UN to contact Musharraf for Bhutto probe

KARACHI: Pakistan said today that the UN commission probing the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto intended to contact ex-president Pervez Musharraf.

The commission, which began its first working visit

to Islamabad in July, is

headed by Chilean ambassador to the United Nations Heraldo Munoz and

includes an Indonesian ex-attorney general and an Irish former police official. “We have got signals that the

commission intends to

contact General Musharraf directly,” foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit

told reporters in the port city of Karachi.

Bhutto, the first woman to become prime minister of a Muslim country, was killed in late December 2007 in a gun and suicide attack after addressing an election rally in Rawalpindi, a garrison city near the capital Islamabad.

Musharraf, who was in power at the time of Bhutto’s death, was replaced last year as Pakistan’s president by Asif Ali Zardari, Bhutto’s widower.

The government called

for a UN inquiry after Bhutto’s party won a general election in February 2008

with her supporters angered by conflicting accounts

of how she died and who was responsible.

Munoz has made it clear that the commission’s mandate was limited to fact-finding and it did not include a criminal investigation.