Islamabad [Pakistan], September 21 (ANI): Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf on Thursday directly accused Pakistan People's Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari of being involved in the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
In a video message, Musharraf, the former army chief, said, "Asif Ali Zardari is responsible for the Bhutto family's demise as he had the most to gain from [it]."
He further said that he was speaking out because he "could not tolerate" the fact that Zardari had recently directly accused him of being responsible for the murder.
Musharraf emphasised that he wanted to directly address the three Bhutto-Zardari children, their family and the people of Sindh.
"Every time there is a murder, the first thing that needs to be seen is the one, who has the most to gain from the death. In this case, I had everything to lose as I was in power and the murder put my government in a difficult situation," he said.
"There was just one person, who had everything to gain from Benazir's assassination, and that was Asif Ali Zardari," he added.
He said that Zardari did not look into the case and the investigation was not active because of his involvement in Benazir's murder.
"The evidence is clear that Baitullah Mehsud and his people were involved in the murder; but who had asked them to target Benazir Bhutto? It could not have been me - the group hated me, and the feeling was mutual," Musharraf further said.
However, in May, he himself had refused to testify through the video link in the 2007 Benazir Bhutto murder case.
Musharraf's counsel Advocate Akhtar Shah had told the anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi that his client is not interested in testifying through the video link.
Shah said that General Musharraf is willing to testify in person if he gets foolproof security from the defence ministry. The counsel informed that the General Musharraf is on the hit list of several banned terrorist outfits and faces serious threats to his life. The federal government has already declined General Musharraf's request for foolproof security to him.
"An absconder cannot dictate his prerequisites to the court and give conditions, that too his own subjective satisfaction, as to when he will appear and for how long," the Dawn had quoted the Pakistan Government, as saying, in a reply filed with the special court seized with the high treason case against the former military ruler.
The ATC has summoned General Musharraf and other accused persons to record their statements. However, the court has decided to record the statements of the other accused separately. (ANI)