'Worried' Zardari looking at 'scapegoats' to stay 'safe' in BB murder probe?

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Islamabad, May 5 (ANI): Confusion prevails over whether the fact finding committee formed by the Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to probe former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's assassination has submitted its report or not.

While Cabinet Secretary Rauf Chaudhry, who is heading the three-men committee, said the report has been submitted to Gilani, a statement issued by the Presidency said the committee is likely to question some more important personalities before finally submitting its report.

Earlier, some quarters of the media said the fact-finding committee has given a clean chit to former Military Intelligence (MI) chief Major General Nadeem Ijaz over hosing down the incident site where Bhutto was assassinated.

Observers said that the reported acquittal of Ijaz and other subordinates has irked Zardari and other senior Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leaders, and they are deliberately trying to delay the probe report.

The committee has been given an extension to submit its report, which many believe is a move to find scapegoats in the case.

Insiders said Zardari was critical about the findings of the committee, which eventually led to a change in its mandate. It has now been directed to complete its findings in the light of UN Commission's report.

According to some political analysts, one of the primary reasons of Zardari's annoyance over the findings of the committee was that all fingers would be pointed towards himself if lower rank officials continue to get clean chits in Bhutto's murder case.

"Now when most of the suspects mentioned in the UN report have been interrogated by the fact finding committee and most of them had been cleared, the blame of assassination of Benazir Bhutto at the end of the day would directly come on the President," The Nation quoted an observer, as saying.

" Naturally, he should be the most worried person if the committee fails in finding some scapegoats," he said.

It is pertinent to mention here that fact finding committee did not fix criminal responsibility on any of the senior police officials, including former city police officer (CPO) of Rawalpindi, Saud Aziz, who was held directly responsible for washing off the crime scene by the UN commission's report.

The committee's report contradicted the UN commission's findings, saying that on the basis of given statements and evidences, the committee has reached the conclusion that the police washed the crime scene outside Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi without any pressure or any order from higher authorities. (ANI)

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