The lead prosecutor in the murder of Benazir Bhutto was shot dead in the Pakistani capital Islamabad on Friday as he travelled to court. Gunmen sprayed Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali’s car with bullets in a busy neighbourhood of the city. A female passer-by also died, and Zulfiqar’s bodyguard was wounded.
The killing will reignite conspiracy theories about who was behind the assassination of Bhutto, the charismatic former prime minister. Pervez Musharraf, the country’s former military dictator, is currently under house arrest accused of failing to provide proper security. Zulfiqar was involved in a string of high-profile investigations — including the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
“Chaudhry Zulfiqar was driving his car. He lost control and the car crushed a woman passer-by,” police officer Mohammad Yousuf said. “Zulfiqar was rushed to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.”
Witnesses said his white Toyota Corolla was badly damaged and the attack was conducted in a professional manner. No-one has ever been convicted of the murder of Bhutto. She was killed by a suicide attacker as she left an election rally in December 2007.
The fact that Zulfiqar was killed on his way to the latest hearing in the murder case will only fuel speculation of a cover-up. He was the main government prosecutor who indicted seven alleged conspirators in the Mumbai attacks, which killed 166 people, and were blamed on Pakistan’s Islamist group Lashkar-e-Taiba.