=> KARACHI – The journalists and PPP volunteers were -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

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=> KARACHI – The journalists and PPP volunteers were

KARACHI – The journalists and PPP volunteers were not frisked at the airport while the Special Branch officials did not maintain record of any suspicious person present in Benazir Bhutto’s rally in Karachi on 18 October, the inquiry tribunal was told here on Monday.

The tribunal headed by Justice (Retd) Dr Ghous Mohammad for an inquiry into the Oct 18 bomb attacks on a PPP rally that left more than 140 people dead and 500 others injured, recorded the statement of SSP Special Branch Shabab Mazhar.

SSP Mazhar submitted that he was leading the special security branch officials on 18 October at the Airport and assigned different tasks including frisking of journalists, PPP volunteers and mosques and madrassas located on the route of the rally. When asked that whether he had prepared a list of journalists and volunteers participating in the rally, the police official replied that no such list was maintained adding that he was, however, informed that some foreign journalists were present in different hotels including two located near the airport.

He further said that almost all the journalists were frisked at the airport gate and tagged by the special branch officials but due to the disturbance create by PPP leaders and workers, some media persons were spared of this practice.

The Tribunal further asked the SSP about the total number of foreign journalists, he replied that as no such list was established so he was unable to tell appropriate number of newsmen. He further said that special branch officials along with bomb disposal department checked the float of Benazir Bhutto and after complete searching cleared her vehicle.

Later, Justice (retd) Dr Ghous Mohammad adjourned the hearing saying the statement of SSP special branch will be completed on January 8 (today).
Source: The Nation
Date:1/8/2008