SC upheld army official’s punishments for plotting against Benazir’s 1995 administration

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Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday upheld the sentencing of military officials engaged in the 1995 plot to topple the government of the former prime minister and head of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Benazir Bhutto.

All appeals against the sentences of Colonel (ret.) Azad Minhas and Colonel (ret.) Inayatullah was rejected by the Supreme Court.

Azad had received a two-year term from the field court-martial, and Inayatullah had received a four-year sentence with hard labor and a discharge from the military.

In 1995, both ex-army officers were charged with conspiring to topple Benazir’s government. The SC’s reserved decision was read aloud by Justice Muneeb Akhtar on February 15.

The Lahore High Court earlier denied the petitions challenging their sentencing. After the LHC’s denial, the accused went to the SC in 2016.

The plot to topple the PPP government at the time resulted in the conviction of four military personnel and one civilian.

Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on December 27, 2007, not long after speaking at an election rally in Rawalpindi’s famed Liaquat Bagh. She was reportedly assassinated by a suicide bomber who was 15 years old.

The first female premier of a Muslim nation was assassinated more than 15 years ago, and despite numerous national and international investigations, her trial is still cloaked in mystery. Her perpetrators have yet to be brought to justice.