He was eventually put under house arrest in Chishtian, only to be released recently. Interestingly, his release orders coincide with the third death anniversary of Benazir who had named the Qari in her posthumous book, Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and the West, as a principal suspect in the attempt to kill her in Karachi, a few hours after her homecoming.
In her book, which was published in February 2008, Bhutto had narrated in detail the suicide attacks targeting her welcome procession as well as the involvement of Qari Saifullah Akhtar in the assassination bid.
She wrote: “I was informed of a meeting that had taken place in Lahore where the bomb blasts were planned… Three men belonging to a rival political faction were hired for half a million dollars…. However, a bomb maker was needed for the bombs. Enter Qari Saifullah Akhtar, a wanted terrorist who had tried to overthrow my second government. He had been extradited by the United Arab Emirates and was languishing in the Karachi central jail…. The officials in Lahore had turned to Akhtar for help. His liaison with elements in the government was a radical who was asked to make the bombs and he himself asked for a fatwa making it legitimate to oblige. He got one. The bomb blasts took place in the army cantonment area in Karachi.”
Subsequently, on February 26, 2008, the Qari was arrested by the Musharraf regime for the purpose of interrogation in the Bhutto murder, although there were many in establishment circles who believed that Qari Saifullah had actually been taken into protective custody by his spy masters.
ISLAMABAD: A key witness of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination probe, Dr musadiq left for USA without the Government permission, sources told DawnNews on Monday.
Dr Musadiq was the principal of Rawalpindi Medical College, who examined the wound of Benazir Bhutto when brought to the general hospital on Decemeber 27, 2007.
Islamabad, Dec 24 (ANI): The investigation into former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination is likely to be widened to unveil some faces who have so far been out of the picture, after two former police officers who were arrested for their alleged involvement in the murder case, told investigators that some intelligence officials were in contact with them on December 27, 2007.
Special Public Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali told reporters that the arrested duo- former Rawalpindi city police chief Saud Aziz and SP Khurram Shahzad- had informed the investigators that four officers of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) had been in contact with them.
Their names could not be disclosed as of now, as it was yet to be ascertained in what context they were in contact with the accused, he added.
However, if concrete evidence was found against the intelligence officers, they would be included in the investigation, the paper said.
Meanwhile, the Federal Investigation Agency obtained six days’ physical custody of the arrested officers to recover the cellphones they were using on the day Bhutto was murdered in a gun-and-bomb attack outside Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh.
The FIA investigators said in the court that forensic tests of the cellphones were needed to ascertain who had been in contact with the two police officers on the day of Bhutto’s assassination.
Advocate Zulfiqar said that the phone data would help the investigators to know if other elements were also involved in the murder.
He said that the police officers had given divergent statements about the cell phones and the numbers used by them three years ago, initially saying that they had lost their phones and later claiming that their mobiles had broken up. (ANI)
The former police officials, who were arrested for alleged negligence of duty over the 2007 assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto, were produced before the court on Wednesday.
The FIA had requested the ATC to extend the physical remand of Aziz and Shahzad for nine more days. The court, however, turned down the request and sent the two accused to Adiyala prison on a 14-day-long judicial remand.
The court then adjourned the hearing till January 12 and ordered the FIA to present the accused in court on the said date.
Speaking to media representatives after the hearing, Aziz’s lawyer said the allegations levelled against his client were unfounded.