It all started way back in 1986 when Benazir Bhutto (BB) and Mir Murtaza Bhutto (MMB) started to differ with each other's views on politics of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). She had made a pragmatic move to come back to Pakistan during Gen Ziaul Haq's rule, under an arrangement, when Mr Junejo was the prime minister, while MMB took a principled stand that PPP could not have a working relationship with a military dictator. Zia had sent their father, and party chairman, to the gallows. His repressive rule against the people of Pakistan and brutal treatment meted out to the PPP workers could not be forgiven by MMB. All this heated discussion took place when MMB went to drop BB at the Heathrow, on way to a tumultuous welcome in Lahore. These differences grew when BB wedded Mr Asif Zardari. Later differences became public during BB's first government 1988 to 90. Total deterioration of relationship occurred when MMB was imprisoned in Karachi on return from Syria, during BB's second stint in power from 1993 to 96. The efforts by family members and friends to bring the sibling together failed to materialise. Even Begum Nusrat Bhutto's intervention throughout these 3 years could not resolve the differences. By then certain person(s) took advantage of the Bhutto family's internal dissension and eliminated MMB on September 20, 1996. The only reason being that these elements had their vested interest in inheriting the political power (in the form of un-disputed leadership of Pakistan Peoples Party). In exactly similar circumstances, certain person(s) again took advantage of the situation and took BB out of the equation of Pakistani politics. They planned her ruthless murder for the same motive as that of MMB. The extra incentive in her case being, the big monetary gain as well. Motive is the first thing that everyone looks for in any murder. History's great characteristic being that it repeats itself. Unfortunate were both the brother and the sister and the country that lost their leaders having public following. The Pakistani nation is unfortunate to have experienced the trauma of the assassinations of ZAB, MMB and BB. The gloom even persists to this day. The family of ZAB and the people of Pakistan did not deserve this. Certain conclusions can be drawn from a case study of the murders of MMB and BB, as there are many similarities between them. "    Both were coming in a motorcade after attending a public meeting and therefore vulnerable to an attempt on their lives, as there were a number of known and unknown people in their entourage. After the public meetings, the security cordons, without exception, break down. "    Both were hit when they came out of their vehicle, MMB was stopped by the contingent of Sindh Police and was lured to come out and BB by people camouflaged as party workers surrounded her vehicle and would not let her proceed till she came out. Aware of her security concerns, she may not have wanted to come out of the hood of the vehicle, but she was edged on by someone close to her, so as not to disappoint the party workers. "    Both were hit in the head by marksmen as there were two bullet wounds in case of MMB and only one in BB's case. "    In both cases the crime scenes were washed away by the municipality concerned, thus destroying the forensic and ballistic evidence. "    The authorities ordering destruction of such vital evidence are unknown in both assassinations. "    The general perception among the large majority of public about both the murders is an element of conspiracy by family member(s) and abetment of the sitting governments, during whose tenure the assassinations took place. "    The perpetrators of both the killings remain untraced like all high profile murders, which have taken place in Pakistan. This raises the suspicion in the minds of the general public as to the involvement of the high-ups in the government. "    Both the deceased leaders died in their prime and left behind minor children and a spouse who would become heirs to their politics and worldly possessions. "    The most important similarity between the two assassinations is that premeditated versions of the killings aired in great hurry immediately by the state controlled media and the police in MMB's case, while in BB's case it took less than 24 hours by the spokesperson of the ministry of interior to give his findings. In MMB's case the version aired was that a shoot out had taken place between the police and the guards of MMB, due to cross fire MMB and his 6 associates, including his party Sindh president Ashiq Jatoi, were killed. In reality the facts were quite to the contrary. The Sindh police, to prove their innocence, could only produce one Assistant Superintendent of Police Shahid Hayat, as a witness, who was shot in the foot, during the cross fire, and the medical examiner declared that his wound was self-inflicted. All the associates of MMB, including himself had only one or two bullet injuries which proved fatal in each death. Had there been a sporadic fire, it should have caused multiple injuries to the victims. It was a pure and simple case of target shooting. There was not a single passer-by who was injured, as the police had already cordoned off the whole area for carrying out their operation, with the intent to eliminate MMB and his associates, without any provocation whatsoever. In BB's killing, within 4 hours, a version was given out by Brig. Cheema, spokesman of the ministry of interior, again in indecent haste. According to the federal government the cause of death was BB's head being hit by the lever of the sunroof of her vehicle. The postmortem of the deceased was not carried out on the request of her spouse, the request readily accepted at the highest level. No witness account was recorded either. Much of the important evidence was washed away. No one