Washington: Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has conceded for the first time that a gunman may have shot former Premier Benazir Bhutto.
However, Musharraf insisted that she was responsible for her death as she exposed herself to danger despite being given “more security than any other person”.
The Pakistan President, whose comments came days after the government claimed Bhutto died of a skull fracture and not from a gun shot wound, is facing intense criticism over the administration’s explanation of the killing of the opposition leader.
“For standing up outside the car, I think it was she to blame alone. Nobody else. Responsibility is hers,” Musharraf told CBS in in an interview.
54-year Bhutto was killed on 27 December 2007 in Rawalpindi, near the Pakistan capital Islamabad, while standing up in her bullet-proof car with her head through its sun-roof to wave to her supporters. A suicide bomber blew himself up near her car and the government initially said she died smashing her head on the lever of the car’s sun-roof.
The government’s explanation was widely criticized, especially after a video footage was broadcast on TV channels showing a gunman pointing the weapon towards Bhutto.
Asked if he believed a gunshot could be the cause of Bhutto’s head injury, Musharraf replied, “Yes, yes,” according to the partial transcript of the interview which is yet to be broadcast.
When the questioner asked again “so she may have been shot”, he said “Yes, absolutely, yes. Possibility.”
Musharraf also maintained that the government did everything possible to give Bhutto the security she needed. “You have to remember she had the threat. So she was given more security than any other person.”