The limited mandate of the International Independent Inquiry Commission (IIIC) appointed by UN Secretary General to probe Benazir Bhutto's assassination has disappointed many in Pakistan. Unlike the body which was formed to look into Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri's death its mandate does not allow it to hold a criminal investigation. It will thus confine itself only to determining the facts and circumstances which led to the tragic death of the charismatic leader. A criminal investigation of the case at this stage would anyway face serious limitations. Much of the evidence that could have helped investigators disappeared after the crime scene was hastily cleaned up by the administration, leading to allegations of General (retd) Musharraf's involvement in the assassination. Similarly refusal by Mr Zardari to allow the autopsy subsequently made it difficult to find answers to important questions relating to the cause of death. There are however a number of important clues that none has been able to wipe out. These include remarks by Benazir Bhutto regarding those who wanted to harm her. The attack on her homecoming parade on October 18, 2007 that killed 158 and where she escaped miraculously had made her revisit and analyse the information that she already possessed. In her interview with David Frost on November 2 she talked about three individuals who could be acting as financiers, sponsors and organisers of any future attempt on her life. She specifically talked about the head of a key security agency with military background leaving no doubt that she meant Brig (retd) Ejaz Shah who was then director general IB. The other names too soon became public. This led Mr Zardari to dub the Q-League as Qatil League. The third person publicly defended himself against the accusation. Benazir expected another assassination attempt any time. She conveyed her concerns to Musharraf asking him for radio jammers and four police escort cars one on each side of her vehicle. The request was turned down. This led her to suspect that Musharraf too was a part of the plan. On October 25 she sent an e-mail on the subject to Mark Siegel saying Musharraf should be held complicit in case she was killed. There were a number of forces that could have wanted Benazir to be out of their way. Baitullah Mehsud and his militants knew she would be a deadly enemy if elected prime minister. She had returned to the country against Musharraf's wishes upsetting his plans and he was furious over it. He had even threatened her, as noted by John Suskind, saying: "You should understand something, your security is based on the state of our relationship." For the PML-Q leadership she was not only a rival but also a person with whom they believed they had to settle a blood feud. Maverick elements in the security agencies had plotted against her during her earlier tenures in power, distributed funds among her opponents during elections and tried to buy the loyalties of the PPP legislators during a no confidence move. Some had sympathies and links with the militants and considered her a threat. Some of these forces could have joined hands to get her out of their way. The UN commission is highly competent. Two of its members have first hand knowledge of crimes committed under wily military rulers. Chile's UN Ambassador Heraldo Munoz who chairs the body is an academic-cum-politician, a co-founder of the Party for Democracy which currently rules Chile. He participated in the executive committee of the campaign to vote "no" on second term for General Pinochet during the 1988 plebiscite. His book The Dictator's Shadow: Life Under Augusto Pinochet has been widely appreciated. Mr Marzuki Darusman is a former attorney general of Indonesia who prosecuted General Suharto. Earlier, as a member of the National Human Rights Commission for seven years, he investigated complaints against the army of kidnapping, mass murder and gang rape. Mr Peter Fitzgerald of Garda Siochana, Ireland's national police force, led an initial UN probe into the death of Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri. During its three-day stay in Islamabad the Commission met President Zardari and received extensive briefings from Interior Minister Rehman Malik and a number of senior security officials. It has taken with it to New York the material collected by Pakistani agencies and the Scotland Yard. The PPP has been in office for a year and a half now. With their own prime minister and with key portfolios like interior and defence the government had enough opportunity to gather evidence that could help the commission reach the right conclusions. The facts and circumstances thus discovered could turn out to be incriminating for the suspects. The commission's report could help the government to appoint a tribunal to try the suspects. With an independent judiciary in place, the courts could even take suo motu notice of the report to bring the culprits to justice. All depends on the evidence collected by the PPP government. Failure in this respect will strengthen the view that Mr Zardari is not interested to find out the killers as some hidden hands do not want Musharraf or rogue elements in the intelligence community who are in collaboration with the militants to be in the dock and all that Mr Zardari wants a clean investigation to close the case.