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Benazir knew names, nos of suicide squads: Book

Feb 12, 2008 09:50 AM IST Books Books

New Delhi: Slain Pakistan People's party leader Benazir Bhutto's book Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and the West was released in Islamabad on Tuesday. Benazir had completed writing the book just a week before her assassination. A lot of interest has been generated worldwide about the posthumous book in which Benazir had speculated about her death. In the excerpts of the book, published by major Western newspapers, Benazir has revealed that Osama Bin Laden's son Hamza was one of the heads of the four designated suicide squads meant to kill her. Taliban warlord Baitullah Mehsud and two other militant groups had formed the other suicide groups. News agency Reuters reported that Benazir knew the names of all her possible assassins and even had their mobile phone numbers. Benazir has written, “I had actually received from a sympathetic Muslim foreign government the names and cell numbers of designated assassins.” After the first attempt on her life, Benazir wrote that ''a cover-up seemed to be under way from the very first moments of the attack'' and said that the attack was ''clearly meant to appear to be an al Qaeda-style suicide attack.'' ''In Pakistan things are almost never as they seem. There are always circles within circles, rarely straight lines. This was meant to look like the work of al Qaeda and the Taliban, and I do not doubt they were involved,'' she wrote. The book, which the former premier put together with the help of her long-time friend and associate Mark Siegel will also feature a short afterword by Benazir's husband Asif Ali Zardari and their children. ''This book is about everything that those who killed her could never understand: democracy, tolerance, rationality, hope, and, above all, the true message of Islam,'' they wrote. ''Or maybe they did understand these things and feared them, and thus feared her. She was the fanatics' worst nightmare.'' With inputs from Reuters