Pakistan commisson to probe Bhutto killing unrest prompting election delay

[JURIST] Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf said Wednesday in a televised address that he was setting up a special commission to investigate widespread violence that broke out in the wake of last week's assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto [JURIST report]. Looting, burning and general vandalism led to the deaths of at least 47 people nationwide. Musharraf said the probe would identify those responsible and that they would be prosecuted for their crimes. He did not, however, go so far as to endorse a call by Bhutto's widower, Asif Ali Zardari, for an international commission of inquiry [JURIST report] into the killing itself similar to that conducted in the wake of the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri.

Musharraf said the violence and associated damage to electoral offices and equipment was forcing parliamentary elections scheduled for January 8 to be postponed until February 18. As an additional security measure he also announced that Pakistan army and ranger units would be deployed to control what he described as the threat of electoral violence, and said they would remain deployed even after the vote. BBC News has more. AAP has local coverage.

 

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