UN commission probing Benazir's assassination delays report on Zardari's behest

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Islamabad, Mar.31 (ANI): The United Nations (UN) has delayed publishing the report of its commission, which was set up to probe former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's assassination, on President Asif Ali Zardari's request.

The report, which was scheduled to be published on Tuesday (March 30), is now likely to be made public on April 15.

Confirming the delay, a statement issued by the UN said Zardari had sent an urgent request to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to delay the publication of the report, which was accepted.

"The Secretary-General has accepted an urgent request by the President of Pakistan to delay the presentation of the report of the Commission of Inquiry into the facts and circumstances of the assassination of the former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto until 15 April 2010. The Commission has informed the Secretary-General that, as of today, all relevant facts and circumstances have been explored, and the report is now complete and ready to be delivered," the statement said.

When asked about the issue, Presidential spokesperson Farhatullah Babar said the report from two countries who had warned Benazir about security threats upon her return to Pakistan is still pending, and this was the prime reason why the UN was requested to postpone the publication of the inquiry report.

"There were three countries that had cautioned Mohtarma soon after her return to Pakistan. The inquiry report of one of these countries is completed but those of the other two are pending. We believe that the UN Commission's report would be incomplete without incorporating the viewpoints of all of these three states," Babar said and declined to comment further.

Top UN officials have expressed surprise over the sudden move by Zardari.

"This is extremely strange, its highly politically motivated," The Nation quoted a top UN official in New York, as saying.

Earlier, the UN had announced closure of its offices across Pakistan for three days from Wednesday to Friday, as the UN Commission probing Benazir Bhutto's assassination was to submitts report to the United Nations Secretary General. (ANI)

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