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Ban announces UN commission to probe Bhutto assasination

February 05, 2009 02:33 IST

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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said on Wednesday he intended to set up an international commission to probe the assassination of former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto [Images] during a meeting with her widower, President Asif Ali
Zardari.
    
Zardari thanked Moon [Images] for accepting the Pakistan People's Party-led government's request for a UN probe into Bhutto's assassination, state-run PTV reported.
    
The international commission is expected to comprise of three members and will have access to Pakistani institutions,
officials and documents. The panel will conclude its work as soon as possible, TV channels reported.
    
Zardari assured Moon that the Pakistan government will fully cooperate with the UN commission.
    
The modalities for the investigation, its cost and timeframe are expected to be announced later by the Pakistan government and UN. Reports said Pakistan will provide USD  5 million as "seed money" for the commission.
    
The PPP had demanded a UN probe shortly after Bhutto was assassinated in a gun and bomb attack after addressing an election rally in Rawalpindi in December 2007.
    
The demand was turned down by the regime of then President Pervez Musharraf [Images], who asked investigators from Britain's Scotland Yard to ascertain the cause of Bhutto's death. 

After coming to power, the PPP-led government submitted a formal request to the UN to conduct a probe.
    
During their meeting in the presidency in Islamabad [Images], Zardari and Moon discussed regional security, the global economic crisis and the Kashmir issue. Zardari said Pakistan is committed to regional peace and security.
    
Referring to the Mumbai [Images] attacks, Zardari said Pakistani authorities had completed their probe into the terrorist incident and their findings will be shared with India shortly.

Zardari also regretted the abduction of United Nations High Commision for Refugees official John Solecki in Quetta earlier this week and assured Moon that all-out efforts are being made for his safe and early recovery.

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