There is a general conception in Pakistan that late General Zia was eliminated by Americans in a mysterious plane crash in August 17, 1988:

  • The plane went down and then up and eventually hit the ground at about 60-70 deg and exploding.
  • No black box was recovered.
  • There was no MayDay Signal before crash.
  • Two other planes who were on the same frequency, did not hear anything from the plane, except one word "Mahmood" (name of one pilot).
  • No sign of struggle (as if the pilots were already dead).
  • No autopsies were made on the dead.
  • There were two American diplomats on board. US and FBI was kept out of investigation even though two US diplomats were involved.

The bottom line is, it wasn't a typical case.

One theory that is popular in Pakistan the pilots were paralyzed almost instantly with a lethal gas that only a few countries could have obtained.

Wikipedia explains (citing The History and Culture of Pakistan by Nigel Kelly):

A board of inquiry was set up to investigate the crash. It concluded the most probable cause of the crash was a criminal act of sabotage perpetrated in the aircraft. It also suggested that poisonous gases were released which incapacitated the passengers and crew, which would explain why no Mayday signal was given.

Barbara Crossett wrote an article about it that suggests this poison gas theory is true. Also American Ambassador to India, John Gunther Dean, suggested there could be an Israeli connection.

All I know is I had people from Congress coming to me and saying, John, a man of your background, you have to go and help on the Israeli issue. I said, What are you talking about? I'm the American ambassador [in India]. Whatever my religious views are, are between myself and my maker. I resent this. Go and talk to Arnie Raphel and Arnie Raphel by the way was Jewish, and he got along great with Zia. Why did these Congress people come to me and say, John, you gotta help curb the Pakistani ambitions for a bomb? Why did they come to me to ask the Indians to be more forthcoming with Israel?"

Other sources Edward Jay Epstein - 1989

Is there evidence to support the poison gas theory (or any other assassination theory)?

  • 2
    I've reopened after an Epic Edit by Believer and another by me. The comments pertained to the old version and I've cleaned them.
    – Sklivvz
    Feb 19, 2012 at 23:52
  • @Sklivvz thanks for opening the question. I refrained from such an open question in the first place because I thought it would be out of scope here. Nevertheless I want to find out the truth.
    – Believer
    Feb 20, 2012 at 1:16
  • @LarianLeQuella, restored to my last edit.
    – Believer
    Feb 20, 2012 at 17:35
  • 1
    sounds like just another anti-american, anti-zionist, conspiracy theory. As always, leave it up to the conspiracy theorists to prove their point conclusively, as arguing with them about the truth doesn't work (they'll just accuse you of being part of the attempt to cover up the conspiracy).
    – jwenting
    Feb 21, 2012 at 6:28
  • @jwenting it could but ... it was a simple crash, why it can't be explained. A president was killed and no postpartum on dead bodies. Zia rode two americans with him to buy insurance for himself but that did not work. The way everything happened seems to be consistent with how Isreal carries out its missions. The most important thing, FBI did not get involved and American excused themselves, saying Muslim bury their dead within 24 hours so they can't perform autopsies. The toxic gas that was used can only be obtained by a few countries. I am not saying it can not be conspiracy theory
    – Believer
    Feb 21, 2012 at 12:06


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