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.


No quick breakthrough in Taliban talks, warns Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. (REUTERS)
Updated 16 June 2019
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No quick breakthrough in Taliban talks, warns Ghani

  • The Taliban do not trust Ghani ... and there is no possibility of any compromise between Ghani and the Taliban
  • Afghan president says deal not possible without a ‘regional consensus’

KABUL: President Ashraf Ghani said late on Friday that a breakthrough in Afghanistan’s peace process will require more time.
“We consider the US commitment to a political solution to be credible and are coordinating to build the necessary international consensus on peace. But without a regional consensus on peace and addressing Taliban’s interdependencies with their supporters, breakthroughs will take time,” Ghani said.
Ghani made the comments on Friday at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. His remarks are his first in public since a series of talks between US special envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, and Taliban emissaries held in recent months in Qatar.
Afghan government delegates were excluded from the discussions because the Taliban consider Ghani’s administration a puppet of the West.
Khalilzad is in Afghanistan hoping to revive talks between the Taliban and other Afghans, including government delegates, after Ghani called off such a gathering in April in Qatar. Ghani summoned a grand traditional assembly, or Loya Jirga, afterwards in Kabul to set a mechanism for talks with the Taliban.
In Bishkek, Ghani said his government’s mandate for seeking peace with the Taliban comes from the 23-point resolution of the Jirga.
He said that “although the Afghan war is multi-dimensional, reaching a peace agreement with the Taliban is a key component for the reduction of violence.”
Ghani put forward four proposals for an Afghan peace deal. It includes the formation of a regional and international coalition for peace and the creation of a regional task force to develop bankable programs and projects for regional connectivity and poverty reduction.
He said dealing with drugs as a driver of conflict and criminality should be comprehensively addressed within the peace-making and peace-building framework. Agreeing to a regional framework for fighting terrorism was also essential.
Ghani said his government will hold the presidential elections on Sept. 28, which have been delayed twice so far. Some of Ghani’s rivals accuse him of using government resources in his favor for the poll, while other politicians, including Khalilzad, favor postponing the poll until the talks with Taliban have finished so that the latter can also take part in the elections.
Jamaludin Badar, a former governor who is a member of the government-appointed High Peace Council, said that, given the regional and international involvement in Afghanistan’s long war and the complication of the conflict, headway cannot been expected soon in the talks.
“There are countries in the region and beyond who want their interest to be protected in Afghanistan post the peace deal,” he told Arab News. “So it is natural for the peace process to drag on and on. These countries have a consensus on ending the war, but not on their interests and future involvement here.”
Nazar Mohammad Mutmaeen, an analyst, said: “Ghani wants to remain in power for another five years and makes different comments at different juncture of time. The Taliban do not trust Ghani ... and there is no possibility of any compromise between Ghani and the Taliban.”