'Musharraf did not want Benazir to return to Pak'

Written by: Samyuktha
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Lahore, Apr 24: After a United Nations probe panel accused Pervez Musharraf government of failing to protect Benazir Bhutto, a close aid of the assaniated leader has revealed that Musharraf never wanted Bhutto to return to Pakistan.

According to Bhutto"s close friend and adviser Mark Siegel, just days before Bhutto was expected to land in Pakistan, Musharaff had called her up and warned her against coming to the country.

“It wasn"t a very good conversation. He was very confrontational. He seems to be very hostile. He didn"t want her to return. She made it clear that she was returning and the preparations were underway for her return," Siegel is quoted as saying by The Daily Times.

Siegel also said that Musharaff was ready to do a lot of things for the Bhutto family if Benazir promised to alienate herself from the country"s politics for the next 10 years.

He said that Musharraf had offered to drop all cases against Benazir Bhutto's husband and the present President Asif Ali Zardari, release him from prison, and given a ministry of his choice if Bhutto agreed to leave politics for a decade.

“He (Zardari) said he won"t accept the deal under any conditions and would rather spend the rest of his life in jail," Siegel said.

After the Oct 2007 close shave when a suicide attack almost killed her, Bhutto mailed Musharraf questioning him on who is responsible, the aide said, adding the Bhutto had later asked him to hold Musharraf and others responsible if any similar incidents took place in the future.

"Even though I was stunned at her death, I knew I had to continue doing what she told me to. No matter how devastated I felt, I had to go forward and that"s when I released that e-mail to CNN," Siegel said.

However, he did not disclose any details on the content of the e-mail.

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