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Bhutto may have been shot: Mush
Ashish Kumar Sen writes from Washington

Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf has for the first time conceded that Benazir Bhutto may have been killed by an assassin’s bullet, but said the former Prime Minister was responsible for her death.

In an interview to CBS News,he said: “For standing up outside the car, I think it was she to blame alone.Nobody else. Responsibility is hers.” Bhutto was killed after she emerged from the sunroof of her armoured vehicle to greet supporters while leaving a political rally in Rawalpindi on December 27.

Asked if he believed a gunshot could be the cause of Bhutto's head injury, Musharraf replied, “Yes, yes.” This was his first one-on-one interview since Bhutto's death. “So she may have been shot?” the interviewer asked Musharraf. “Yes, absolutely, yes. Possibility,” the President replied.

Asked if with the benefit of hindsight he felt his government had done everything to protect Bhutto, Musharraf said, “Yes, yes absolutely. And you have to remember she had the threat. So, she was given more security than any other person.”

Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) promptly lashed out at Musharraf. PPP spokeswoman Sherry Rehman told the Tribune in a phone interview from Pakistan that Bhutto had come out of the car in response to the pleas of her supporters who thronged outside. “She was not a drawing-room politician. In South Asia, everybody is expected to not just pump flesh but to meet people. She didn’t campaign behind bulletproof glass. She has not been that kind of politician.”

Rehman dismissed Musharraf’s claim that adequate security had been provided to Bhutto, saying the party had asked for police vehicles to surround her car when she travelled but this was never provided. She claimed people going inside or coming outside the large public meetings that Bhutto held were also not scanned.

Writing in the Washington Post on Saturday, Bhutto’s husband Asif Ali Zardari urged the United States and Britain to join the push for a U.N. probe into the assassination. Independent video clips from the time Bhutto was killed show a gunman firing shots followed by a suicide bombing. It is not clear whether any of the shots hit Bhutto.



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