As caravans of PPP supporters struck out towards Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, the burial site of Benazir Bhutto, on Sunday, one slogan stood out: BB ham sharminda hain, teray qatil zinda hein (BB we are ashamed, your murderers are still alive.)

Three years after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, party activists are saddened by the fact that the real masterminds behind the attack remain at large.

“When authorities can’t even solve the murder of Khalid Shahenshah, we can’t really expect much progress in the probe into Benazir’s assassination,” said one furious jiyala.

Shahenshah, the slain PPP chairperson’s chief security guard, was a key eyewitnesses of the December 27, 2007 attack in Rawalpindi. He was in Benazir’s vehicle along with Senator Safdar Abbasi. He was killed under mysterious circumstances in a drive-by shooting in Karachi in July, 2008.

DIG Iqbal Mehmood admitted that Shahenshah’s case remains unsolved. “No arrests have been made in the case to-date,” he said, adding, that all talk about suspected underworld or terrorist link into this attack were no more than mere hearsay as no such links could be found.

Even the probe into the assassination attempt on Benazir on the Karsaz Road on Oct 18, 2007, in which 179 people were killed, has gone nowhere. SSP Investigations Niaz Khosa said the four terrorists were, in fact, low-level Taliban operatives who had been languishing in Karachi jail. They were interrogated in connection with the Karsaz killings and were handed over to the police by secret ‘agencies’. However, they could not be linked with the twin suicide bombings.

“These four (men) were then sent back to the jail,” Khosa said, adding that a total of 16 people were picked up in the case, all of whom have been released over the years, since their involvement could not be established.

PPP Information Secretary Fauzia Wahab said it would be unfair to say that no headway had been made into Benazir’s assassination. “The second Joint Investigation Team (JIT) headed by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is doing its best. They have taken into its custody former CPO Rawalpindi Saud Aziz and SP Khurram Shahzad, who only recently have started to spill the beans,” Wahab told The Express Tribune. Aziz is reported to have told investigators that he was acting on the instructions of four ISI and MI officials and it was on their orders that the police hosed down the crime scene.

But even if the PPP has the will, does it have the capacity to expose and interrogate the people behind Aziz? When asked, a senior federal level PPP official lost her cool and said: “Do you want the PPP government to be removed? We are doing what we can.”

DG FIA Waseem Ahmed claimed that there was no pressure on him or his organisation. But when asked if he would be knocking on the doors of the intelligence agencies and some current and former military officials allegedly blamed by Aziz and some named in the UN commission’s report, he admitted: “Until and unless there is any concrete evidence against them, we can’t arrest or interrogate them.”

The Express Tribune