was held responsible for lack of security. Within a few hours' voice recordings of the perpetrators, admitting to the killing of BB was produced by the ministry of interior, to which there has been no further reference. The venue of the assassination fell in the jurisdiction of the government of Punjab, but no investigation was carried out by the provincial government. With little evidence, and no thorough investigation, a conclusion was drawn by the federal government of Pakistan, which is beyond everyone's comprehension. It is equally baffling that with so little evidence and information, made available to the Scotland Yard and the director CIA, they still endorsed the conclusions arrived at by the Government of Pakistan. "    A strong similarity between the two cases is that a very important witness of the crime scene in each case was physically eliminated. In MMB's case the station house officer (SHO) of Clifton, Karachi, Inspector Haq Nawaz Sial, under whose jurisdiction the killings took place, was found dead at his residence in the police lines Karachi, a highly guarded area, shot in the head with his own revolver. This incidence took place within a week of MMB's murder. It was rumoured that the SHO was not in the full picture about the killings and he had threatened to divulge all the details of the operation to get MMB and his associates, in case he or his men were implicated in any way in the killings. In case of BB's killing on 27 December 2007, at Rawalpindi, Khalid Shahenshah, a security guard in charge of her house in Karachi, who was pictured in close proximity to BB at the time of her killing, was gunned down six months after her death. Elimination of these important witnesses to the crime, to date remains untraced. Examining the points raised above, regarding the similarities between MMB's and BB's murders, one can draw different conclusions, one being that: persons responsible of MMB's killing had perfected their skills when it came to BB's elimination 12 years later. There is, however, a stark dissimilarity between the two murders also. This is briefly stated as follows: The family, party and friends, though small in number, stood firmly against the murderers of MMB. They fought out a legal battle against the powerful and resourceful suspects, who held top positions in the then government. Immediate postmortem was carried out on all the deceased persons including MMB so as to complete a legal formality. When the Sindh police refused to record the complaint as per version of Ms Ghinwa Bhutto, widow of MMB and Ms Zaib-un-Nissa, widow of Ashiq Jatoi, the court of the Sindh chief justice had to be moved and after considerable effort police was ordered by the CJ to lodge the First Information Report (FIR) as desired by the widows. Great deal of effort was put in, to get the case challaned for further proceedings in the trial court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Karachi. Many witnesses dared to record their statements against the high and mighty without fear or favour. Over two dozen witnesses deposed before the trial court and the case has still not reached any conclusion till date (July 2008). Sardar Mumtaz Ali Khan Bhutto played a defiant role in bringing to trial the alleged murderers of his cousin Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's eldest son. The court battle still goes on even after 12 years, while many governments have come and gone and many judges shifted and shuffled places, the aggrieved yet to get justice. The most commendable aspect of the whole tragedy being that Ms Ghinwa Bhutto and her children faced the circumstances bravely and made Pakistan their home in spite of the many threats to their life. Contrary to the impressions in certain quarters, that being a foreigner, she may find safety for herself and her children in Lebanon or Syria. On the other hand, BB had a mass following in the entire country - leader of the single largest political party - with great numbers of national and international friends, and huge number of political and financial beneficiaries, and the entire family behind her, not a single person, mentioned in these categories, has even lodged an FIR in the police station to bring to book the elements, which they think, responsible for BB's killing. None of them even insisted on carrying a postmortem on her which could help in the future investigations. No one in the list of her devotees even stopped the municipal authorities of Rawalpindi from washing away the site of crime, resulting in the destruction of very important evidence. BB had a whole team of eminent lawyers who have fought many legal battles for her and the party ever since Mr ZAB started the struggle way back in1966, after the famous Tashkent Declaration. Can all this be attributed to negligence, incompetence or carelessness on the part of all and everyone? I have my serious doubts. There is definitely some other motive behind this gruesome murder not being investigated. The entire party seem complacent with the outcome of the general elections 2008, as if forming of the government was their ultimate goal. This feeling one gets from the attitude of the fluttering party officials and representatives in the media. No one has pointed their little finger against any conspirator/s leave alone starting any investigation after the formation of their government. She was none other than the two times Prime Minister of Pakistan, First woman elected leader of the Muslim world, and above all the daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who even today stands head and shoulder above a lot of politicians who served/ruled Pakistan. All the friends, family and the party did was to hurriedly go and bury her with great fanfare in her ancestral graveyard, in Ghari and capitalise on her death. The writer is a former member of PPP (Shaheed Bhutto)