Mehsud had told Benazir: ‘I am not your enemy’
ISLAMABAD: "Identify your enemy, I am not your enemy, I have nothing to do with you or against you or with the assassination attempt on you on October 18," Baitullah Mehsud, the local Waziristan tribal leader conveyed this message twice to Benazir Bhutto, the PPP spokesman Farhatullah Babar claimed on Saturday.
"The top PPP leadership trusted the message," Babar disclosed, adding that it was conveyed by Mehsud through two different reliable emissaries after the October 18 assassination attempt on her life in Karsaz, Karachi.
Mehsud had conveyed to Benazir Bhutto that his activities were limited to Waziristan and were of a defensive nature. "I have neither the resources to fight outside Waziristan nor I have any plans to attack Benazir Bhutto in future," Mehsud had conveyed to the top PPP leadership.
Babar claimed that the voice recording of the alleged conversation between Baitullah Mehsud and another religious leader presented before the media on Friday by the interior ministry was ridiculous and a deliberate attempt to divert the attention of the nation from the real culprits.
He added: "We have no doubt that Baitullah Mehsud is not involved in Thursday's tragic incident. Rather, we have serious doubts against those mentioned in the letter written by Benazir to Pervez Musharraf before and after the October 18 Karsaz tragedy."
"If the government had seriously gone through the contents of the letter and had fulfilled our demand to hire the services of some foreign investigative agencies to probe into the Karachi attack, Thursday's tragic incident might have been avoided," Babar added.
“Instead of diverting the attention of the people of Pakistan towards Baitullah Mehsud, should the government hire the services of an international professional investigative agency, matters can proceed in a better direction,” Babar said.
"Now the people of Pakistan can understand when someone is trying to fool them," Babar said, adding: "If an inquiry in the murder case of Rafiq Hariri is held by international experts, it can also be held in this case to expose the conspirators."
The chief of Benazir Bhutto's security, Rehman Malik, told The News on Friday he was conveyed through a senior journalist who had directly spoken to Baitullah Mehsud that Mehsud had no enmity with Benazir and had no plans to attack or kill her.
He said that the PPP had demanded of the government to give credible evidences, if it had any, regarding the involvement of Baitullah Mehsud in the tragic incident.
He said as the security adviser to Benazir Bhutto, he still had not received any medical or enquiry report of the incident or the recording of the conversation on phone between Mehsud and his companion.
He said that he would be in a proper position to comment on the government findings after he would officially receive the documents.
Earlier, on the directions of the PPP Chairperson, Senator Safdar Abbasi had asked Senator Saleh Shah to contact Baitullah Mehsud and ask him why he wanted to kill Benazir Bhutto. When Saleh Shah met Mehsud at an unidentified location in the tribal areas, Mehsud assured Saleh Shah that some enemy of Benazir was deliberately attempting to spread misinformation that he wanted to kill her.
"I have no plans to do so and have no enmity with Benazir Bhutto," Mehsud had assured the Senator.
Brigadier (retd) Javed Iqbal Cheema, Director General of the National Crisis Management Cell and spokesman of the Ministry of Interior, however, told this correspondent on Saturday night that his ministry had 'voice signatures' of the voice of Baitullah Mehsud and he was sure that it was the voice of Mehsud on the tape.
When asked to elaborate what was meant by 'voice signatures', he explained that when they were following a person since long, they had voice recording of that person. “We match the voices with our record and if the two match, it means that voice signature is verified.”
When asked if he was sure that the voice already present in the record of ministry was really that of Mehsud, he said, "yes".
Asked if this means that the investigation in Bhutto's assassination case was finished and now the only thing to do would be to bring the culprits to justice, Cheema said that investigations would not be carried out to find the involvement of some one else as they knew who had done it. “However, investigations will continue to get all possible details to expose the network of Baitullah Mehsud.”
He said: "There is a complete chain of these terrorists, involving different supporters, fund providers, helpers, executors and those who motivate the people to take such extreme steps."
Brig (retd) Cheema said: “We will continue our investigations to probe and expose this network.” He said that his ministry officials were hundred percent sure about the veracity of the voice recording and thus the investigation regarding the involvement of someone else would not be carried out and only the involved network would be further probed.
A complex system not working is invariably evolved from a simpler system that worked just fine.