Pervez Musharraf (File Photo)

Islamabad, Dec 27 (IANS) Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto on Wednesday branded former President Pervez Musharraf as the “killer” of his mother Benazir Bhutto as the country observed her 10th death anniversary.

Reiterating that he holds the man who pulled her security rather than the man who pulled the trigger responsible for his mother’s death, Bilawal Bhutto raised the “Musharraf’s a murderer!” slogan in front of the charged crowd of PPP supporters in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, Dawn online reported.

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 Liaqat Bagh during an election rally on December 27, 2007.

Earlier, Bilawal Bhutto told the BBC in an interview that crucial details about the assassination of his mother were being held back in order to protect the former army chief.

He 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.”

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 her 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 but 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) 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.

Bilawal Bhutto told the PPP supporters that Benazir had been punished for propagating democracy and for her deep love for the people.

“My leader (Benazir), you were punished for fighting against dictatorship… for fighting for women and speaking for the oppressed. You were punished for loving people.”

Bilawal also accused the incumbent government of undoing his mother’s legacy, saying: “They’ve weakened the democracy and Parliament. Small provinces are being isolated from the federal government. This is a murderous government.”

Bilawal also attached some blame for his mother’s unresolved murder case to the judiciary.