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January 01, 2008

Pakistan Apologizes For Lying About Bhutto's Cause of Death

I had trouble believing they'd do something so preposterously stupid.

I was wrong.

In a dramatic U-turn, Pakistan government has "apologised" for claiming that former premier Benazir Bhutto died of a skull fracture after hitting the sunroof of her car during a suicide attack.

Caretaker Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz Khan has asked the media and people to "forgive and ignore" comments made by his ministry's spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema which were slammed by her Pakistan People's Party as "lies" and led to an uproar at home and abroad.

The Interior Minister made the apology during a briefing for Pakistani newspaper editors on Monday. Punjab province on Tuesday issued a front-page advertisement in newspapers that offered a reward of Rs 1 crore for information about a gunman and a suspected suicide bomber seen in the photos and video footage of the assassination.

The government's apparent damage control exercise on Cheema's comments made at a news conference a day after Bhutto was assassinated at Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi on December 27, came after TV channels aired privately shot photos and video footage which showed a gunman shooting at Bhutto.

The Pakistan People's Party leader is seen in the footage falling through the sun-roof before the suicide bomber detonated his explosives. The briefing by caretaker Prime Minister Mohammedmian Soomro was also attended by the foreign, interior and information ministers and senior officials.

Part of the reason I disbelieved they'd lie is because I saw no benefit from the lie -- if the idea is damage control, mitigating the government's failure to protect Bhutto, how does it possibly aid the government to say "No, she didn't die from an assassin's bullet, she died dodging an assassin's bullet"? Anyone see any meaningful difference here in terms of the government's failure to stop the death?

Apparently the saw a difference in Pakistan, and thought it might help their cause to claim Bhutto hadn't been killed by an assassin, but by her own clumsiness.


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posted by Ace at 05:41 PM

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