Musharraf trying to save his own skin: Saeed Ghani

KARACHI (Monitoring Desk): Pakistan Peoples Party Leader Saeed Ghani said on Thursday that former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf is trying to save his own skin by leveling allegations against Asif Ali Zardari.

Reacting to Musharraf’s video message, Ghani told media that Musharraf is only worried about the appeals filed by PPP in the Benazir Bhutto murder case.

“If he [Musharraf] is innocent, he should return to the country, appear before the court and prove his innocence.” Musharraf has been absconding in the case, if he claims to be innocent he should prove it, Ghani added.

Speaking about Murtaza Bhutto murder case, Ghani remarked that PPP Chairman Asif Ali Zardari was acquitted in the case. Murtaza’s wife, Ginwa Bhutto, had even presented all evidence in the case yet Zardari was acquitted.

Earlier in the day, Musharraf blamed former president Asif Ali Zardari for the murder of his wife and former premier Benazir Bhutto in a video message.

“I believe that the reason for the Bhutto family’s demise and the responsible person for Benazir and Murtaza’s murder is Zardari. In any murder, it should be noted who benefits and who loses. I lost a lot from Benazir’s assassination while Zardari benefitted,” he said.

Musharraf also criticised the fact that those sitting with Benazir inside her vehicle — Naheed Khan, Safdar Abbasi, Makhdoom Amin Fahim and “jail buddy” Khalid Shahenshah — were not questioned by the court.

Benazir Bhutto murder case

On August 31, the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) announced its verdict in the murder case of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto after almost ten years.

The verdict announced by ATC Judge Asghar Khan at Adiala Jail cleared five accused in the case, sentenced two former police officials and declared former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf as an absconder.

Aitzaz Shah, Sher Zaman, Abdul Rasheed, Rafaqat Hussain and Hasnain Gul, who were indicted by the ATC in November 2008, were cleared of all charges. The five accused had been charged for killing, hatching criminal conspiracy to kill, abetting the perpetrators, using illegal explosive material and spreading terrorism on Dec 27, 2007 when 22 people, including the former premier, were killed in a gun-and-bomb attack outside Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh, when she was leaving after holding an election rally.

Following the verdict, the PPP filed three appeals against the court decision in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case. The appeals were filed by Latif Khosa on behalf of Zardari.