Evidence does not support government theory of Bhutto's death


A top aide who helped bathe Benazir Bhutto's body after her death said it was clear that the former Pakistani prime minister suffered bullet wounds to her head, contrary to a government report that she died because she hit her head on a sunroof lever.

Pakistan People's Party information secretary Sherry Rehman, who was riding in the car behind Bhutto's when it was attacked, called the government's conclusion that Bhutto was not shot "the most bizarre, dangerous nonsense."

"It's beginning to look like a cover up to me," Rehman said in a CNN interview.

Rehman said Bhutto was hemorrhaging on the way to the hospital and that the two cars used to get her there were blood-soaked.

"There were clear bullet injuries to her head," said Rehman. "When we bathed her we saw that." Watch Sherry Rehman's interview with CNN Video

On Thursday, hours after Bhutto's death, the Pakistani Interior Ministry said she died from a gunshot wound to the neck, with the gunman firing as Bhutto stood through the open sunroof of her vehicle as she left a rally in Rawalpindi.

The gunman then blew himself up, killing 23 others as well, officials said.

Video of the incident shows a man shooting a handgun three times toward Bhutto's car before the blast. Watch three shots and a blast Video

The account was consistent with statements to The Associated Press from doctors who pronounced Bhutto dead at a hospital.

But on Friday, the Interior Ministry said Bhutto was killed by shrapnel from the explosion.

Then, hours later, the ministry said she died from a skull fracture suffered when she either fell or ducked into the car as a result of the shots or the explosion and crashed her head into a sunroof latch. Video Watch the government account of how Bhutto died »

"The government comes up with the most bizarre, dangerous nonsense and it indicates that they are abdicating themselves of all responsibility by saying that she may have knocked her head or concussed her head against one of the levers on the sunroof," Rehman said.


I am not sure the government account abdicates responsibility since even if true, it demonstrates that the security was inadequate. It is also hard to ignore the filmed footage of the gunman's attack. One of the reasons for having a gunman/bomber is the ineffectiveness of the human bomb attacks in getting close enough to specific targets like Bhutto and the recent attacks against the former interior minister.

Pakistan would be wise to bring in an outside independent commission made up of FBI and MI5 officers and perhaps police from other countries. Even with that, assassinations tend to provoke conspiracy theories and the best way to put them to rest is with a transparent approach. It may be the best hope of restoring confidence in the government. Certainly the varying accounts hurt that confidence.


  1. There's certainly al Qaeda infiltration in the security services, so I wouldn't be surprised if there was a plot to kill Bhutto.

    I don't think it would go all the up to Musharraf, however.


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