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UN Responds Favorably to Pakistan's Request for Bhutto Killing Probe


The United Nations has responded favorably to a request for an investigation into the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Mehmood Qureshi met with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the U.N. on Thursday to discuss the formation of an independent commission to probe Ms. Bhutto's killing.

Mr. Ban's office said the secretary-general responded positively to the request, but that further consultations with Pakistan and other U.N. officials will be needed.

Ms. Bhutto was assassinated in a suicide gun and bomb attack while campaigning in December in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has blamed al-Qaida and Taliban-linked militant commander Baitullah Mehsud for her death. But Ms. Bhutto's supporters have questioned the Pakistani government's probe into her death.

During their meeting Thursday, Qureshi and Mr. Ban agreed on the composition of the commission and elements to safeguard its objectivity, impartiality and independence.

Qureshi said he also met with representatives of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.

The top Pakistani diplomat traveled to Washington Friday, where he was due to meet with his U.S. counterpart, Condoleezza Rice and other government officials, as well as several lawmakers.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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