by Omar Khattab
Prime Minister Gillani pulled an impossible, unthinkable surprise when yesterday in a joint press conference with Britain’s Gordon Brown in London he claimed that it was Baitullah Mehsud who was behind the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Anyone who has any respect for Benazir and the rule of law in Pakistan must be shocked by Gillani’s statement. The question is: who is Gillani is working for? Who is he trying to please?
What Gillani has done is close Benazir’s assassination once for all. Baitullah Mehsud is dead now and he cannot be tried and punished for masterminding the assassination.
Those Pakistanis who want to know who assassinated Benazir have just one question for Gillani: Was Baitullah Mehsud behind the washing away the evidence from the assassination scene?
Benazir was assassinated during the rule of General Musharraf and at that time Pakistan’s interior minister was a retired general. Baitullah Mehsud was hiding in the mountains of Waziristan at that time and was being pursued by the Americans.
Gillani’s statement has another extremely damaging implication. Gillani has rendered irrelevant and useless the entire work of the United Nations’ investigation team which has been investigating Benazir’s assassination for a year now and for which the government of Pakistan has spent millions of dollars.
Gillani has also made a fool of President Zardari who has claimed that he knows the people behind Benazir’s assassination. Had President Zardari also believed that Baitullah Mehsud was behind the assassination, he would have said so.
Gillani has done great injustice to Benazir, his benefactor. Had she not supported him, he would not have been able to get elected even as a local councillor. Gillani just like Chaudhry Parvez Ilahi and General Hamid Gul is a remnant of General Zia. General Zia handpicked him to become his Railways Minister. Such a person does not deserve to be even an ordinary member of the Pakistan People’s Party, but Benazir was a great person and leader. She believed that some good can come from anyone. That is why she supported the likes of Gillani so that every Pakistan could be inducted into the democratic stream of Pakistan’s politics. Gillani has paid her back by protecting her assassins at a time when Benazir’s party and her principled politics are besieged by the enemies of democracy. Perhaps Gillani thinks that he can continue to be power by aligning with the powers which the people of Pakistan think are behind her assassination.
Gillani has damaged Pakistan irreparably. The future historians will consign him to be dustbin of history where he will find a very close place with General Zia, his former mentor. Every Pakistani who believes that truth must not only be told, but also prevail must condemn this shameless, ungrateful man.