Pakistan to ask UN to probe Bhutto murder

Islamabad, May 22:

Pakistan’s new government will “very soon” submit a formal request to the United Nations for a probe into the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the foreign minister said today.

Former premier Bhutto was slain in a suicide and gun attack at an election rally in the garrison

city of Rawalpindi on December 27, triggering days of deadly riots across the country.

President Pervez Musharraf blamed an Al Qaeda-linked militant for the attack and refused to seek a UN probe. A coalition led by Bhutto’s party trounced Musharraf’s allies in general elections in February.

“The letter of request is ready and it has been decided that the law minister and I will carry the letter with us and deliver it to the UN Secretary General,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood

Qureshi told a news conference.

Qureshi, a member of Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party, said they were waiting for an official appointment with UN chief Ban Ki-moon, saying they expected to deliver the request “very soon.” Bhutto’s supporters have cast doubt on the Pakistani probe into her death, questioning whether she was killed by a gunshot or the blast and criticising authorities for hosing down the scene of the attack within minutes.