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Ex-ISI chief claims Musharraf hosted Osama in Abbottabad

Discussion in 'South Asia & SAARC' started by BlueOval, Feb 15, 2012.

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  1. BlueOval

    BlueOval Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    The startling claim of former ISI chief General Ziauddin Butt that ex-president General Musharraf knew that Osama bin Laden was in Abbottabad and his IB Chief Ijaz Shah had hired the bungalow for the fugitive al-Qaeda leader, has led to demands that Musharraf should be interrogated by the Americans next time he enters the US.

    Bruce Riedel, a senior adviser in the Obama administration in an article in the Daily Beast, says if Mush, as many call him in Pakistan, knew, then he should be questioned by the authorities the next time he sets foot in America.

    The explosive Ziauddin Butt interview was published by Newsweek in which the former ISI chief accused Pervez Musharraf of knowing where bin Laden was hiding. Bruce Riedel in his article said ever since the Navy SEALS found Osama bin Laden hiding in Abbottabad, Pakistan, less than a mile from the country’s national military academy, the question haunting American relations with Pakistan has been, who knew he was there? How did the most wanted man in human history find a hideout in one of Pakistan’s most exclusive military cantonment cities and live there for five years without the Pakistani spy service finding him? Or did they know all along?

    “Now there is an explosive new charge. The former head of the Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) says former president Pervez Musharraf knew bin Laden was in Abbottabad. General Ziauddin Khawaja, also known as Ziauddin Butt, was head of ISI from 1997 to 1999. A four star general, he fought in the 1965 and 1971 wars with India. He was the first head of the army’s Strategic Plans Division which controls the country’s nuclear weapons. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made him director general of ISI in 1997 and promoted him to chief of army staff on October 12, 1999 when he fired Musharraf from the job. Musharraf refused to go and launched a coup that overthrew Sharif. Ziauddin spent the next two years in solitary confinement, was discharged from the army, had his property confiscated and his retirement benefits curtailed. So he has a motive to speak harshly about Musharraf.

    So bearing that in mind, here is what the former spy chief claims. Ziauddin says that the safe house in Abbottabad was made to order for bin Laden by another Pakistani intelligence officer, Brigadier General Ijaz Shah, who was the ISI bureau head in Lahore, Pakistan when Musharraf staged his coup. Musharraf later made him head of the intelligence bureau, the ISI’s rival intelligence in Pakistan’s spy versus spy wars. 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.

    Ijaz Shah is a colourful character. He has been closely linked to Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, a British born Kashmiri terrorist who was imprisoned in India in 1994 for kidnapping three British citizens and an American. Saeed was freed when Pakistani terrorists hijacked an Indian airliner to Kandahar, Afghanistan in December 2000, a plot masterminded by bin Laden and assisted by the ISI and the Afghan Taliban. Saeed was part of the plot two years later to kidnap Daniel Pearl and turned himself in to Brigadier Shah. Musharraf nominated Shah to be ambassador to Australia, but Canberra said no thanks. So he got the intelligence bureau job.

    Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto accused Shah of being behind the attempt to murder her when she returned from exile in late 2007. She was of course killed in another attempt later that year. Shah fled to Australia for a time while the situation cooled off. Ziauddin says Ijaz Shah was responsible for setting up bin Laden in Abbottabad and Musharraf knew all about it.

    Without a doubt, Ziauddin has an axe to grind. But he is also well tied in to the Pakistani intelligence world. When he was DG/ISI, he set up a special commando team to find and capture bin Laden with US help. Elite commandoes from Special Services Group, Pakistan’s SEALs, were put on the hunt. Musharraf disbanded the group after he took power. Ziauddin’s successor at the ISI, General Mahmud Ahmad, refused American requests to go after bin Laden right up to 9/11. Then Musharraf had to fire him because even after 9/11, he did not want to do anything to bring bin Laden to justice.

    “We don’t know who was helping hide bin Laden but we need to track them down. If Mush, as many call him in Pakistan, knew, then he should be questioned by the authorities the next time he sets foot in America. The explosive story about him is more than an academic issue. If we can find who hid bin Laden, we will probably know who is hiding his successor, Ayman Zawahiri, and the rest of the al Qaeda gang,†Riedel said.

    Ex-ISI chief claims Musharraf hosted Osama in Abbottabad
     
  2. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Pervez Musharraf 'knew Osama bin Laden was in Abbottabad'

    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 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 further quoted Butt as saying that bin Laden's safe house in Abbottabad "was made to order" by Brig Ijaz Shah, a former

    "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

    Former president Pervez Musharraf knew that Osama bin Laden was hiding in the garrison town of

    However, Butt told the Geo News channel Abbottabad. today that he had been misquoted in the

    He did not give details. US Special Forces killed the al-Qaida chief in a pre-dawn raid on a compound in Abbottabad, located a short distance from the elite Pakistan Military

    Since then, American officials have questioned whether elements in Pakistan's security

    Bin Laden reportedly lived in the walled compound in Abbottabad for five years.

    Riedel referred to US suspicions in his article, writing: "Ever since the Navy SEALs found Osama bin Laden hiding in Abbottabad, Pakistan, less than a mile from the country's national military academy, the question haunting American relations with Pakistan has

    Butt was made head of the ISI by former premier Nawaz Sharif and served in the post

    He was the first head of the army's Strategic Plans Division, which controls the nuclear

    Sharif promoted Butt to the post of army chief in October 1999 when he tried to fire

    Butt spent two years in solitary confinement, was discharged from the army and had his

    Brig (retired) Ijaz Shah, a former ISI bureau head in Lahore, served as chief of the Intelligence Bureau when former premier Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan from

    Bhutto linked him to an attempt to assassinate her but he denied the charges.

    Shah has been closely linked to Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, a British-born Kashmiri terrorist who was imprisoned in India in 1994 for kidnapping three Britons and an

    Saeed was freed when Pakistani terrorists hijacked an Indian airliner to Kandahar in

    Saeed was part of the plot to kidnap journalist Daniel Pearl and turned himself in to

    Riedel further wrote: "We don't know who was helping hide bin Laden but we need to track them down. If (Musharraf) knew, then he should be questioned by the authorities

    He added that if American authorities can find who hid bin Laden, "we will probably know who is hiding his successor, Ayman Zawahiri, and the rest of the al-Qaida gang
     
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