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Secretary-general seeks UN inquiry into Bhutto killing

Latest update : 2008-12-27

Marking the first anniversary of the assassination of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement that he hopes a UN inquiry can help with the search for "truth and justice."

 

Reuters - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hopes a U.N. inquiry into the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto can be set up in the near future, the United Nations said on Friday.

 

A statement issued through Ban's spokesperson to mark the first aniversary of Bhutto's killing said he was committed to helping Pakistan's search for "truth and justice" in the case.

 

Bhutto was killed in a gun and bomb attack in the city of Rawalpindi as she emerged from an election rally. Her Pakistan People's Party won an election in February and now heads a coalition government, while her widower, Asif Ali Zardari, has become president.

 

In response to the government's request for a commission of inquiry into the assassination, the U.N. secretariat has been consulting with Islamabad and the Security Council on its nature, scope and other details, the U.N. statement said.

 

"The Secretary-General is hopeful that, with the progression of the discussions, the commission could be established in the near future," it added.

 

Pakistan has said it wants the inquiry to identify "the culprits, perpetrators, organizers and financiers behind the assassination ... with a view to bringing them to justice."

 

Earlier investigations by Pakistan's previous government, British police and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency accused an al Qaeda-linked militant of killing Bhutto, a staunch supporter of the U.S.-led campaign against Islamist militancy.

 

Some of Bhutto's aides have expressed dissatisfaction over those investigations.

 

Pakistan wants the proposed inquiry to be modeled on a U.N. probe of the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri. Although a court has been appointed to try indictees in that case, no suspects have been named.

 

Date created : 2008-12-27

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