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Diplomats puzzled by Pak Govt's stance on Benazir's assassination    2007-12-31 09:24:01    

Washington, Dec 31 : Western diplomats have said that they found the Pakistan Government statements on the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto worrying in their wider implications, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Western diplomats have said that they found the Pakistan Government statements on the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto worrying in their wider implications, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"It's not only that this is not a credible account of what happened - that's obvious on the face of it," said a diplomat familiar with security matters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Commenting on the Pakistan Government's changing version of Bhutto's assassination, a Western diplomat said: "It's that it raises questions about why the government is so extraordinarily eager to avoid acknowledging the role of a gunman, whether or not the wounds were fatal. At the very least, it's puzzling."

The Los Angeles Times quoted several analysts as saying that the use of a handgun in addition to explosives is a departure for militant groups in Pakistan.

"This is not by any means a signature killing by al Qaeda," security analyst Nasim Zehra said.

"A targeted shooting, even in combination with a familiar suicide bombing, makes it look more like a political killing than one by some militant group," Zehra added.

"Obviously, they were studying her movements in the course of the political campaign. Inside the rally, it was relatively secure; her problem was entering and leaving. She was highly vulnerable at that time. It was done very professionally. It was a 'hit'," Columnist Ikram Sehgal said.

The Los Angeles Times correspondent said that degree of professionalism suggests to some experts the hand of Pakistan's security apparatus, which has previously aided and abetted militant groups, including the Taliban.

"The agencies have ongoing connections with the militants. It's very simplistic to talk about the militants doing this and doing that, all the while acting alone," said Ayesha Siddiqa, another security analyst. (ANI)
© 2007 ANI

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