Hey did they forget something? Yes, the Karsaz blasts


Sensing covert “mischief” on part of then Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q)-led provincial government, the Sindh government on Tuesday constituted a committee to probe into the twin suicide blasts at Karsaz on October 18, 2007, which resulted in the death of over 170 Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) supporters who had gathered to welcome their slain leader Benazir Bhutto.
Formed by the chief minister, the special committee would carry out a detailed investigation into the Karsaz tragedy. “The committee will submit its report with four weeks,” Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters at the Sindh Chief Minister’s House.
Earlier, while briefing the Sindh Assembly on the headways in Benazir’s murder case, Malik had called on the Sindh chief minister to form an investigation team to probe the Karsaz tragedy and the federation is ready to provide every possible help.
Recalling the incidents of the tragic day, the interior minister said he had received a phone call from the provincial authorities, saying no vehicular movement would be allowed to Benazir on her departure from the Karachi airport. “I then contacted the Muttahida Qaumi Movement leadership which assured me of full support and gave the go-ahead.”
Malik also claimed to have seen an unidentified “bearded man” filming Benazir’s rally. “I asked the security to apprehend the man who was filming the rally from a tree but he fled,” he said.
He also recalled that at one point of the rally a child was being handed over to the “kind-hearted” PPP chief, “but on security grounds I asked the people to keep away the kid, who later exploded himself.”
“A policeman sitting in a mobile was asked to hold the child until the terrorist brings his motorcycle,” Malik said. “The second blast took place after the child had exploded in the police van.”
Recalling that when Benazir had expressed concern on streetlights going off, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah said the PPP leader sent in the rear portion of the special truck.
“After the twin blasts, the party was preoccupied with looking for the dead and injured and it was the next day’s afternoon, when Benazir asked them to lodge an FIR of the incident at Bahadurabad police station,” he added.
“Within two hours [of the blasts], the crime scene was hosed down which was an unprecedented swift action,” the leader of the House said. “The way our FIR was lodged indicated some mischief.”
“The Bahdurabad police had already lodged the FIR without consulting him [Shah] or PPP members who were on that truck when the blasts occurred,” an official statement from Chief Minister’s House stated.
Terming investigations carried out by the then government “tainted”, the chief minister said that despite assurances no security was provided to the PPP chief.
Shah’s remarks were in response to PPP lawmaker Humera Alwani’s earlier statement drawing the investigators towards the statement of then Sindh chief minister Dr Ghulam Arbab Rahim, who had said “the cheers of the PPP workers would turn into cries in the evening”.
When Pakistan Muslim League-Functional lawmaker Nusrat Seher Abbasi questioned the reliability of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probe sans post-mortem of the deceased, the interior minister pointed finger at the “police” and “administration”.
More legislators, Rafique Engineer, Sassui Palijo, Mujadid Isran and Jam Saifullah Dharejo, also raised various questions pertaining to Benazir’s murder and results of the JIT findings therein.