A new chief investigator has been appointed to probe the suicide attack on opposition leader and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, after she alleged the previous officer was complicit in the torture of her husband in 1999, an official said yesterday.
Saud Mirza, the chief of criminal investigations at Karachi, will now head the five-man team probing last week's bombing of Bhutto's homecoming parade that killed 136 people, said Ghulam Muhammad Mohtarem, the home secretary of Sindh Province.
"There is no other change in the team," Mohtarem said.
The Sindh police chief replaced the previous chief investigator, Manzar Mughal, after Bhutto, back from eight years in exile, claimed Mughal had been present while her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, was tortured in custody on corruption charges in 1999.
Bhutto, who escaped injury in the bombing, has blamed Islamic militants for the attack on her, but has also accused elements in the government and the security services of complicity, demanding international experts be called in to help in the investigation -- a call rejected by the government.
The appointment changes nothing and the inquiry remains inadequate, said Farhutallah Babar, a spokesman for Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party.
"Our concerns were the inquiry should be conducted by international experts and that has not happened. The more it gets delayed the more the crucial evidence will be lost," he said.
On Wednesday, a statement from the party dubbed the present inquiry as "inept," citing a lack of arrests of suspects and confusion over the cause of the blast.
Authorities say it was likely carried out by two suicide bombers and have released a picture of one of the bombers but have yet to identify him.
The attack has raised fears about Pakistan's stability amid a rising Islamic militancy.
TARNISHED LEGACY: Woodrow Wilson served as the university’s president before becoming the US’ 28th leader, but his racism was ‘significant and consequential’ Princeton University is removing former US president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and one of its residential colleges after trustees concluded that the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies” made him “an inappropriate namesake.” The Ivy League school’s trustees made the decision on Friday, according to a statement on Saturday. It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of the US’ racial legacy. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, energized by a series of high-profile deaths of black Americans, has resulted in the removal of Confederate monuments, flags and symbols of racism across the US. Deleting Wilson’s name at Princeton
‘FULLY ENCLOSED’: Residents of Anxin County would be confined to their homes and would only be allowed out once a day to buy necessities such as food and medicine China yesterday imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh COVID-19 cluster as authorities warned the outbreak was still “severe and complicated.” After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in Hebei Province. Health officials said that Anxin County — about 150km from Beijing — would be “fully enclosed and controlled,” the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. Only one person from each family would be allowed to go out once a
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around