Ban discusses UN help for Bhutto assassination probe with Pakistani official

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with Pakistan's Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi

11 July 2008 – During a meeting between Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Pakistan's Foreign Minister yesterday, a broad understanding was reached on some issues concerning United Nations help for Pakistan's efforts following the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

The meeting followed a request to the Secretary-General from Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmod Qureshi to establish an international commission to identify those responsible for the assassination in December last year, and to bring them to justice.

Mr. Ban indicated that further consultation with Pakistan and others within the UN would be required to examine the modalities and structure of such a commission.

Broad understanding has been reached on the following issues: the nature of the proposed commission; funding modalities, composition of the commission; unhindered access to all sources of relevant information; and elements to safeguard the objectivity, impartiality and independence of the commission.

“While we've made some progress in terms of arriving at a broad understanding of some issues, there is the need for further consultations with Pakistan, and possibly with other States, about the scope and the mandate of this proposed committee,” UN spokesperson Farhan Haq told reporters today.

“We're trying to help Pakistan as we can,” he added.


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