By Brig Samson Sharaf

Benazir, in her last public rally

The assassin displayed remarkable cool. At least once, he chose to delay his fire and then moved in very close to an advantageous position with the bomber following him. The man who grappled and brought him down deserves a citation.

Benazir Bhutto, the Daughter of the East is dead, buried and treacherously abandoned by her party leadership. Some prime witnesses including the assassin himself, the suicide bomber, Khalid Shanshah, Bait Ullah Mehsud and God knows who else are silenced forever.

Someone needs to explain why that hyperactive Benazir, the Princess of the day, infused with vigour like an elixir had to die. The Bhutto legacy will endure treacherous times. Qouting Hussain Pawar, ‘The pyre will burn’.

At a time when the country is struggling to fight its civil war in the backdrop of a sinking economy and growing parochialism, the Bhutto Legacy provides the cohesion needed to offset threats. It is the duty of every Pakistani to keep this pyre burning till such time the planners of Benazir’s murder are not identified and punished.

In the same stride, the nation must also know who murdered national leaders like the death of Jinnah and his sister, Liaqat Ali, Bhutto, Zia Ul Haq and Murtaza Bhutto.

Much before the UN Investigation, every Pakistani was convinced that all investigations into the tragedy are deliberately misleading. Scotland Yard appears as much an accomplice in the cover up as the Handle Theory. It appears that even the most incriminating video released by Channel Four through CNN and Dawn was deliberately blurred and edited to create confusion.  This fact alone warrants expanding the ambit of inquiry to handlers outside Pakistan.

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There is no doubt that Benazir was abandoned and left vulnerable by the state security apparatus by her very own stalwarts.

Her chief of security merits inquest solely on the basis of his changing statements in the hours following her murder. As it turns out, he and Babar Awan were the ‘get away men’ who fled the scene in Benazir’s reserve vehicle. The most loyal Khalid Shahanshah who had probably lost that element during his visits abroad was the first to jump into Benazir’s vehicle and also to jump out and bolt to Zardari house, only to be gunned down in Karachi.

After Benazir’s rally security was stand down. There were no senior police officers befitting the presence of a two time Prime Minister and VVIP. The much touted Elite Force instructed to make a box bolted well before the murder. Stays behind parties were either blocking the turning to the left or mere spectators; some at their own peril rubbing shoulders with the suicide bomber and the shooter. There was no chivalry in their death.

The news broadcast by channels within the first two hours of the incident need to be replayed. There were eye witness accounts by doctors of RGH that Benazir had received one to two fatal gun shot injuries. Suddenly everything changed and the doctors were made helpless by police and district administration. Even Shirin Rehman sings no more.

Cell phone communication through towers close to RGH will also reveal conversations of doctors and para medics eagerly disclosing to friends and families the extent and type of Benazir’s injuries. By morning everyone including cell phones was quite and shift doctors quarantined.

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Observations such as these and the sequence of photographs in this article shall answer many questions to keep the pyre burning. At the same time they will raise many more.

Brigadier Samson Simon Sharaf is a retired officer of Pakistan Army and a Political Economist. He is a regular contributor to Opinion Maker.