Tuesday, June 26, 2018

#Pakistan - Justice for Benazir Bhutto

The new Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief is no ordinary militant. Indeed, Abu Mansoor Mufti Noor Wali is of particular interest to this country. Not least because of an important confession contained in his Urdu-language book, Inqilab Mehsud South Waziristan: From British Raj to American Imperialism. Posted online back in November 2017 — a decade after former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated — it confirms for the first time that the TTP was behind the murder.
Fast-forward to the present and he is known to be making the most of militant safe-havens on the other side of the Durand Line. In the company of the so-called second suicide bomber, known as Ikramullah; that is, the man who served as back-up in case the first failed to detonate. He was identified as such in Mufti Noor Wali’s book.
According to a BBC report this week, Ikramullah now belongs to a TTP splinter group; though it does not disclose the name. Be that as it may, he has now released a video statement denying all involvement in the plot to murder the first woman to lead a Muslim nation. Though the Beeb suggests that this is a staged ‘retraction’; in response to purported threats to his family from the Pakistani security establishment. There is also the question of other Afghanistan-based militants attacking him last year.
Be that as it may, a video message is no substitute for due process. Not when there is a penned confession naming Ikramullah as the second suicide bomber. Not when other suspects have identified him by name before the Pakistani courts.  Not when the latter features on list of this country’s most wanted terrorist suspects. Towards this end, therefore, we fully support Senator Rehman Malik’s calls for Kabul to hand over both Ikramullah and Mufti Noor Wali to Pakistan. Just as we fully back the PPP stalwart’s moves to urge the interim set-up to approach Interpol with a view to issuing Red Notices for the ‘extradition’ of both terrorists. It is, after all, a matter of national interest and justice.
Similarly, we hope that the Ghani government next door will do the needful. After all, it is clear that both the US and Afghanistan must do more, more, more to contain the anti-Pakistan terror threat emanating from across the border. The targeted strike against Mullah Fazlullah Rehman earlier this month is, in and of itself, simply not good enough. For what we are talking about here are terrorists who have the blood of a twice-elected premier on their hands; and who have not been flushed out from their safe-havens by a military occupying power that happens to the most sophisticated in the world. This is to say nothing of the presence of the NATO war machine in Afghanistan.
In short, Pakistan needs both men alive. For there is a vast difference between pulling the trigger in remote-controlled warfare and bringing the guilty to book.  And we know which Benazir deserves.

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