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UN to investigate Bhutto assassination

Article published on the 2008-07-11 Latest update 2008-07-11 15:31 TU

Benazir Bhutto.(Photo : AFP)

Benazir Bhutto.
(Photo : AFP)

The United Nations has agreed in principle with Pakistan to set up an international commission that will investigate the killing of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. The agreement came after a meeting on Thursday between UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the Foreign Minister of Pakistan.

The agreement said Ban told Qureshi that "further consultation with Pakistan and others within the organization would be required to examine the modalities and structure" of the panel.

Qureshi promised "give unhindered access to sources of relevant information".

Bhutto was killed in a suicide bomb attack on 27 December last year, following an election rally in Rawalpindi, a city near Islamabad. Her party, the Pakistan People's Party, now heads the country's governing coalition.

Last month the new government officially asked the UN to set up a panel to investigate the Bhutto assassination. The government has accused tribal warlord Baitullah Mehsud of plotting the attack, although he denies the charge.

"We would probably be more interested in the mindset behind the assassination which has deprived us of a great leader who could hold the country together," People's Party executive committee member Nisar Ahmad Khuro told RFI when asked what the party watns from the enquiry.

Twice prime minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto went into self-imposed exile in the late 90s after being accused of corruption, shortly before army chief General Pervez Musharraf took power in 1999.

In October 2007, she returned to Pakistan to campaign for the PPP in parliamentary and provincial elections. Shortly after her return, she survived bomb attacks on her convoy in Karachi that killed more than 100 people.