Zardari knew about Osama raid,says Ijaz

Says Zardari called Kayani on day of the raid and asked him not to use F-16 combat jets to target US helicopters

Written by Press Trust Of India | Islamabad | Published: March 3, 2012 1:34 am

Controversial Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz,a key figure in the memo scandal,Friday claimed that President Asif Ali Zardari had advance information of the US military raid that killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad.

Ijaz further claimed that Zardari had telephoned army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on the day of the raid and asked him not to use F-16 combat jets to target the US helicopters.

He made the remarks before entering the Pakistan High Commission in London to depose via a video link before a Supreme Court-appointed judicial commission investigating the memo issue. He contended that his claims were similar to those made in a report in The News daily. “I can confirm the two people that are referred to are… Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani,who received a call from President Asif Ali Zardari,essentially asking him to stand the F-16s down that had been scrambled to take care of the US helicopters,” Ijaz said.

The report in The News daily,which quoted an email received anonymously,said Pakistani air traffic controllers had detected the entry of four US helicopters into Pakistani airspace between 12.39 am and 12.47 am on May 2 last year and alerted Pakistan Air Force. Though four F-16s were scrambled,the report said,“a senior person contacted the office of another senior to say he permitted the operation,thus no intervention should be made.”

Had info about imminent coup in Pak: Ijaz

American businessman Mansoor Ijaz Friday said he delivered a memo to the former US military chief because intelligence agencies of four countries had told him of the possibility of an “imminent” military coup in Pakistan after the killing of Osama bin Laden last year.

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