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Musharraf Deflects Blame in Bhutto Killing

Addressing international reporters Thursday in Islamabad, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said he and his administration have nothing to hide with regard to the Dec. 27 assassination of Benazir Bhutto; rather, Musharraf said Bhutto took risks at the Rawalpindi rally that made her vulnerable to attack.


The New York Times:

He denied that he was unpopular in the country and dismissed the accusation from Ms. Bhutto’s party that he was delaying parliamentary elections by six weeks to give his people time to rig them. He said he wanted elections as soon as possible, to create an elected government that could unite the country and help fight terrorism.

“There is no complicity” in Ms. Bhutto’s killing, he said. “Would I or the government be the maximum gainer from doing this? Or would there be someone else who would gain more?”

He said that in the past three months there had been 19 suicide bombings by the militant leaders Baitullah Mehsud and Maulana Fazlullah. Most of the attacks were against military and intelligence targets, he said, calling it a “joke” to suggest that the military and intelligence agencies would be using the same people who were attacking them for their own ends.

“No intelligence organization of Pakistan is capable of indoctrinating a man to blow himself up,” he said.

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