Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani had expressed doubts about a claim by the regime of former president Pervez Musharraf that Benazir Bhutto was assassinated by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a UN investigator has said.
Kayani indicated he had wondered whether slain TTP chief Baitullah Mehsud had organised the assassination, as was claimed by an Interior Ministry spokesman at a news conference a day after Benazir’s death on December 27, 2007.
Musharraf’s government based its claim on an intercept of a conversation between Mehsud and another man that was provided by the Inter-Services Intelligence agency.
Kayani said the press conference had been “premature”, adding, “It should not have been done.”
“One cannot conclude culpability solely on a phone intercept,” Kayani has been quoted as saying by Chilean diplomat Heraldo Munoz, who headed a UN panel that investigated Benazir’s assassination.
Kayani also considered the performance of the Rawalpindi police after the assassination to have been “amateur”, the diplomat writes in his new book “Getting Away With Murder”, excerpts from which were released on Monday.
The army chief was referring to the hosing down of the crime scene within hours of Benazir being killed by a suicide bomber.
“If in 24 hours you don’t completely secure the scene, then you lose the threads to solve a case,” Kayani told Munoz during a meeting in Rawalpindi on February 25, 2010.