TTP claims assassination of former PM Benazir Bhutto: report

Arif Qureshi

Islamabad: United States designated terrorist outfit, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has claimed responsibility for the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in a newly-released book, reported by leading News paper Daily Times. No group had claimed responsibility for Benazir’s murder until the claim in the Taliban’s Urdu-language book ‘Inqilab Mehsood South Waziristan — From British Raj to American Imperialism’.

The claim came after almost ten years as On December 27, 2007, Benazir Bhutto was killed in a suicide attack in Rawalpindi shortly after she addressed an election rally. The then president Pervez Musharraf had blamed the TTP for the attack, however, Taliban had denied Musharraf’s claim. Officials in Musharraf government had also released an audio conversation between the two Taliban men who were talking about Benazir’s death. Taliban leader Abu Mansoor Asim Mufti Noor Wali has written the book and published it on November 30, 2017, at ‘Maseed Computer Center in Barmal, in Afghanistan’s Paktika province, according to the details on the book. The 588-page book, which contains many photographs on the Taliban leaders, was yet to available in Pakistan.

The anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Rawalpindi had acquitted five Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) suspects and announced 17-year imprisonment for two police officials, while announcing the verdict of the Benazir Bhutto murder case. The ATC had also declared Pervez Musharraf an absconder in the case. Musharraf on a number of occasions denied any involvement and dismissed charges as politically-motivated.

on the occasion of 10th death anniversary of late Benazir Bhutto PPP Co-chairman Bilawal Bhutto had blamed Musharraf in his speech to his supporters  of his mother on December 27, last year. Responding  to Bliwal Bhuto allegations Pakistan’s former military dictator Pervez Musharraf has acknowledged that some rogue elements in the establishment could have been involved in the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto, BBC reported. Asked whether rogue elements within the establishment could have been in touch with the Taliban about the killing, former military dictator Pervez Musharraf Musharraf replied, “Possibility. Yes indeed. Because the society is polarized on religious lines.” Bhutto, who served twice as the prime minister of Pakistan was killed on December 27, 2007 in a suicide attack in Rawalpindi as she was coming out of a park after addressing an election rally.

It has been revealed in the book that Baitullah had also approved an attack on Benazir Bhutto’s procession in Karachi in October 2007, when she returned to Pakistan to lead party campaign for the 2008 parliamentary elections. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), “Taliban Movement of Pakistan”), is a terrorist group declared by both Pakistan and United States. On 1 September 2010, the United States designated the TTP as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and identified Hakimullah Mehsud and Wali ur-Rehman as specially designated global terrorists.

TTP is an umbrella organization of various militant groups based in the northwestern Federally Administered Tribal Areas along the Afghan border in Pakistan. Most Taliban groups in Pakistan coalesce under the TTP.  In December 2007 about 13 groups united under the leadership of Baitullah Mehsud to form the Tehrik-i-Taliban.  Among the Tehrik-i-Taliban stated objectives are resistance against the Pakistani state, Pakistani army enforcement of their interpretation of sharia and a plan to unite against NATO-led forces in Afghanistan.

The TTP is not directly affiliated with the Afghan Taliban movement led by Haibatullah Akhundzada, with both groups differing greatly in their histories, strategic goals and interests although they are both predominantly Pashtun. The Afghan Taliban, with the alleged support of Pakistani Taliban, operate against international coalition and Afghan security forces in Afghanistan but are strictly opposed to targeting the Pakistani state.  The TTP in contrast has almost exclusively targeted elements of the Pakistani state although it took credit for the 2009 Camp Chapman attack and the 2010 Times Square car bombing attempt.

At present Maulana Fazlullah known as “Radio Mullah” or “Maulana Radio”,  is a chief commander of outlawed the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), After the death of Hakimullah Mehsud in a drone attack, Fazlullah was appointed as the new “Emir” (Chief) of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan on 7 November 2013. Pakistan has repeatedly requested Afghanistan to hand over Maulana Fazlullah, claiming that he was involved in planning major attacks in Pakistan from across the border.

About Arif Qureshi

Check Also

Paucity of Afghanistan’s official strength: Would Afghanistan be able to maintain its role over its territory in forthcoming years?

By:  Asif shah in the exploitation of this land. After the introduction of Nation State …