Bhutto email named killers weeks before assassination

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London, Dec 30 (UNI) Weeks before her assassination, former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto claimed in a secret email to British Foreign Secretary David Miliband that three senior allies of President Pervez Musharraf were out to kill her.

The Daily Mail reported that one of them is a leading Pakistani intelligence officer who was officially responsible for protecting Bhutto. The second is a prominent Pakistani figure, one of whose family members was allegedly murdered by a militant group run by Bhutto's brother Murtaza. The third is a well-known Chief Minister in Pakistan and a long-standing opponent of Bhutto.

The newspaper, however, decided not to publish the names of the three persons mentioned in the email.

The slain leader had told Mr Miliband she was convinced that the three were determined to assassinate her on her return to the country and pleaded with him to put pressure on the Pakistan government to stop them.

Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Pakistan's former High Commissioner to Britain and a British-based adviser to Bhutto, said, ''She sent an email to the Foreign Office before she returned to Pakistan, naming certain people. In the email, she said, 'The following persons are planning to murder me and if any harm comes to me they should be held responsible.''' Bhutto wrote the email to Mr Miliband in September, shortly after she met him to discuss her return to Pakistan.

A senior source said, ''She knew the risk she was taking when she decided to go back but also took the precaution of informing the British Government of the names of those she thought presented the biggest danger to her.

''She hoped Mr Miliband would use his influence with Mr Musharraf to remove certain people from positions where they were able to plot against her. She gave the same names to Mr Musharraf but she knew there was only a limited possibility of any action being taken,'' the source said.

UNI

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