UN to return $2.3 million to Pakistan from Benazir murder inquiry

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UNITED NATIONS, Oct 29 (APP): The United Nations has agreed to reimburse
Pakistan $ 2.3 million it owed to the country from the residual amount earlier contributed by Islamabad for an inquiry into the late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, according to UN sources.
The U.N.’s commitment to return the money resulted from the efforts
of Pakistan’s Mission to the UN in New York. The sources said the world body is now ready to pay back the amount from the $3.5 million paid by the ex-President Asif Ali Zardari’s government.
The UN is understood to have apologized for the delay in the matter
to Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Dr Maleeha Lodhi, saying the amount would be returned as early as possible.
The Mission is now working with the UN to assess their calculations,
asking for return of this amount to the Government of Pakistan.
The move to seek a U.N. inquiry into Bhutto’s murder was a highly
unusual move by the PPP government and it also cost money to Pakistan government.
The UN Commission was established in 2008 to investigate the death of
Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, at the request of the then Government of Pakistan. The Report of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry into the facts and circumstances of the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was published in 2010.
Benazir Bhutto was killed on 27 December 2007 in a gun-and-bomb attack
as she left a campaign rally at Liaquat Bagh, in Rawalpindi. Twenty four other people were killed and 91 injured.
Pakistan made two financial contributions to the inquiry in 2009
amounting to roughly $ 3.48 million. Modest contributions were also made, at Pakistan’s request, by the US and the UK. But Pakistan paid the bulk of the total amount to the UN.
In 2010, when the Commission completed its work, it requested Pakistan
to retain a small amount to complete outstanding Secretarial tasks, which was agreed at that time.
Pakistan’s Mission to UN, insisting on a detailed breakdown of the
expenditure, had urged the return of the outstanding amount.
As a result of these efforts, the UN has now informed the Pakistan
Mission that, according to their calculations, they owe Pakistan approximately $ 2.3 million, accrued from the total contribution made by Pakistan. This amount is soon expected to be reimbursed to Pakistan.