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What is the connection between Nawaz Sharif and Osama Bin Laden? A Collection of News Reports

Is Nawaz Sharif a political investment of Osama bin Laden?

Daily Times, March 21, 2006
Nawaz met Osama, received funds: ex-ISI officer
* Says Osama funded Sharif to help dismiss PPP govt
* Calls Bin Laden a ‘great man’

Daily Times Monitor

LAHORE: A former official of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) has said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif met Osama Bin Laden and received funds from him.

“Nawaz Sharif met Osama Bin Laden on at least three occasions and was desperately seeking his financial assistance,” Khalid Khawaja told news website Adnkronos International (AKI) in an interview on Sunday.

Khawaja, a retired officer of the Pakistan Air Force who was in the ISI in the late 80s, rejected a recent denial by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz that its leader had sought political cooperation from Bin Laden in the last. “Osama is above all this politicking,” said Khawaja. “He is a great man and will remain great.”

Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal President Qazi Hussain Ahmed had said in a recent interview that Sharif had repeatedly met Bin Laden, who had offered him money to topple the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government in 1990.

Khawaja, who developed a friendship with Bin Laden while fighting against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 80s, told AKI that the Al Qaeda head wanted the “secular” PPP government overthrown to ensure that Pakistan continued supporting the Afghan “jihad”. Khawaja said that Bin Laden gave him funds which he personally delivered to Sharif, AKI reported. “Sharif insisted that I arrange a direct meeting with the ‘sheikh’, which I did in Saudi Arabia. Nawaz met Osama thrice in Saudi Arabia,” Khawaja said.

He said that the most “historic” meeting between the two men was held at the Green Palace Hotel in Madina. “Osama asked Nawaz to devote himself to ‘jihad in Kashmir’. Nawaz immediately said: ‘I love jihad.’ Osama smiled, and … said. ‘Yes, you may love jihad, but your love for jihad is this much,’ pointing to a small portion of a nearby pillar. ‘Your love for your children is this much,’ he said, pointing to a larger portion of the pillar. ‘And your love for your parents is this much,’ he continued, pointing towards the largest portion.

Khawaja said that such arguments were “beyond the comprehension” of Sharif, who kept asking “Manya key nai manya? (Has he agreed or not?)”.

The former premier was hoping for a grant of Rs 500 million. Although Bin Laden gave a smaller amount, Khawaja said that he arranged for Sharif to meet the Saudi royal family, which pledged political support for him and kept its word until he was dislodged by President Pervez Musharraf in 1999, AKI reported. In fact, it was the royal family that secured Sharif’s pardon and exile to Saudi Arabia.

………

Osama offered to buy votes for Nawaz: Qazi
(Dawn, 19 March 2006)

ISLAMABAD, March 18: Jamaat-i-Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed has revealed that Osama bin Laden had offered to buy loyalties of legislators to see Mian Nawaz Sharif as prime minister. In an interview appearing in the magazine of an Urdu newspaper on Sunday, Qazi Hussain Ahmed said that Osama had visited the JI headquarters Mansoora and wanted to strike an agreement with the Jamaat but the suggestion was declined by him.

Excerpts of the interview were published by the newspaper on Saturday.

Qazi said he had met Osama several times in the past.

However, the JI on Saturday clarified that meetings between the JI amir and Osama in Peshawar and Lahore were held in days when the Al Qaeda leader was staying in Peshawar.

Recalling political events that took place when Mr Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League and JI were components of the then Islami Jamhoori Ittehad, Qazi said Osama was a big supporter of IJI and Nawaz Sharif and wanted to see him Pakistan’s prime minister.

“Bin Laden was prepared to pay for buying parliamentarians’ votes to achieve this objective,” said Qazi Hussain Ahmed, who also heads the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal.

He said a delegation sent by Osama had visited him in Peshawar and conveyed that they wanted cooperation from JI but “we declined the request”.

In a statement issued on Saturday, a JI spokesman said that excerpts from interview were published in the daily and presented on a private TV channel in such a manner that they were creating confusion in the minds of people.—PPI

…….

