Conflict & Justice

Conspiracy Theories

Pakistan is fertile ground for conspiracy theories, but the latest two to hit the headlines are straight out of Le Carre.  

Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) named former President Pervez Musharraf as one of the accused in the assassination of late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan's Nation newspaper reports. 

The FIA also declared Musharraf an absconder -- meaning he's on the run -- the paper said, and the investigating body said Musharraf would be declared as ‘wanted’ if he did not appear before the joint investigation team (JIT) formed to investigate the assassination.

The case against Musharraf stems from allegations that former Rawalpinid police chief Saud Aziz and superintendent police Khuramm Shazad provided lax security for Bhutto and hosed down the crime scene to destroy evidence after the murder. Testifying before a special anti-terrorism court, Asiz claimed that the order to reduce Bhutto's security provisions had been given by Musharraf, according to the Times of India

Barrister Saif, a spokesman for Musharraf, dismissed the FIA report as politically motivated and said it was aimed at hiding the real causes of the murder of Benazir Bhutto, the paper said.

Musharraf, who has been living in self-exile in Britain since April 2009, had said that he intended to return to Pakistan before the next general election in 2013. He formed a new party in exile, the All Pakistan Muslim League, but none of his politician friends who supported him for ten years as president in uniform is ready to accept him as civilian leader.

Meanwhile, rumors have emerged that the supposed robbers that US diplomat Raymond Davis shot in Islamabad were in reality agents of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency, according to Pakistan's Tribune newspaper.

According to the Times of India, "The situation has worsened to such an extent that the Obama administration is reported to be putting a hold on Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's proposed visit to Washington next month. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also declined to meet Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of a security conference in Munich. Agitated US lawmakers have indicated that defense and economic ties, including aid to Pakistan, may need to be revisited."