Chilean UN Ambassador Heraldo Munoz chaired the committee
Pakistan's English-language and Urdu newspapers broadly agree that a long-awaited UN report into the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto - which is highly critical of President Musharraf's government - has revealed nothing new.
Some attribute this to the inquiry's terms of reference, which limited the probe to investigating the circumstances of the death and not apportioning blame. One paper dismisses the UN inquiry as a "joke" and says real progress in the investigation can only be made by the Pakistani authorities.
There are strong calls on the government to act swiftly in the wake of the UN probe and bring those responsible to justice.
Papers in neighbouring India are pleased at what they see as the inquiry's confirmation of a link between Pakistan's intelligence agencies and militant groups in the region but hold out little hope that this trend can be reversed.
English-language DAILY TIMES
This impartial commission directly blames the government of Pervez Musharraf ... and singles out the Punjab government and the police for not carrying out thorough investigations. Although these are allegations that had been voiced earlier by [Bhutto's] Pakistan's People's Party, the UN stamp has further solidified the perception that Mohtarma's death was avoidable. However, the most infuriating announcement has been that the failure of the consequent police probe into the assassination was deliberate ... This renders the entire government of Pervez Musharraf culpable as a conspirator in the death. The government of her now widowed husband has no other choice but to investigate and bring to book all those involved in this conspiracy of assassination and subsequent cover-up. With the UN commission categorically announcing that it has no part to play in the subsequent criminal proceedings, the ball is in the government's court.
English-language THE POST
The UN Commission's report has said nothing that was not already known. But perhaps it had a limited mandate ... Its only use lies in the fact that all the details of the murder case have now been put together in the form of a report by an authentic body which can be taken up for further investigations by the government of the day. Whenever pressed to pursue the murder probe, the Zardari government has said that it will move only after the completion of the UN probe. This condition has now been fulfilled and one will expect the government to move with alacrity to complete the investigations to fix responsibility and bring the guilty to justice. The nation has long been mystified by the government's attitude of inaction in the matter. But now there is no excuse not to take the necessary follow-up steps.
English-language THE NEWS
We have learned little that we did not already know from the report ... The failure of the Musharraf government and now this government to properly investigate it does nothing to debunk the conspiracies, and the UN report may be the unwitting midwife to obfuscation rather than clarity. There are questions here not brought up by the UN ... Why, we must ask, has an administration led by Benazir Bhutto's husband done so little to find out who killed his wife? An inquiry at home should have taken place alongside the UN inquiry ... There is clearly a great deal still hidden from the public eye. Benazir's killing affected an entire nation and that nation deserves to know more about it.
English-language PAKISTAN OBSERVER
Those who had pinned hopes on the UN inquiry ... must have received the shock of their life. The much-publicized report ... miserably failed to unmask those who committed the dastardly act and deprived the people of Pakistan of a great visionary leader. The 65-page report is a sort of joke as it deals with only generalities and produced nothing substantial to give any idea as to who and how and why she was eliminated ... One fails to understand that if this was to be the outcome then what was the need to spend huge sums and waste time and energy. Was it because of the nature of the terms of reference for the probe body or a deliberate attempt on the part of some quarters to misdirect the investigations? ... The report has also once again confirmed that foreign or international investigation bodies are no better than our own police and agencies.
English-language EXPRESS TRIBUNE
In some ways the findings presented by the UN probe ... can be described as insipid. People seemed to have been hoping the probe committee would, in stark black and white, declare who had killed the late leader and detonated the bomb that ended her life. This was always an unrealistic expectation, especially given the terms under which the probe was working. The probe report nevertheless throws up facts that cannot be ignored, particularly the role of the intelligence agencies in certain aspects of the tragedy and its most immediate aftermath ... The UN probe lays down some very explosive leads. The question is who will ensure that they are pursued?
A lot of work has to be done on the Benazir Bhutto murder case. Such assassinations of national leaders cause apprehension. In the light of the UN commission report the government should initiate further investigations and expose the real perpetrators.
Urdu-language NAWA-I WAQT
If the murder mystery is not solved and the killers are not punished following the UN probe report this will be a great tragedy for the country and its people in general and for the ruling People's Party in particular.
Now there should be no delay in identifying the real perpetrators. They should be punished in a way that is an exemplary lesson for the coming generation.
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