Osama was eager to see Sharif as premier: Qazi (Daily Times, 19 March 2006)

LAHORE: Osama Bin Laden, the chief of Al Qaeda, was eager to see Nawaz Sharif as the prime minister of Pakistan, Qazi Hussain Ahmed, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) president and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief, has said.

In an interview with daily Jang’s Sunday Magazine, Qazi said that Bin Laden visited Mansoora and was willing to buy parliamentarians’ loyalties to ensure Nawaz Sharif’s election as prime minister. Bin Laden said that if there was a way to buy votes, he was willing to pay for them, Qazi said. “He was a big supporter of Islami Jamhoori Ittehad and Nawaz Sharif,” he said. The JI chief said that he met Bin Laden several times, adding that he (Osama) visited the JI headquarters in Mansoora. Qazi said that bin Laden was also interested in a deal with the JI, which he (Qazi) declined. He said that a delegation sent by Bin Laden visited Peshawar to meet him (Qazi), adding that they wanted co-operation from the JI, but we declined the request. “We refused on the grounds that we could not make any agreement with someone who did not have a homeland and who was himself unsafe in Afghanistan.

He said Bin Laden was not responsible for 9/11 as such an act was beyond him. nni

…….

Osama never met Nawaz: PML-N (Dawn, 20 March 2006)

ISLAMABAD, March 19: PML-N Information Secretary Siddiqul Farooq has said Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden never met Nawaz Sharif nor they ever talked about any political cooperation. He was talking to journalists in Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) secretariat on Sunday with reference to an interview of Qazi Hussain Ahmad.

“I want to keep it on record that US intelligence agencies, the then Pakistani government, ISI and other secret agencies of Pakistan, Afghan Mujahideen, several religious parties including Jamaat-i-Islami and Osama bin Laden were jointly fighting to liberate Afghanistan from the Soviet occupation.

Osama was a highly dignified person in the eyes of others and the US at that time. Later, differences developed between Osama and the US on the issue of Afghanistan and now they stand adversaries to each other.

Nawaz Sharif has no relevance to this situation”, Mr Farooq said.

As far as the disclosure made by Mr Ahmad about his meeting with Osama at Mansoora and that Osama wanted to see Sharif as prime minister and purchase loyalties of assembly members for this purpose, it was his personal wish, he said.

“This is an undeniable fact that Nawaz Sharif’s politics has been revolving around the protection of interests of Pakistan and its people over the past 23 years,” he said. —Online

………

Sharif met Bin Laden three times, says ex-ISI official

From our correspondent

22 March 2006 (Khaleej Times)

ISLAMABAD — A former official of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) has said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif met Osama bin Laden and received funds from him.

“Nawaz Sharif met Osama bin Laden on at least three occasions and was desperately seeking his financial assistance,” Khalid Khawaja told news web site Adnkronos International (AKI) in an interview.

Khawaja, a retired officer of the Pakistan Air Force who was in the ISI in the late 80s, rejected a recent denial by the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) that its leader had ever met Osama. “Osama is above all this politicking,” said Khawaja.

“He is a great man and will remain great.”

Muttahida Majlise Amal President Qazi Hussain Ahmed had said in a recent interview that Sharif had repeatedly met Bin Laden, who had offered him money to topple the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government in 1990.

Khawaja, who developed a friendship with Bin Laden while fighting against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 80s, told AKI that the Al Qaeda head wanted the “secular” PPP government overthrown to ensure that Pakistan continued supporting the Afghan ‘jihad’. Khawaja said that Bin Laden gave him funds which he personally delivered to Sharif, AKI reported.

“Sharif insisted that I arrange a direct meeting with the ‘sheikh’ which I did in Saudi Arabia. Nawaz met Osama thrice in Saudi Arabia,” Khawaja said.

He said that the most “historic” meeting between the two men was held at the Green Palace Hotel in Madinah.

“Osama asked Nawaz to devote himself to ‘jihad’ in Kashmir. Nawaz immediately said: ‘I love jihad’.” “Osama smiled, and said. ‘Yes, you may love jihad, but your love for jihad is this much,’ pointing to a small portion of a nearby pillar.

