Rehman asks Iqbal to place Benazir murder case suspects on ECL


Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) senior leader Rehman Malik on Thursday wrote a letter to Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and requested him to place the five acquitted in the Benazir Bhutto murder case on the Exit Control List (ECL).

Malik stated that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) formed to probe the murder of Bhutto had flagged all five terrorists as guilty in the case. Aitezaz Shah, Sher Zaman, Hasnain Gul, Muhammad Rafaqat, and Rashid Hamid Turabi have all been charged in connection with the case.

On January 12, 2012, Magistrate Chaudhry Taufiq Ahmed, appearing as a prosecution witness, said that the accused in custody – Aitzaz Sherazi, Hasnain Gul and Rafaqat Hussain – in their recorded statements on February 2008 had confessed to helping the suicide bomber and being aware of the conspiracy.

The JIT formed to probe the assassination revealed the attack on Bhutto had been planned in Akora Khattak by former students of Madrassa Darul Uloom Haqqania and one of the prime suspects in the case had revealed to investigators that she had been targeted due to her stance over the Lal Masjid operation.

An Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) official confirmed in the report that he had recorded a telephonic conversation in which Baitullah Mehsud had issued instructions to some of the arrested terrorists to assassinate Bhutto. However, ISI had refused to appear before the court, saying that the CD regarding the telephonic conversation had been prepared by the Intelligence Bureau (IB).

According to phone records, Saeed alias Bilal, Akramullah and Qari Ismael reached Rawalpindi on December 26, 2007, at about 9 pm.

They were picked up by accused Rafaqat and Hassnain and taken to Rafaqat’s house in Quaid-e-Azam Colony.

The next day, the terrorists visited Liaquat Bagh and the planned route of Bhutto’s convoy. They then went to Hassnain’s house in Shah Jayyona Colony and obtained suicide jackets and weapons, JIT report further revealed.