May 11, 2009 “New Karala” — Washington, May 11: Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has alleged that elusive Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was a US operator who had tried to destabilise his late wife Benazir Bhutto’s government back in 1989.
Meet the Press transcript here.
In fact, as premier Bhutto had “warned America about Osama bin Laden in 1989 with a call to then US president George H. Bush”, Zardari said on NBC’s Meet the Press programme Sunday.
“She rang senior Bush and asked of him: ‘Are you destabilizing my government?’ because he (apparently referring to bin Laden) paid the then opposition $10 million to overthrow the first woman elected (prime minister) in an Islamic country,” Zardari added.
“So, we knew that he was your operator,” said Zardari responding to a question about bin Laden’s whereabouts.
“You’ll have been there (in Afghanistan) for eight years. (So) you tell me. You lost him in Tora Bora, I didn’t, I was in prison,” he countered when asked where bin Laden was before hurling the allegation at Washington.
Asked if Pakistan was actively looking for bin Laden, Zardari replied: “The world is looking for him and we are part of the world look-out brigade.”
Zardari also reiterated his belief that bin Laden is dead. “I have a strong feeling and I have reason to believe that because I’ve asked my counterparts in the American intelligence agencies and they have not heard of him since seven years.”