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May 18, 2018

Benazir murder case: Rehman Malik takes notice of release of five TTP terrorists


May 18, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Former interior minister and PPP leader and Senate Standing Committee on Interior Chairman Senator Rehman Malik has taken a serious notice of the recent release of five terrorists of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) who were declared guilty of murdering Benazir Bhutto, by a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) said the PPP felt that justice had not been provided in this matter.

In his letter, Senator Rehman Malik has demanded of the Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal to immediately place the names of Abdul Rashid, Aitzaz Shah, Rafaqat Hussain, Husnain Gul and Sher Zaman on the Exit Control List (ECL) to avoid their flee the country.

He demanded of the interior minister to make a request to the President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, to deport Ikramullah, the surviving suicide bomber and the writer of the book “Inqilab Mahsood - South Waziristan” Abu Mansoor Asim Mufti Noor Wali who are sheltering in Afghanistan adding that their interrogation will further expose the facts of the conspiracy behind assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

Addressing the press conference today (Thursday) outside the Parliament House, Islamabad, where he made the letter public, said that earlier on January 30 this year, he wrote a letter to the interior minister demanding to take up the matter of deportation of Ikramullah and Abu Mansoor with the Afghanistan government, but, sadly, no action so far has been taken in this regard by the government of Pakistan; therefore, today he sent him a reminder.

Senator Rehman Malik demanded that the names of Aitzaz Shah, Sher Zaman, Hasnain Gul, Muhammad Rafaqat and Rasheed Ahmed Turabi may kindly be placed on the ECL immediately. He expressed grave concern over their release and condemned it strongly.

In his letter to the Interior Minister, Ahsan Iqbal, Senator Rehman Malik has written that the confessions of these recently released accused people were substantiated with independent forensic evidence to prove their criminal act in the court of law, including the DNA of the joggers used by the terrorist/suicide bomber, recovered from the house of one of the accused persons. “Their roles based on their confessional statements and collaborated evidence are summarised as Aitzaz Shah had knowledge of conspiracy besides having identified the voice of Baitullah Mehsud, Sher Zaman was a part of operation; Hasnain Gul was in contact with conspirators in Madrassa Haqqania i.e. Qari Ismail, Ibadur Rehman and Nasrullah.

He received the handler, Nasrullah, and the suicide bomber at Pir Wadhai Bus Stand and lodged them at the house of Rafaqat Hussain (brother-in-law), co-accused. He also conducted recce in November 2007 and kept suicide jacket at his home. He writes that “Muhammad Rafaqat, along with Hasnain Gul, picked the suicide bomber and his handler from the bus stand and kept them at his house overnight. He also took Nasrullah to Liaquat Bagh for recce. Rashid Ahmed Turabi had Knowledge of the conspiracy. He also identified Abdullah, Saddam, Qari Ismail, Nasrullah and suicide bomber Bilal. He had full knowledge about the conspiracy against Benazir Bhutto.”

Senator Rehman Malik writes that the recently published book Inqilab Mehsud authored by Abu Mansoor Asim Mufti Noor Wali, who is a senior leader in the TTP group based in Afghanistan, has also corroborated and confirmed the facts of the investigation carried out by the JIT of FIA. He said that the said book is a self-confession at the highest level involvement of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto’s assassination adding that the above five accused are regular members of the TTP, which is evident from the fact that during the peace dialogues between the Pakistan Government and Taliban in Murree, they were named in the list provided by the TTP to be released and handed over to them. “The TTP would have never demanded their release if they were not TTP’s important members,” maintained Senator Rehman Malik.

In his letter, the relevant portion of the said book “Inqilab Mehsud South Waziristan: From British Raj to American Imperialism” in which author has confessed the involvement of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is reproduced and summarised as under:-

1. Prior to Banazir Bhutto’s return for elections of 2008, Baitullah Mehsud had already planned action against her as she was coming back to carry out plans against “Mujahideen-e-Islam” as per desire of America.

2. In order to frustrate the American plan, two suicide bombers, namely, Mohsin Mehsud and Rehmatullah Mehsud carried out suicide attacks on Benazir Bhutto at Karsaz, Karachi, in October 2007, which resulted in killing of approximately 200 people but Benazir Bhutto escaped the attack.

3. The reason for the unsuccessful attack was the deviation of the instructions by the suicide bombers. The suicide bombers abandoned their place of position, which was near the stage, and carried out their attacks in hurry.

4. Both the suicide bombers were associated with the training camp of Maulvi Azmatullah.

5. Planned attack on Benazir Bhutto at Larkana could not be carried out due to a tip off to police by a so-called Taliban mujahid, Mehraj Kaikhel.

