The Aug. 17 air crash that killed Pakistani president Mohammad Zia ul-Haq was caused by a malfunction of the Lockheed C-130 craft, not a bomb or missile, The New York Times reported Friday.
The conclusion was reached by a group of Pakistani investigators who received only slight assistance from the United States, the newspaper said, citing administration sources.The administration officials also declined to say whether or not the malfunction appeared to have been the result of deliberate sabotage.
However, the newspaper said that because few details have been released about the crash and the subsequent investigation, there is widespread speculation that sabotage may be to blame for the malfunction.
Phyllis E. Oakley, a State Department spokeswoman, said it falls to Pakistan to release information about the invesigation, noting that the United States provided only technical assistance.
The Times quoted administration sources as saying they thought Pakistan might wait until after its national elections, scheduled for Nov. 16., before releasing details of the investigation.
Thirty people were killed in the crash, including Arnold Raphael, a New York native who served as U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, and Brig. Gen. Herbert Wassom, the U.S. military attache.