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Bhutto murder key accused sends delegation to meet Zardari
February 15, 2008 17:43 IST
Taliban militant leader Baitullah Mehsud, accused by the Pakistan government of being involved in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, is set to dispatch a delegation to meet Pakistan People's Party co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari to condole the death of the former premier, a news report has said.
"The delegation, comprising prominent tribal elders and religious scholars from South Waziristan, will deliver a written condolence letter from Mehsud to Asif Zardari," The News daily said.
The report, based on unnamed sources, said that the militant leader had formed a seven-member delegation and tried to send it to Naudero but some members of the team could not manage to move out of the tribal area due to the tense security situation.
"Now the situation is normalising and members of the delegation are once again ready to go to Islamabad or Lahore [Images] to meet Asif Zardari," the report said.
It quoted a member of the delegation as saying that Mehsud was indirectly in contact with the Pakistan People's Party leadership before October 18, 2007, when Bhutto returned to the country and faced bomb attacks in Karachi.
According to the report, the Taliban leader had assured the PPP that he has no plans to attack the former premier.
President Pervez Musharraf [Images] has blamed Mehsud for a series of suicide bombings, including the assassination of Bhutto.
Mehsud, a leader of the Mehsud tribe, had signed a peace treaty with the Pakistan Army in February 2005 and again swapped kidnapped military officials for his militants, who were released from Rawalpindi on November 3, 2007.
Pakistani troops have launched a crackdown on the followers of Mehsud in the violence-wracked South Waziristan region bordering Afghanistan.