It took two years and four months for the Pakistan People’s Party to hold General (retd) Pervez Musharraf responsible for the assassination of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and recommended Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani to take legal action against the former dictator as well all those government officials mentioned adversely in the UN report.

The decision was taken in a meeting of the core group of PPP held on Saturday night at the Presidency to discuss the report of the UN Inquiry Commission on the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and was presided over by co-chairman PPP and President Asif Ali Zardari. Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani was also present.

Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said the meeting considered the UN Inquiry Commission report and accepted its findings and observations. Babar said that the meeting reiterated that the report endorsed the party position that General (retd) Pervez Musharraf was responsible for the assassination of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto.

“The party reiterated its resolve to expose and bring to justice all those including Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf who planned, abetted and indulged in the criminal act, screened off the offenders and destroyed the evidence,” he said.

The meeting recalled that Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto also believed that former dictator General (retd) Pervez Musharraf wanted to eliminate her. Benazir Bhutto had mentioned it in her letter and in numerous press and public statements.

Farhatullah Babar said that party recommended to the prime minister to take appropriate legal actions in the light of the report of the UN Inquiry Commission, which, inter alia, called upon the competent authorities in Pakistan to make a determination of the criminal responsibility for planning and carrying out the assassination.

He said the core group of the PPP further recommended to Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani to take appropriate legal action against those government officials mentioned in the UN report.

According to sources, the PPP core group also recommended to the federal government to put the names of all those officials who were accused of security negligence on Exit Control List (ECL) and brought all accused back into the country who were outside Pakistan.

Sources said it was recommended to the federal government to make all those officials mentioned in the report immediately as Officer on Special Duty (OSD) and to monitor their activities.

The meeting recalled that the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the party meeting held in Naudero soon after the assassination of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto had called for setting up of a UN Inquiry Commission in the assassination of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto.
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Subsequently, parliament also adopted a unanimous resolution calling upon the government to approach the United Nations to set up an inquiry commission, it recalled.

The meeting also thanked the UN Inquiry Commission for its efforts, he said.

The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, Rehman A Malik, Nazar Muhammad Gondal, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Syed Khursheed Shah, Raja Parvaiz Ashraf, Naveed Qamar, Dr Babar Awan, Raza Rabbani, Senator Nayyar Hussain Bokhari, Jahangir Badar, Senator Faisal Raza Abidi, Ms Rukhsana Bangash, Ms Fouzia Wahab, Ms Fouzia Habib and spokesman for the president Farhatullah Babar.

Meanwhile, speaking on the occasion, President Asif Ali Zardari said that the UN inquiry report had vindicated the PPP’s apprehensions and that the assassins of BB would not be spared. The death of Benazir Bhutto not only deprived the nation but also the entire world of an international leader. He reiterated that murderers of BB would be unmasked at all costs.

The president vowed to take the reconciliation process forward with all the political parties for sustainable democracy and stability in the country. He said the PPP believed in democracy, reminding it had rendered unprecedented sacrifices for the cause.

According to sources, senior PPP leaders during the core committee meeting were of the view that the UN commission’s report on BB’s murder be implemented forthwith. They said the report pointed fingers at certain persons and action must be ensured against them, even if they belonged to the government.

During the meeting, PPP leaders said though the UN report contained nothing new, delay in the implementation of the report would create further doubts in the minds of the people and this situation would be detrimental to the political future of the party. They further stated that not only the former regime but also personal security of Benazir Bhutto were responsible for her security, as both did not fulfill their responsibility.

The party leaders said that Pakistani agencies should immediately complete investigation into the murder of Benazir Bhutto and the findings be made public.