Benazir was a charismatic leader but she never looked as much of a charismatic leader as she looks after her death. While Musharraf regime is in deep trouble and the legitimacy of his regime, ever so doubtful, is now even more so. It appears that there is some kind of cover up going. The official version of the event has it that Benazir died of a wound to her right temple while ducking. Ducking? And there were no bullet wounds? Was her reflexes so quick that she ducked fast enough to escape a bullet. She, to the best of my knowledge, had no training in marital arts. Besides, I doubt that even a person trained in martial arts could have ducked fast enough to dodge the attack from such close quarters, given the space that one has to move while standing through a vehicle’s sunroof with one’s torso out of the vehicle. Could she has bled as profusely as she did after being hurt by a blunt object on the temple, irrespective of how severe the injury. The splash of blood reported could only have been caused by a bullet wound.
Another thing that suggests foul-play is the alacrity with which the authorities got the place of the incident washed and cleaned and claimed that all the relevant evidence had already been gathered. A bomb blast scene has evidence scattered all over and it is difficult to claim that all evidence has been gathered unless there is a thorough search conducted by the experts. And since the washing of the spot was done too soon, it is unlikely that the experts actually got a chance to gather relevant evidence.
Al-Qaeda has denied any role in the assassination of Benazir. The official claim that blamed the terrorist outfit for the attack was never above doubt because of the modus operandi employed in the killing. Moreover, Al-Qaeda has so far made announcements through a certain Arabic television channel and through a BBC correspondent. But in this case it was a little known Italian news agency that was contacted. Al-Qaeda has denied any role. So, it seems there is something that the rulers in Pakistan are trying their best to hide. What is it?
Another thing that raises suspicion is that Benazir was assassinated in Rawalpindi, and the force that is predominant in that region is the army of Pakistan itself. It is unlikely that an assassination attempt was made without the intelligence agencies having a clue about it. Benazir’s security, of course, was too floppy considering that Benazir’s maiden rally after her return to Pakistan was attacked by a suicide bomber.
Let’s have a careful re-look at the picture. Musharraf is backed by the US and Benazir was the US candidate to effect Pakistan’s transition from a dictatorship to a democracy. The emergency he imposed was justified on the grounds that there were militant forces all set to destabilize Pakistan. The assassination of Benazir reinforces the belief that Musharraf was indeed right. Since he is at the helm and is responsible in part for what has happened, he cannot be suspect number one. Elimination of Benazir can push the situation out of hand warranting another imposition of martial law.
Mushrarraf has always told the US that he is Pakistan’s defence against an Islamic-militant takeover. The assassination can only prove that Pakistan is not yet prepared for democracy and some cleaning up is necessarily required, which, of course, can only be carried out by the iron hand and steely will that Musharraf, and only Musharraf possesses. So, the question is whether Musharraf has got something to do with what happened. And the question, in all likelihood, will never be answered, or when the answer doesn’t really matter.