Accessibility links

Pakistan Accepts Help From Britain to Probe Bhutto Assassination

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says a team from Britain's Scotland Yard will help investigate the death of opposition leader and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

In an address to the nation Wednesday, President Musharraf said he wanted to set up a commission to dispel any confusion about the circumstances of Ms. Bhutto's assassination. He called her death last Thursday a great tragedy and blamed it on terrorists.

Britain's foreign minister, David Miliband, Wednesday said a team of officers from the Metropolitan Police's Counter-terrorism Command would leave for Pakistan by the end of the week.

In his speech, Mr. Musharraf also backed the election commission's decision Wednesday to delay parliamentary elections until February 18 - saying they will be free, fair and peaceful. He said the army will be deployed to ensure security during the elections.

President Musharraf strongly condemned those who rioted in the days after Ms. Bhutto's assassination. Around 60 people were killed and millions of dollars in property, including election offices, were damaged.

Ms. Bhutto's husband, Asif Ali Zardari, spoke just minutes after Mr. Musharraf's speech Wednesday. He reiterated the Pakistan People's Party condemnation of the election's postponement but said the party would participate. Zardari also called for a United Nations investigation into his wife's death.

The opposition party of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says it also will participate in the upcoming poll.

Earlier, both opposition parties had demanded the elections take place as originally scheduled on January 8.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.