the facts of the case and tracking down the perpetrators.

The official Associated Press of Pakistan said General (rtd.) Musharraf also assured the detectives of the government’s full co-operation in the investigation.

The team has thus far looked at amateur video footage of the gun-and-bomb attack on Benazir, and also examined the body parts from the site, and spoken to doctors at Rawalpindi General Hospital who tried to revive the PPP leader and later wrote up the medical reports on the injury to her.

Meanwhile, a deputy superintendent of police who sustained multiple injuries in the attack and is recuperating in hospital has said in an interview to Dawn newspaper that he saw a man firing at Benazir seconds before the explosion.

DSP Ishtiaq Hussain Shah said he wanted to overpower the man but was 10 feet away from him, and before he could stop him, there was an explosion and he blacked out.

He said he saw “people appear from nowhere and stop Ms. Bhutto’s car” as she was leaving the rally.

“I don’t know who they were or where they came from. They were carrying flags of the Pakistan People’s Party and shouting pro-PPP slogans. They just appeared on the road,” he is quoted by the newspaper as saying. “I started to clear the way for Ms. Bhutto’s vehicle. I saw a man who was probably wearing a grey jacket and sunglasses shoot from the crowd towards Ms. Bhutto. I jumped to overpower him. He was about 10 feet away from my position. A mighty explosion took place soon afterwards.”

The DSP, whose story is similar to what is on the available video footage, said the security arrangements were “absolutely perfect,” but he got worried when a power cut made the walk through gates non-functional.

He said he called the Rawalpindi electricity authorities, and later asked Naheed Khan, a close aide of Benazir, who was at the rally, for her help in having the electricity restored.