The claims about Liaqatbagh, Rawalpindi, attack in which Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was assassinated is summarised and reproduced as following:

1. Benazir Bhutto was killed in a suicide attack in Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007, carried out by the TTP.

2. Two suicide bombers Bilal aka Saeed and Ikramullah were tasked to carry out the attack on Benazir Bhutto on December 27, 2007.

3. The first suicide bomber Bilal aka Saeed, hailing from Badar, first fired at Benazir Bhutto from his pistol and the bullet hit her neck. Then he detonated his explosive jacket and blew himself up in the middle of the participants of the procession.

4. The second suicide bomber Ikramullah, a resident of Makeen town in South Waziristan, escaped from the blast site and is still alive.

5. According to Maulvi Imran, who was interviewed by the author of the book, he [Maulvi Imran] was assisted by Ahmed, Qari Ismail and Mullah Ehsan in the assassination attempt on Benazir Bhutto.

6. Since Commander Nasrullah aka Ahmed, resident of Said Ghai Barmal Rabot, had come under the spotlight of the secret agencies after his participation in the assassination attack on Benazir Bhutto as such he shifted to Mohmand Agency from Peshawar. In 2008, when he, along with one of associates Ismail [Qari Ismail] and a teenage suicide bomber Naqeebullah Mehsud, was on his mission of suicide attack in Mohmand Agency, they were checked by the army at Nakai check post at Mohmand resulting a fight took place between them and the army consequent to which all the three suicide bombers were killed.

7. Although Benazir Bhutto had escaped assassination attempt at Karachi yet the government did not provide her adequate security due to which the suicide bombers ‘Fadayeen’ managed to reach to her close proximity. After blast at Rawalpindi, the whole evidence was destroyed to frustrate the investigation.

Senator Rehman Malik writes: “The FIA investigation had earlier identified Ikramullah as second suicide bomber who had fled from the scene after the attack by Bilal aka Saeed. In the investigation, he was declared proclaimed offender by the trial court. He maintained that it may be mentioned here that one of the arrested accused people, namely, Rashid Turabi in his confessional statement had stated that his former class fellow from Madrassa Haqqania, Qari Ismail aka Nadir Khan, along with Nasrullah aka Ahmed and Abdullah @ Saddam had stayed overnight at his hostel room at Madrassa Munbah-ul-Aloom, Miran Shah, on his way to Baitullah Mehsud.

After two days all of them came back to his hostel room along with one young boy, who was introduced as Saeed @ Bilal by Abdullah @ Saddam, who was tasked to carry out suicide attack on Benazir Bhutto. Qari Ismail aka Nadir Khan was, consequently, declared proclaimed offender by the trial court. After 15 days, he (accused Rashid Turabi) met Nadir Khan @ Qari Ismail, Nasrullah @ Ahmed and Abdullah @ Saddam at Madrassa Haqqania where Abdullah @ Saddam had confirmed that Saeed @ Bilal had carried out suicide attack at Benazir Bhutto at Rawalpindi with the help of Ali Punjab aka Hasnain Gul.

According to the conclusion of the investigation of FIA, Nasrullah @ Ahmed was the handler of the suicide bombers who, along with the suicide bombers, had stayed overnight (intervening night of 26/27 December 2007) at the house of Rafaqat Hussain, another arrested accused. According to the geo-fencing and forensic evidence, he, along with the suicide bombers, was present at Liaquat Bagh, Rawalpindi, at the time and date of assassination attempt on Benazir Bhutto. Nasrullah was also declared proclaimed offender by the trial court. The investigation had further established that both accused Hasnain Gul @ Ali Punjabi and Rafaat Hussain had received Nasrullah and suicide bombers at the instruction of their active accomplice namely Ibad-ur-Rehman. Ibad-ur-Rehman was also declared proclaimed offender by the trial court. He was reportedly killed by a solo drown attack in Khyber Agency, when FIA launched hunting exercise.

He writes that the trial court took nine years eight months and three days and despite irrefutable evidence, it released the five main accused and hardcore terrorists of Tehreek-i-Taliban, Pakistan, (TTP) of namely Hasnain Gul, Rafaqat Hussain, Abdul Rashid Turabi, Sher Zaman and Aitzaz Shah. While the Taliban leadership has owned the responsibility of murdering Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto in the recently published book “Inqilab Mehsud South Waziristan: From British Raj to American Imperialism”. The second suicide bomber Ikramullah is still alive and residing in the Paktia province of Afghanistan, he said.

At the end of his letter Senator A Rehman Malik has requested that the names of Abdul Rashid, Aitzaz Shah, Rafaqat Hussain, Husnain Gul and Sher Zaman may kindly be placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) to avoid their flee from the country.

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