Third UN team arrives to probe Benazir killing

Islamabad, Sep 28 ( A third UN team has arrived here to probe the December 2007 assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

The six-member team is scheduled to meet former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and other political leaders, as also officials of the interior ministry and the law enforcement agencies.

Pakistan had earlier this year sought a UN probe into Bhuttto’s killing after its own investigations and one by Scotland Yard failed to make headway.

This is largely because the spot where Bhutto was killed was hosed down soon after, destroying the evidence that could have been gathered.

Baitullah Mehsud, the Pakistani Taliban commander killed in a US drone strike last month, is one of those suspected of having a hand in Bhutto’s assassination Dec 27, 2007 in a gun and bomb attack as she left a political rally in the adjacent garrison town of Rawalpindi.

The first UN team had visited Pakistan in April to lay the ground for the probe and had met officials of the interior ministry and law enforcing agencies.

The team also discussed the expenses to be incurred on the probe, which is likely to cost Pakistan Rs.200 million.

The second team that had come here in August had visited the Rawalpindi hospital where Bhutto was rushed after the fatal attack to collect details about her wounds and treatment.

The UN officials interacted with the staff of the Benazir Shaheed Hospital for more than two hours.

Hospital doctor Musaddaq Hussain told the UN team that Bhutto’s autopsy was not conducted on the request of her husband Asif Ali Zardari, who is now the president of Pakistan.

The team also visited the operation theatre, the treatment room and the site where the doctors formally announced her death. The team earlier visited the site where she was attacked.