‘Musharraf knew where Osama was hiding’

US Special Forces killed Osama in a May 2 raid in Abbottabad

Written by Press Trust Of India | Islamabad | Published:February 16, 2012 12:57 am

Former president Pervez Musharraf knew that Osama bin Laden was hiding in the garrison town of Abbottabad and the Pakistani intelligence itself had made the safe house that sheltered him,a former ISI chief has alleged,according to a media report.

Former CIA official Bruce Riedel quoted ex-ISI chief Gen (retired) Ziauddin Khwaja alias Ziauddin Butt,as saying that Musharraf “knew bin Laden was in Abbottabad”.

In an article for The Daily Beast website,Riedel quoted Butt as saying that Osama’s safe house in Abbottabad “was made to order” by Brig Ijaz Shah,a former head of the Intelligence Bureau. “Ziauddin says Ijaz Shah was responsible for setting up bin Laden in Abbottabad,ensuring his safety and keeping him hidden from the outside. And Ziauddin says Musharraf knew all about it,” Riedel wrote. However,Butt told Geo News channel Wednesday that he had been misquoted in the article.

“If (Musharraf) knew,then he should be questioned the next time he sets foot in America,” wrote Reidel. He also wrote that if those hiding Osama were known it would not be difficult to find out “who is hiding his successor,Ayman Zawahiri”.

US Special Forces killed Osama in a May 2 raid in Abbottabad. Since then,US officials have questioned if elements in Pakistan were aware of Osama’s presence in the country.

Butt was made head of the ISI by former premier Nawaz Sharif and later made army chief in 1999 when he tried to fire Musharraf. After Musharraf’s coup,Butt spent two years in solitary confinement and was discharged from the army. Riedel noted that he thus had “a motive to speak harshly about Musharraf”. Shah was chief of the Intelligence Bureau when Benazir Bhutto returned in 2007. Bhutto linked him to an attempt to assassinate her. Shah has been linked to Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh,released during the Kandahar hijacking.

Expelled by India,Jilani is next Pak Foreign Secy

Top Pakistani diplomat Jalil Abbas Jilani,who was expelled by India in 2003 after being accused of funnelling funds to Kashmiri separatists,has been named as the next Foreign Secretary,official sources said on Wednesday. Jilani,currently Pakistan’s Ambassador to the European Union,Belgium and Luxembourg,is a cousin of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. The 57-year-old Jilani will replace Salman Bashir,who retires on March 3. Bashir is expected to be posted as the new High Commissioner to India. Jilani was the Deputy High Commissioner in New Delhi in 2003.

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