Zardari said Mehsud not behind Benazir’s killing: WikiLeaks

Saturday, December 4, 2010

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari had dismissed a suggestion by then US Ambassador Anne Patterson that Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud was responsible for Benazir Bhutto’s death, saying he was “just a pawn” in the process, according to a WikiLeaks expose.

Zardari said he was not very much interested in who the sniper was or exactly how Benazir was killed. This was not as important as finding out who financed the killing, and who were the “hands behind” it.

When Patterson said that the US believed Mehsud was responsible, Zardari dismissed the suggestion by saying that Mehsud was “just a pawn”, The News International reported.

Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan after getting a “clearance” from the US, Zardari told Patterson after Bhutto’s assassination, the US embassy cables revealed.

Zardari met Patterson Jan 25, 2008, and said the US was their “safety blanket” and recalled how Benazir had returned despite threats against her, because of support and “clearance” from the US.

Zardari said he had a one-page handwritten will from Benazir in which she bequeathed the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) to him. This document, he said, would be published in an upcoming book authored by Benazir.

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