ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has held former military dictator Pervez Musharraf personally responsible for the murder of his mother, Benazir Bhutto, as the country observed her 10th death anniversary on Wednesday.
Bhutto, the PPP chief and a two-time Prime Minister, was killed along with 21 people in a gun-and-bomb attack outside Rawalpindi's Liaquat Bagh during an election campaign rally on December 27, 2007.
In an interview to the BBC, Bilawal Bhutto said: "Musharraf exploited this entire situation to assassinate my mother. He purposely sabotaged her security so that she would be assassinated and taken off the scene."
He said that he doesn't hold the man who fired the bullet at his late mother responsible for her murder.
Bilawal Bhutto said that Musharraf, who is in self-imposed exile in Dubai, had directly threatened Bhutto and told her that her security was based on the state of relationship with him. He claimed that on the day of her assassination, the security cordon was taken off from her by the former military ruler.
The PPP Chairman said that he personally holds the former President responsible for the murder and as he doesn't have any details of him giving directions on a call or holding a meeting to convey any secret message, he will not unnecessarily blame any state institution.
The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in its judgment on August 31 had declared Musharraf an absconder in the assassination case and acquitted five alleged operatives of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) -- Rafaqat Hussain, Husnain Gul, Sher Zaman, Aitzaz Shah and Abdul Rashid -- due to lack of evidence.
Two police officers were jailed for 17 years each for negligence vis-a-vis Bhutto's security. The court also ordered confiscation of Musharraf's properties.
Bilawal Bhutto added that the ATC hearing Bhutto's case ignored the UN investigation report, ignored the government's investigation, ignored phone call recordings and did not take into account DNA evidence.
He said the court gave a clean chit to the terrorists, awarded punishments to the police officials involved in washing the crime scene but also immediately approved their bail.
He also dismissed the claims that his father Asif Ali Zardari was responsible for Bhutto's assassination. "This assumption is like calling an innocent an oppressor."
Bilawal Bhutto and his father will address a PPP rally at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh later in the day. More than a million party supporters and workers are expected to be present.