British police to help investigate Bhutto's death

Updated: 2008-01-03 10:34

LONDON -- A British police team of technical experts will assist the Government of Pakistan in the investigation of the death of Benazir Bhutto, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Wednesday.

"At the request of President Musharraf, the Prime Minister (Gordon Brown) has agreed to send a UK Police team of technical experts to assist the Government of Pakistan in the investigation of the death of Benazir Bhutto," Miliband said in a statement.

The team is due to leave Britain by the end of the week, the foreign secretary said.

"As the terrible events of last week show only too clearly, Pakistan faces a very serious threat from extremism. The UK is already closely engaged with the Government of Pakistan on counter- terrorism cooperation. The Prime Minister and President Musharraf have agreed to further deepen this aspect of our relationship, and officials will travel to Pakistan to take this forward," the foreign secretary said.

Commenting on President Musharraf's confirmation that elections in Pakistan will be held on February 18, Miliband said: "The UK believes that free and fair elections are vital for the future of Pakistan. In the light of today's announcement that elections are to be held on February 18th, it is vital that the Government of Pakistan makes full use of the extended period before elections are held to ensure that all necessary arrangements are put in place so that they are transparent and fair. "

Welcoming the Government of Pakistan's previous commitment to allow election observation and hope that a comprehensive international election monitoring effort will take place, Miliband hoped that all parties will participate in the elections.

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