The Nation Misrepresents UN Report, Government's Response

Apr 21st, 2010 | By | Category: The Nation

The Nation‘s editorial from Monday severely misrepresents findings of the UN Report, raising serious questions about whether the editorial’s authors actually read the report. Actually, The Nation‘s editorial even contradicts itself as to the government’s response.

The editorial, “The Benazir murder,” accuses the government of ignoring the reports findings in order to protect the guilty. A quick review of the UN report and recent news reports about the government’s response – including statements from within the same editorial – directly contradict The Nation‘s assertion.

The Nation‘s editorial says that the UN Report “has pointed the finger at the murdered leaders’ own party.” This is misleading to the point of being intentionally so. of the UN report says,

The “Main Findings” on Page 60, paragraph 259.iii say,

Responsibility for Ms Bhutto’s security on the day of her assassination rested with the federal Government, the government of Punjab and the Rawalpindi District Police. None of these entities took necessary measures to respond to the extraordinary, fresh and urgent security risks that they knew she faced.

While the UN report on does acknowledge that PPP attempted to provide some security for Benazir Bhutto, page 19, paragraph 63 absolves PPP of any responsibility for her assassination.

The PPP is a political party, not a security agency. The responsibility for Ms Bhutto’s security rested with the government.

Even the headlines from The Nation read “UN probe finds Musharraf govt responsible“. The Nation‘s attempt to pin the blame for Benazir Bhutto’s murder on the PPP may be wishful thinking, but it is not supported either by the UN report or even The Nation‘s own headlines!

After falsely asserting that the UN report holds the PPP responsible for Benazir’s murder, The Nation goes on to accuse the present government of failing to act on the reports findings. This is also not supported by recent events, including those reported in The Nation.

The editorial makes a potentially libelous accusation that “The PPP may have developed a culture of protecting the guilty…”, and then goes on to say that “…the government must not treat the murder as an internal party matter, as it seems to be doing, but as the national matter that it is.”

But the first paragraph of the same editorial says that the government has acted on the report and is not treating it as an internal party matter.

THE PPP has been apprised of the UN report into the murder of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and its report has been the subject of a high-level PPP meeting on Saturday at the Presidency, chaired by her widower, the President, and the Prime Minister as well as some members of his Cabinet. The meeting decided to take action against those responsible, including former President Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf. The meeting decided that those mentioned in the report would be placed on the Exit Control List. Also, they would be made part of the investigations.

The Nation says this is “inadequate”, despite the fact that this is exactly what The Nation says the government should do.

“…it must ensure that those pinpointed as having some complicity in the murder, should be brought to justice.”

Actually, PPP has publicly vowed to go after anyone complicit in the murder.

Babar added that the report will be examined by legal experts of the Party to recommend to the Co-Chairman necessary steps to be taken in its light. Persons named in the report for negligence or complicity in the conspiracy will be investigated and cases also brought against them in the light of the legal opinion, he said.

News reports from today confirm that the police have registered a case against Musharraf, who actually is fingered as complicit in the murder.

The editorial writers at The Nation were surely surprised and disappointed to read the conclusions of the UN’s investigation. That they continue to publish wishful journalism instead of actual facts is disappointing. If The Nation honestly wanted to see the perpetrators and facilitators of Benazir Bhutto’s murder brought to justice, they would report the facts. Instead, they seem to be more interested in using their newspaper to publish misleading political propaganda. Shame on them.

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