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UN report blames Benazir Bhutto's assassination on Pakistan government lapses

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Farahnaz Ispahani, an aide to Bhutto's widower President Asif Ali Zardari, indicated on Friday that the report could pave the way for "penal proceedings."

Major Gen. Rashid Qureshi, General Musharraf's former spokesman, branded the inquiry a "pack of lies" in comments made to the BBC. "The report makes absurd statements. The inquiry was not well conducted," he said.

Conspiracy theories persist

Bhutto was assassinated on Dec. 27, 2007 by a 15-year-old suicide bomber during a political rally in Rawalpindi. Just days before, she had returned to Pakistan from self-imposed exile to contest elections as the country prepared for a return to democracy after eight years of military rule.

Her death was followed by widespread rioting and a protracted period of national mourning. While Musharraf’s government named the mastermind of the attack as Baitullah Mehsud, the former Pakistani Taliban leader who was killed in a US drone attack last year, numerous conspiracy theories continue to circulate blaming Musharraf, the ISI, the United States, and President Zardari.

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