An Islamic militant group said Saturday it had no link to Benazir Bhutto’s killing and the opposition leader’s aides accused the government of a cover-up, disputing the official account of her death.
The government stood firmly by its account of Thursday’s assassination and insisted it needed no foreign help in any investigation.
“This is not an ordinary criminal matter in which we require assistance of the international community. I think we are capable of handling it,” said Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema.
Bhutto’s aides said they doubted militant commander Baitullah Mehsud was behind the attack on the opposition leader and said the government’s claim that she died when she hit her head on the sunroof of her vehicle was ”dangerous nonsense.”
Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party accused the government of trying to frame Mehsud, saying the militant — through emissaries — had previously told Bhutto he was not involved in the Karachi bombing.
“The story that al-Qaida or Baitullah Mehsud did it appears to us to be a planted story, an incorrect story, because they want to divert the attention,” said Farhatullah Babar, a spokesman for Bhutto’s party.
After the Karachi attack, Bhutto accused elements in the ruling pro-Musharraf party of plotting to kill her. The government denied the claims. Babar said Bhutto’s allegations were never investigated. [complete article]