Benazir ignored warnings: Musharraf

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Islamabad, Jan 4: Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on Thursday indirectly said that slain former premier Benazir Bhutto was herself to be blamed for her assassination as she had ignored intelligence warnings, which were conveyed to her three weeks in advance.

"Who is to be blamed for her coming out her vehicle?" Musharraf asked in his reply to a question at a press conference here, referring to the slain leader's decision to come out of her vehicle through the SUV's sunroof when a gun and a suicide attacker killed her. Musharraf, who spoke to reporters for the first time after the December 27 Benazir's assassination, said," We stopped her from going (to the Liaquat Bagh area in Rawalpindi). This time, she again decided to go and she went, on her own. She went, ignoring the threat."

Stating that his life is also under the threat from Islamic militants, Musharraf refuted allegations of any kind of involvement of the country's intelligence agencies and the military in the assassination.

"No Intelligence agency in Pakistan is capable of inducting a man for a suicide attack," he said, adding, "In the last three months, there have been 19 suicide bombings, most of them against the military and the intelligence (agencies). If the same military and intelligence use the same people, it's a joke!"

Though Musharraf did not directly blame militant leader Baitullah Mehsud for Benazir's death, he accused him and another fundamentalist Maulana Fazlullah for carrying out past suicide attacks in the country that killed 400 people and injured 900 others. We know these two people are responsible," he added.

On the question that who wanted to see Benazir dead, Musharraf said, "Anyone who wants to assassinate must weight the pros and cons. Who is the maximum gainer from doing this? Would the government be the maximum gainer or somebody else who will gain more?"

Justifying his decision to invite assistance from the coveted British investigators, Scotland Yard into the assassination probe, Musharraf said, "We don't mind going to any extent, as nobody is involved from the government or agency side."

ANI

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