Shahbaz Bhatti murder: Key suspect arrested, says secretary interior

Muhammad Tauseef A. Bajwa

Senator (1k+ posts)

Interior Secretary Chaudhry Qamar Zaman claims one suspect arrested in the murder case.

ISLAMABAD: Investigators have achieved a breakthrough in the murder of the slain minorities affairs minister Shahbaz Bhatti and arrested a key suspect, Interior Secretary Chaudhry Qammar Zamman told the public accounts committee of Parliament on Wednesday.

When a committee member, Asia Nasir of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl), asked about the status of the probe into Bhattis assassination, the secretary said that the police had got to the people involved in the murder of the minister.
Without giving details about the exact number or their possible links to any militant organisation, the secretary said that one of the people behind the assassination had been nabbed by the police and was being interrogated. Police, however, declined to confirm the report.
A police official close to investigations said that a number of suspects had been rounded up and were being questioned, but none of them could be termed a prime suspect.
A suspect was under investigation but he failed to provide any information which could lead to a breakthrough, said the police official. He rejected the assertion that the elements behind the assassination had been ascertained.
Earlier, the secretary interior told the committee that several other lawmakers and ministers had reported threats to their lives and requested for more security. Adequate security arrangements were being made for these parliamentarians, he added.
All ministers had been asked to keep their security details with them at all times, the secretary said.
Citing intelligence reports, he said certain parliamentarians were on the hit-list of militants. He assured that these parliamentarians had been informed about the threats and accordingly provided security.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2011