UN Report: Pakistani Government “Failed Profoundly” To Prevent Bhutto’s Killing
According to a United Nations report released on Thursday, the Pakistani government could have prevented the 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto. The UN report also accused Pakistani officials of failing to properly investigate Bhutto’s murder.
The United Nations appointed independent panel concluded that security measures on the day that a suicide bomber blew-up Bhutto’s vehicle in the city of Rawalpindi were “fatally insufficient and ineffective”. The commission spent a year conducting more than 250 interviews with people who were witnesses of the attack and were involved in the follow up investigation. The report release was delayed for two weeks at the request of the Pakistani government.
The UN report found that, despite an attempt on Bhutto’s life three days before the murder, the Pakistani government failed to provide Bhutto with an adequate security detail. The report called this negligence “inexcusable”.
Aside from their failings before the assassination, the Pakistani police “handled the subsequent investigation into Bhutto’s death disastrously,” the report found. Within minutes from the blast, the crime scene was hose down, which destroyed any potential evidence. The UN report called this particular fact: “beyond mere incompetence and could even be judged criminal”.
The commission concluded that the investigation was compromised from the start, when the government concluded prematurely, and without any evidence, that local Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud and Al-Qaeda were to blame for the attack.
Pakistani intelligence agency ISI and government officials deliberately hampered police’s investigation by discouraging investigators from pursuing other lines of inquiries, including the possibility that members of the Pakistani establishment, either factions within the ISI or within the military, were involved in the assassination.
The UN commission urges Pakistani authorities to ensure that further investigations into Bhutto’s murder are “fully empowered and resourced and are conducted expeditiously and comprehensively, at all levels, without hindrance”.
To read the complete UN report click here.