NukeGate: Richard Armitage’s Secret Deal with Musharraf & the Murder of Benazir Bhutto

NukeGate: Richard Armitage’s Secret Deal with Musharraf & the Murder of Benazir Bhutto

NukeGate archive

(From "Terror on the Right," coming in the Fall, 2013)

Before returning to power in Pakistan, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto offered to allow investigations of the A.Q. Khan nuclear trafficking network in the West. She speculated that an inquiry “might produce terrible results” for several ex-generals of the Pakistan Army who were part of it, but “were conveniently let off the hook as part of a secret deal between General Pervez Musharraf and Richard Armitage in 2004.”

“Dr AQ Khan,” Pakistan’s International News reports, “is on record having said that all the top army generals since 1985 knew about the proliferation activities of his network.”

Musharraf agreed to jail Dr. A.Q. Khan

“only after striking a secret deal with US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage in 2004 that his own army generals involved in the illegal nuclear trade would not be touched and most importantly, that he himself would be accepted by the Americans to rule Pakistan in his military uniform.”

Benazir Bhutto herself stood in the way of Musharraf’s ambitions when she returned in 2007, but it is not known if assassination – a foreign policy function that Armitage had some experience in – was a term of the "secret deal," but it was a necessary one if Pakistan was to continue to be ruled by a four-star general in military plumage.

Benazir Bhutto was murdered on December 27, 2007 in Rawalpindi. Mark Siegel, an American lobbyist, former director of the Democratic National Committee and a Bhutto confidante, has testified, in a statement recorded by Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency, that  Pervez Musharraf threatened Benazir Bhutto with “dire consequences” if she returned before the 2008 elections. Bhutto was with Siegel when she received the call from Musharraf. In that conversation, Musharraf informed Ms Bhutto that “he would not be responsible for her security if she returned before the elections.”[1]

Shortly after Benazir Bhutto was murdered, Musharraf issued a statement calling on the citizens of Pakistan to remain calm so the "nefarious designs of terrorists can be defeated."

After the deal was struck by Armitage and Musharraf, “the role of Pakistani generals in nuclear proliferation was ignored by the Americans and they focused on AQ Khan alone.” Khan was “made a scapegoat in the name of ‘national security interests.’”

A dossier on the Khan network released in England states that A,Q. Scapegoat was “put under detention after he threatened the former ISI chief General Ehasanul Haq that he would tell the names of all the military generals who were part of this network if he was touched by the Musharraf government.” Before he could make good on his threat, however, “he was arrested and put under house arrest without any access to the media and the courts. The same dossier had revealed that Dr A.Q. Khan had told his investigators that all the chiefs of Pakistan Army since 1985 knew about the activities of his illegal network.”[2]

A recent postscript:

Musharraf wanted to ‘eliminate’ Bhutto considering her ‘threat’: Pak authorities

ANI, December 15, 2012, 13:51

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has told Interpol that of former President Pervez Musharraf wanted to eliminate Benazir Bhutto considering her a threat to his rule, it has emerged.

The statement was apparently made after the world police rejected Pakistan authorities’ request to arrest Musharraf, who is currently in exile in London.
According to the Dawn, in September this year, the FIA sent the request to Interpol for the arrest of Musharraf, but the latter rejected it, stating it was moved under political pressure.

The FIA recently dispatched another letter to Interpol, requesting them to arrest Musharraf, a prime accused in the Bhutto murder case.

FIA attached arrest warrants for Musharraf as well as some pieces of evidence, with the letter.

The evidence dispatched with the letter on Thursday included a statement by US Journalist Mark Siegel and records of emails sent by Musharraf to former premier Benazir Bhutto.

[1] Khalid Iqbal, “Mark Siegel Among Six Summoned by ATC,” The International News, December, 16, 2012.

[2] “Access to AQ Khan to Expose Many Sacred Cows,” The International News, (available at the “Back Issues” section of the IN site, not in the archives, but it was reposted on October 10, 2007):

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