TTP picks Benazir Bhutto’s assassin as successor of Mullah Fazalullah

Islamabad Politics Report/Moazzam Raza Tabassam: Banned Tehrik e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Commander Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud who had written book which claimed killing of the former Prime minister Benazir Bhutto at hands of TTP terrorists has been made as the Chief of the TTP terrorist group.

Noor Wali Mehsud is hiding in Afghanistan and was the senior commander in the ranks and files of the TTP . He was made the  Commander of TTP and the Commander of the Mehsud Tribe fighting alongside the TTP against Pakistan.

The book says Taliban were also involved in the suicide bombing in the Benazir Bhutto’s procession in Karachi in 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 in Rawalpindi,’ the book says.

The book says Ikramullah, a resident of Makeen town in South Waziristan, escaped from the blast site and is still alive.

The book does not say anything if it is the same Ikramullah, who has been declared absconders by the anti-terrorism court (ATC) along with five others including Baitullah Mehsood, founder of the TTP. Baitullah was killed in a US drone strike along with his wife in South Waziristan in 2009.

Musharraf had been formally charged in the case and an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi in August 2017. The ATC also declared Musharraf an absconder in the case. The ATC had named Musharraf in the case in February 2011. Musharraf on a number of occasions denied any involvement and dismissed charges as politically-motivated.

The PPP co-chairman Bilawal Bhutto had again blamed Musharraf in his speech to his supporters on the 10th death anniversary of his mother on December 27, last year.

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 last year in August. The ATC had, however, convicted two police officials Saud Aziz, who was police chief of Rawalpindi when Bhutto was assassinated in 2007, and Khurram Shahzad, a former Superintendent of Police at Rawal Town. They were each awarded 17 years jail term. In October 2017,Rawalpindi bench of the Lahore High Court had granted bail to both officers.

The book says that investigators had blamed TTP for the killing of Benazir Bhutto but Baitullah Mehsood had initially denied involvement, who had insisted that those people were behind her assassination who had murdered her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and two brothers – Murtaza Bhutto and Shahnawaz Bhutto. Murtaza Bhutto was assassinated on September 20, 1996 in Karachi while Shahnawaz Bhutto died on 18 July 1985, in Nice, France.

The book said the TTP Mehsood leadership had refused any involvement until 27 December 2017, on her 10th death anniversary. 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.

It has been revealed in the book that Baitullah had also approved 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.

“The return of Benazir Bhutto was planned on the behest of the Americans as they had given her a plan against the Mujahideed-e- Islam. Baitullah had received information of the plan,” the book claimed.

“So when Benazir Bhutto arrived in Karachi, two suicide bombers Mohsin Mehsood and Rehmatullah Mehsod carried out attacks on her procession at Karsaz area of Karachi,” the book revealed.

Benazir survived the bombing that occurred two months before she was assassinated in Rawalpindi. Most of the PPP supporters were massacred in the Karsaz attack.

The book says the bombers could not stay at the place that was conveyed to them by the planners, who had been assigned to stay near the stage. “The attack had failed to hit the target and the bombers attacked the procession as they seemed in a hurry.”

“After the failure of the Karachi attack, the Taliban had also made another plan to attack Benazir in her home district of Larkana in Sindh province after three days of the Karachi attack. However, a Taliban man, Miraj Katikhel, passed on the information to the police and the plan failed,” the book said.

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