“There are those saying that al-Qaida did it. Others are saying it looked like it was an inside job…”
Hillary: Pakistan troops might have killed Bhutto
BY GLENN THRUSH
CLINTON, Iowa – Hillary Rodham Clinton waded into Pakistan’s volatile internal political situation yesterday, raising the possibility the country’s military might have assassinated Benazir Bhutto because the killing took place in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.
Clinton’s remarks came as Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s government seemed to reject a call for an independent international investigation of the murder that Clinton and John Edwards proposed on Friday.
During a question-and-answer session at an elementary school here, Clinton offered a detailed prescription for the troubled country, suggesting that the U.S divert aid away from its military to social welfare programs.
And for the second time in as many days, she cast doubt on Musharraf’s contention that the suicide bombing that led to the death of the country’s most popular opposition leader was masterminded by al-Qaida.
“There are those saying that al-Qaida did it. Others are saying it looked like it was an inside job – remember Rawalpindi is a garrison city,” she said.
Earlier in the day, the former first lady sat down with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos and said that, as president, it wouldn’t be “appropriate” for her to include Bill Clinton in top-secret security discussions.
“I think he would play the role that spouses have always played for presidents,” she told the host of “This Week” in an interview to air today. “He will not have a formal official role, but just as presidents rely on wives, husbands, fathers, friends of long years, he will be my close confidante and adviser as I was with him.”
Sen. Barack Obama has dismissed Hillary Clinton’s White House experience as largely irrelevant. Consequently, Clinton spent much of yesterday touting her work in the 1990s on international women’s rights and the negotiations that led to reconciliation between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. “I actually went to Northern Ireland more than Bill,” she said.
Clinton, who earned the endorsement yesterday of the influential Concord (N.H.) Monitor, emphasized her foreign policy experience and spoke about her 12-year relationship with Bhutto, Pakistan’s former prime minister.
In August, her aides accused Obama of helping to destabilize the nuclear-armed Pakistan by suggesting he’d deploy U.S. forces in the country to hunt for Osama bin Laden.
But yesterday, Clinton delved into Pakistan’s internal affairs, suggesting its “feudal landowning leadership,” led by Musharraf, has protected al-Qaida to preserve its tenuous grip on power. In an interview on Friday, Clinton called for an international probe into Bhutto’s assassination, saying “there was no reason to trust the Pakistani government.”
An Interior Ministry spokesman rejected that suggestion yesterday, saying, “I think we are capable of handling it.”
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Role of secret agencies: The ISI
ISI has mastered the tradecraft of sabotage, subversion, direct military intervention, and proxy war to a degree of perfection, as has been achieved by its mirror brother in trade, the CIA. The organisation has enormous power, influence and resources and virtually no constraints and checks.