Pakistan Taliban book claims group was behind Benazir Bhutto’s assassination

‘Inqilab Mehsood South Waziristan: From British Raj to American Imperialism,’ by Abu Mansoor Asim Mufti Noor Wali, a senior Taliban leader.
Updated 15 January 2018
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Pakistan Taliban book claims group was behind Benazir Bhutto’s assassination

ISLAMABAD: A recent book by a senior Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader claims that his group was behind the 2007 assassination of Pakistan’s first woman Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
The new book, ‘Inqilab Mehsood South Waziristan: From British Raj to American Imperialism,’ was released on Nov 30, 2017, and written by Abu Mansoor Asim Mufti Noor Wali, a senior leader in the Taliban terror group.
Arab News has obtained a copy of the 588-page online book.
Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in the garrison city of Rawalpindi shortly after she addressed an election rally on December 27, 2007.
According to the the book author, two suicide bombers, Bilal alias Saeed and Ikramullah, were assigned to carry out the attack on Benazir Bhutto on December 27.
“Bomber Bilal first fired at Benazir Bhutto from his pistol and the bullet hit her neck. Then he detonated his explosive vest and blew up people in the procession,” the book says.
The book adds that the terrorist Taliban group was also involved in the suicide attack on Benazir Bhutto’s procession in Karachi October 2007, which had killed nearly 140 people, but Benazir had survived.
“Despite attacks on Benazir Bhutto’s procession in Karachi, the government had not taken appropriate security measures that made it possible for the attackers to have easy access to Benazir Bhutto,” the book says.
A former Taliban leader confirmed to Arab News that the book has written by the group.
Then President Pervez Musharraf had blamed TTP for the attack on Benazir Bhutto, and the Ministry of Interior, after the incident, released an audio conversation and said it was between the two men who were assigned to kill Benazir Bhutto.
In August 2017 an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Rawalpindi formally charged Musharraf in the case of Benazir Bhutto assassination and declared him “most wanted” in the case.
But Musharraf denied any involvement and dismissed the charges as politically-motivated.
The five TTP suspects in Benazir’s murder case — Rafaqat Hussain, Husnain Gul, Sher Zaman, Aitzaz Shah and Abdul Rashid — were cleared of all charges in the murder trial in August last year.
The book covers the TTP’s history, its attacks, military operations in the tribal regions, TTP’s activities in Afghanistan, tribal system, Mehsood tribe role in the TTP, TTP operations in Karachi and its campaign against polio vaccination.
Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Bilawal Bhutto, and the son of Benazir Bhutto, blamed Musharraf for his mother’s assassination on her 10th death anniversary on Dec. 27, last year.
Pakistan Peoples Party’s spokesperson Farhatullah Babar said the Taliban claim has strengthened the party’s suspicion that the militants had been “used to execute the terrorist act.”
“In fact we have been demanding to know who were the masterminds behind the plan to martyr Benazir Bhutto,” Babar told Arab News.
“Whoever the mastermind might have been they should be exposed. They had in fact used these people (Taliban) to execute the plan,” the PPP leader added.


North Koreans pay tribute to Kim’s father in freezing cold

Updated 13 min 57 sec ago
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North Koreans pay tribute to Kim’s father in freezing cold

  • Referred to as the Day of the Shining Star, the occasion is celebrated with ice skating displays, flower shows, and laudatory tributes in state media

PYONGYANG: The Day of the Shining Star dawned bitterly cold in Pyongyang. But thousands of North Koreans lined up in temperatures of minus 8 degrees Celsius on Saturday to pay their respects to late leader Kim Jong Il on his birthday.
Kim, the son of the isolated North’s founder Kim Il Sung and the father and predecessor of current leader Kim Jong Un, was born on February 16.
According to Pyongyang’s orthodoxy, he came into the world in 1942, in a snow-covered hut at a secret camp on the slopes of Mount Paektu, the spiritual birthplace of the Korean people, where his father was fighting occupying Japanese forces.
Outside historians point instead to official Soviet records, which say he was born a year earlier in a Siberian village where Kim Il Sung was in exile.
Either way, it is a key anniversary in a nuclear-armed nation whose people are taught from birth to revere the “Paektu bloodline,” as the Kim family which has ruled it for three generations is known.
Referred to as the Day of the Shining Star, the occasion is celebrated with ice skating displays, flower shows, and laudatory tributes in state media, all reinforcing the underlying narrative.
Driver Kim Chol Jun, 42, took his two boys to Mansu Hill, where giant statues of the two older Kims look out over the capital, to pay his respects to them and the current leader.
“No sons and daughters feel tired when they visit their parents,” he said. “The great leaders are regarded as our own parents, so I visit here to bow before our parents with my sons.”
Ordinary North Koreans consistently express unequivocal support for the leadership and its policies when speaking to foreign media.
Snow dusted the two monumental panels — one to the fight against Japanese occupiers, the other to the building of socialism — that flank the statues, their faces bathed in the light of the rising sun as small children swept the steps clean.
In pride of place before the bronze effigies stood a large floral tribute emblazoned with the name of Kim Jong Un, who is due to hold his second summit with US President Donald Trump at the end of the month.
Pyongyang is under multiple international sanctions over its pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, which Washington is pressing it to give up. North Korea has rejected demands for what it calls its “unilateral” disarmament.
Turn by turn, groups ranging from couples and families to hundreds-strong detachments of workers or soldiers assembled in front of the images.
After placing individual blooms or flower baskets before the figures, they lined up as an announcer intoned: “Let us pay tribute,” and bowed deeply, the military personnel saluting.
Kim Jong Il died in 2011 and his remains are preserved in a memorial palace on the outskirts of Pyongyang, but officially he remains eternal General Secretary of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea.
Retired actress Ri Cho Ok, 77, instantly became emotional when asked about the late leader, her voice trembling as she described how much she missed him and how standing before the statues brought the incumbent to mind.
Kim Jong Il was a film director himself and renowned cinephile, to the extent he had a top South Korean director and actress kidnapped so they could develop the North’s cinema industry. Pyongyang says their eight-year stay was voluntary.
“The great general taught me step-by-step as I was becoming an actress,” Ri said, “and gave me many orders and medals.”
But, she added, “it was like I received all the honors in the world when I met him.”