Bhutto murder probe to cost more than $100 million

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Islamabad, Jul 24 (UNI) Pakistani government has assured the United Nations it will provide all the money needed for an investigation into the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

The assurance was conveyed by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi during a meeting with the UN officials on July 10, Dawn newspaper said, quoting ''well-informed'' sources.

The investigation could cost Pakistan in excess of 100 million dollars and take up to 14 months to complete, the newspaper reported.

A probe commission would report to both the government of Pakistan and the UN secretary-general. Pakistan has not asked for involvement of UN Security Council in the investigation.

''There is no need to refer the request to the Security Council,'' Mr Qureshi told reporters here after his meting with the UN officials.

An investigation sought by the UN Security Council would have been funded by the world body. The investigation of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Harriri murder has so far cost 350 million dollars.

Besides, an investigation ordered by the UN Security Council would have been more intense and intrusive.

UNI XC RJ KN2004

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