UN commission met Musharraf last month

NEW YORK: The chairman of the UN commission of inquiry into the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Heraldo Munoz, secretly met former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf late last month.

The spokesman for Gen Musharraf, Dr Nasim Ashraf, told Dawn the meeting took place in Philadelphia on Oct 27.

About the meeting, Mr Musharraf released a brief statement on Tuesday night that said: ‘While I met the team, I strongly oppose any international probe into Pakistan’s domestic affairs.’

Mr Munoz, who is in Spain, has also confirmed the meeting. However, his office in New York declined to divulge any information about his whereabouts and only said he was out of the country.

Mr Munoz has said he will now seek a meeting with chief of the PML-N Nawaz Sharif.

Meanwhile, ahead of his meeting with Gen Musharraf Mr Munoz assured the former president in an email that his commission was not ‘investigative in nature’.

‘Its mandate is limited to determining the facts and circumstances of the assassination and, as such, it evidently does not have any competence to establish criminal responsibilities.

‘Ours would not be an ‘interrogation’ of Mr Musharraf, but a conversation as we have had with many Pakistani authorities of the executive, political party leaders, members of the legislative power, policemen, etc.

‘We interview individuals —on a voluntary basis —who can help us better understand the aforesaid situation.’

In the message Mr Munoz added that his team had met President Asif Ali Zardari and members of his cabinet, including Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Commerce Minister Amin Faheem. Senior members of the PML-Q had also met them.

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