By Dr Ghayur Ayub

Man in red circle with dark glasses pointing gun at BB

The UN report on the late Benazir Bhutto’s assassination has opened up a Pandora’s Box once again. Some of the electronic media, in a bid to win the ratings race, have surpassed ethical limits and present the case the way they want it to fit. One of the reasons for this is the changing statements the near and dear ones of the late BB have given. Two people top the list; Asif Ali Zardari and Rehman Malik. Without going into the logic of their interests, I want to focus on three points; first, the cause of death; second, the target in the eyes of the West; and third, the Faith as a common link between the accused.

Regarding the cause of death; after listening to various eye witness accounts and watching TV footage, one thing is clear – she didn’t die of the bomb blast. At the time of the blast she was in the vehicle with six others who all survived. We know that she died from a head injury she sustained. What caused the head injury is the intriguing question. Was it a blunt trauma or a bullet wound? The only credible evidence we have is the x-rays of the skull. Medically speaking, there are three types of skull fractures; linear; depressed; and compound.

  • Linear or hairline is a break in the skull bone resembling a thin line. There is no splintering, depression, or distortion of the bone.
  • Depressed is a break in the bone where a portion of the skull is crushed causing its depression in towards the brain.
  • Compound is a break in or loss of skin and splintering of the bone. Such fracture is always associated with external bleeding and the brain tissue may be seen oozing out.

Looking at the X-ray; type one is eliminated straight away. We find that the upper wing of the fracture has gone into the brain making it a depressed fracture. A depressed fracture is caused by a blunt trauma. Some consider the metal lever of sunroof to be the cause when BB was pushed against it by the blast. But, if one looks closely at the upper part of the depressed wing of the bone, multiple tiny fragments appear on the x-ray indicating it is not a simple depressed fracture. The splintering of the bone suggests that the bone trauma could have other causes also such as a bullet. This leaves us with the strong possibility that the fracture is the third type or better still a combination of the two.

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So either she was hit by a bullet tangentially and/or its waves made her stunned and pushed her hard against the metal lever causing a fracture of the third type. According to the eye witnesses (one of them is the illustrious Dr Babar Awan), they saw BB’s Dopata and hair flying upwards before she fell into the car. This could only be possible if she was either hit by a bullet or/and knocked by the strong waves around flying bullets. As there were no forensic medical personnel in the team and a post mortem was not held, we are left with speculations. Because strong acoustic waves played an important role in pushing BB against the lever; let us focus on the waves and their effects.

A wave is defined as the transfer of energy from one point to another. They are caused by phonons which are quantized sound waves and carry thermal energy. There are two large categories of waves: mechanical and non-mechanical. The former requires a medium for its transfer, such as water waves seen in a tsunami. The latter do not require a medium for transfer of energy and can travel through the vacuum of space. Within these two large categories, there are four principle types of waves. Transverse waves in which the particles vibrate at right angles to the direction of the wave’s velocity as waves along a string. Longitudinal waves in which, the particles vibrate parallel to the direction of the wave’s velocity as in sound waves. Elliptical waves which result when longitudinal and transverse behaviours are super positioned together as surface water waves. Torsional waves which twist about a central axis as waves in bridges. In the present case, we are talking of longitudinal waves known also as acoustic waves.  It is known that acoustic waves can stun people. If BB was not hit by the bullet, it was powerful waves which not only stunned BB but also pushed her against the lever. But this does not explain the shattered pieces seen separately at the top end of the depressed bone. The only reason one could give is that possibly, the bullet brushed her skull taking skin along with it, leaving the bone shattered. Its waves stunned and then pushed her making her head hit the lever causing a depressed fracture.

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Now, regarding the West and its friends within Pakistan; it is said that after seeing the public mood following the second modified martial law of November 2, 2007, BB made a U-turn on her commitments. That worried the power brokers. An interesting commonality can be seen between the press conference of Brig Cheema of interior ministry within 24 hours and a press briefing of CIA chief within 48 hours. Both blamed Baitullah Masood for the attack. They based their findings on an audio tape in which Baitullah Masood was heard congratulating his terrorist friend. Then, a few weeks later, the British Scotland Yard came up with identical findings. And two and a half years down the line, on the insistence of Asif Ali Zardari, the UN team revealed a report speaking in similar language.

If BB was targeted by the terrorists because they hated her stand on certain core issues; or was eliminated by other

Suicide Bomber in white and the Gunman with dark glasses both in red cirle

interest groups because she rebelled against her commitments, then who is the target in the present UN Report? Is it Musharaf? Yes and no. Is it Zardari? Definitely, no. Who else? This report, unambiguously, blames the agencies and, in between the lines, the Pak army. Let us not forget that the West has been after our nuclear assets. They know that they can manipulate or even buy a few corrupt politicians and bureaucrats but they cannot play with the army and its binding force the ISI. Is the report trying to kill two birds with one stone?

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Lastly, coming to the third point; there is a group of people belonging to certain Faith, which would like to see Pakistan denuclearised for their own reasons; some ethical, some emotional, some monitory and some religious. History tells us that bond pertaining to Faith supersedes any other bond exceeding, sometimes, even loyalty to one’s country. We have seen this phenomenon in a few committed American Jews who opted for Israeli interests. Similarly, a few British Muslims worked against their country’s interests. For that matter, some diehard holders of certain Faith in Pakistan have suspicious leanings towards Iran.

The media accused Saud Aziz of being constantly in touch with someone before and after hosing the crime site. People have been pointing fingers at Major General Nadeem Ejaz who was not only the chief of an important military establishment but also a close relative of Musharaf. Besides, he is known for his unscrupulous and brutal practices. But, is it possible that Saud Aziz was not getting instructions from him but from someone else who was equally close to Musharaf and shared something stronger with him. It is said that Tariq Aziz and Saud Aziz both follow the same Faith. Could this bond be relevant?  And isn’t it interesting to note that they share their Faith with Rehman Malik; another dicey character in the attack. What an interesting equation; Tariq Aziz of Musharaf group on one side, Rehman Malik of Zardari group on the other and Saud Aziz, a connecting link, in the middle. No wonder, the backup Mercedes disappeared into thin air, leaving a great leader bleeding to death. Did anyone see the driver of the Mercedes on Nasim Zahra’s talk show? I felt sorry for poor him. He couldn’t help himself giving contradictory statements to save Rehman Malik.

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