Pressured to blame Musharraf for Benazir Bhutto’s assassination: Pak ex-cop

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Rao Anwar, a former high-profile but notorious police officer in Karachi, has claimed in a rare interview that he did not sign the report of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) constituted to probe the murder of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on purpose, Geo News reported.

Anwar said he did not ink the document because he was being pressured to implicate former Pakistan President and retired General Pervez Musharraf, by the then Interior Minister Rehman Malik. The minister, added the ex-cop, wanted Musharraf named without recording the former President’s statement or interrogating him.

“I did not sign [the JIT report] as Malik pressured me to accuse Musharraf,” Anwar told Geo.tv over phone, adding, “I asked for evidence but he did not have any.”

The ex-cop said he is also ready to make the statement under oath, Geo News reported.

These days, Anwar is out on bail in cases where he is accused of being involved in the murder of 400 people in fake police encounters, including Naqeeb Mehsud, a young and aspiring model.

Bhutto was murdered on December 27, 2007 in a suicide bombing in Rawalpindi. The main suspect in the case was Ikram Mehsud, who was said to be in-charge of the operation, and had been named in the court as the second suicide bomber. Baitullah Mehsud was named as the mastermind of the attack.

Anwar said that another terrorist group, led by Tayyub Mehsud, was involved in the October 18, 2007 attack on Bhutto’s motorcade in Karachi, which left 180 people dead, Geo News reported.

“They [Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party] could have arrested both Ikram and Tayyub and solved both cases,” Anwar said. But the PPP government of 2008 did not show much seriousness in the cases, he added.

“They [the cases] were politicised more than dealt with on merit,” he said.

The former cop also raised doubts over Malik’s role and believed that the former Interior Minister should have been probed in the case as the head of Benazir Bhutto’s security. Yet, he never was.

Anwar is considered a close confidant of former President Asif Ali Zardari, Geo News reported.

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