Late Benazir's Driver Sheds New Light on PPP Chairpersons Assassination
RAWALPINDI: An anti-terrorism court was told on Wednesday that Naheed Khan, political secretary of PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto, had asked the slain prime minister to wave hands to a charged crowd after a rally at Liaquat Bagh on Dec 27, 2007.
Testifying in the Benazir murder case, Javed Rehman, a driver of Zardari House, claimed that Ms Khan had asked Ms Bhutto’s servant Razzaq Mirani to open the escape hatch of the vehicle and encouraged her to wave hands to PPP workers and supporters.
The driver, who is currently serving at Zardari House in Islamabad, claimed that Ms Khan herself tried to open the escape hatch but failed and then asked Mirani to do that.
He stated before the court that former interior minister Rehman Malik was in one of the four back-up vehicles which had left Liaquat Bagh before the departure of Benazir Bhutto.
During the cross-examination, Javed Rehman said his brother Khizer Hayat was driving the vehicle in which Mr Malik was travelling. He said about 20 minutes after the attack on Ms Bhutto, his brother called him and said Mr Malik was asking why he (Javed Rehman) did not reach the Zardari House. The witness said he told his brother that Ms Bhutto had been injured in the attack and he was near Chandni Chowk.
He said when Ms Bhutto was injured, Naheed Khan asked him to rush to hospital.
Judge Rai Ayub Marth adjourned the proceedings to Sept 14.
Reacting to the witness’s statement, Naheed Khan said she neither advised Ms Bhutto to wave hands nor asked anyone to open the escape hatch.
Ms Khan said she could not understand why such things were being presented before the court after about eight years of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.
“The revelations have been made by a witness who is still a personal servant of Mr Asif Ali Zardari. I will surely respond after examining his statement,” she said.
Expressing doubt over the investigation and prosecution, Ms Khan said it was an exceptional case because the prosecution did not record statements of those who were sitting in the vehicle with Benazir Bhutto.
She said besides her, Makhdoom Amin Fahim and her spouse Safdar Abbasi were also travelling in the vehicle, but investigators never approached them to record their statements.
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