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PPP to file an appeal against ATC’s verdict in Benazir Bhutto case

PPP to file an appeal against ATC’s verdict in Benazir Bhutto case
Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto attends an election rally in Rawalpindi December 27, 2007, shortly before she was assassinated in a gun and bomb attack. REUTERS/Mian Khursheed (PAKISTAN)

Lahore [Pakistan]: The Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) senior leadership on Thursday decided to file an appeal against the Anti-Terrorism Court’s (ATC) verdict in the former prime minister Benazir Bhutto murder case.

The decision was made during a party advisory meeting in Bilawal House, chaired by PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, and Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari, Geo TV reports.

As per the decision, the appeal will be filed by Latif Khosa, on behalf of Asif Ali Zardari.

Earlier, Latif Khosa and Aitzaz Ahsan had briefed the party leaders over the Benazir Bhutto murder case.

The meeting was attended by prominent PPP leaders, including Khursheed Shah, Faryal Talpur, Yousaf Raza Gilani, Qamar Zaman Qaira, Farhatullah Babar, and Nayyar Hussain Bukhari among others.

In an earlier verdict, the ATC stated that the assassination of Benazir Bhutto “could have been prevented if the Rawalpindi District Police had taken adequate security measures,” the Dawn reported.

The ATC, in its 46-page long order, concluded, “Bhutto was killed in an attack as a result of firing, followed by a bomb blast caused by an unknown suicide bomber on her way back from addressing a political gathering at Liaquat Bagh.”

The court order also said, it is unbelievable that a 15-year-old boy all alone detonated the explosives near Bhutto’s car, as she left the rally.

“A range of government officials failed profoundly in their efforts first to protect Bhutto and second to investigate with vigour all those responsible for her murder, not only in the execution of the attack, but also in its conception, planning and financing,” it said.

However, the court admitted of not knowing the exact cause of her death as the post-mortem examination was not conducted during the course of the investigation.

Judge Asghar Khan of the ATC has acquitted all the five accused in the Benazir Bhutto murder case and declared former president Pervez Musharraf an absconder.

The court has also sentenced 7 years of imprisonment each for former Rawalpindi CPO Saud Aziz and former Rawal Town SP Khurram Shahzad.

Benazir Bhutto, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chief and two-time prime minister of Pakistan, was assassinated in a suicide attack, during an election campaign rally at the Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007. ( ANI)