“Your love for your children is this much,” he said, pointing to a larger portion of the pillar. “And your love for your parents is this much, he continued, pointing towards the largest portion.”

Khawaja said that such arguments were “beyond the comprehension” of Sharif, who kept asking “Manya key nai manya? (Has he agreed or not?)”.

The former premier was hoping for a grant of Rs500 million. Although Bin Laden gave a smaller amount, Khawaja said that he arranged for Sharif to meet the Saudi royal family, which pledged political support for him and kept its word until he was dislodged by President Pervez Musharraf in 1999, AKI reported.
“In fact, it was the royal family that secured Sharif’s pardon and exile to Saudi Arabia.

….

Nawaz Sharif met Osama three times: former ISI official

Daily Times Monitor (23 June 2005)

LAHORE: Khalid Khawaja, a former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) official who was dismissed from the service by the late Gen Ziaul Haq because of his outspoken nature, has said former prime minister Nawaz Sharif met Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden thrice in Saudi Arabia.

In an interview to Asia Times Online on Wednesday, he said, “After Gen Zia’s death in a plane crash (1988), elections were announced and there was a possibility that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) led by Benazir Bhutto would win, which would be a great setback for the cause of the Afghan jihad against the USSR. The situation was discussed and all the mujahideen thought that they should play a role in blocking the PPP from winning the elections. I joined my former DG Hamid Gul and played a role in forming the then Islamic Democratic Alliance consisting of the Pakistan Muslim League and the Jamaat-e-Islami. The PPP won the elections by a thin margin and faced a strong opposition.”

Asian Times Online quoted Khalid as saying that Osama provided him with funds, which he handed over to Nawaz Sharif, then the chief minister of Punjab (and later premier), to dislodge Benazir Bhutto.

“Nawaz Sharif insisted that I arrange a direct meeting with the Osama, which I did in Saudi Arabia. Nawaz met thrice with Osama in Saudi Arabia. The most historic was the meeting in the Green Palace Hotel in Medina between Nawaz Sharif, Osama and myself. Osama asked Nawaz to devote himself to “jihad in Kashmir”. Nawaz immediately said, ‘I love jihad.’ Osama smiled, and then stood up from his chair and went to a nearby pillar and said, ‘Yes, you may love jihad, but your love for jihad is this much.’ He then pointed to a small portion of the pillar. ‘Your love for children is this much,’ he said, pointing to a larger portion of the pillar. ‘And your love for your parents is this much,’ he continued, pointing towards the largest portion. ‘I agree that you love jihad, but this love is the smallest in proportion to your other affections in life.’”

It quoted Khalid as saying these sorts of arguments were beyond Nawaz Sharif’s comprehension and he kept asking him ‘agreed or not’?

“Nawaz Sharif was looking for a Rs 500 million grant from Osama. Though Osama gave a comparatively smaller amount, the landmark thing he secured for Nawaz Sharif was a meeting with the (Saudi) royal family, which gave Nawaz Sharif a lot of political support, and it remained till he was dislodged (as premier) by Gen Pervez Musharraf (in a coup in 1999). Saudi Arabia arranged for his release and his safe exit to Saudi Arabia,” he told Asia Times online.

……

This is what the coordinator of Defence of human rights orgaization Khalid Khawaja has to say about Nawaz Sharif

From Italy’s Adnkronos International, via Militant Islam Monitor:

Former Pakistani PM met Bin Laden discussed Jihad – says ex intelligence agent

March 22, 2006

Karachi, 20 March (AKI) – (Syed Saleem Shahzad) –

Former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif did meet al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden at least three times in order to get financial help, according to Khalid Khawaja, the former official with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Khawaja, once a close friend of Osama bin Laden, rejected the statements by a spokesperson for Sharif’s political party, denying that Sharif had sought political cooperation from bin Laden in the past.

“Nawaz Sharif met Osama Bin Laden on at least three occasions and was desperately seeking his financial assistance,” Khawaja told in response to recent news reports regarding a possible meeting between the two.

In an interview with a national Urdu daily, Qazi Hussain Ahmad, the leader of the largest Islamic party in Pakistan, the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), and of the six party religious alliance MMA, said that Nawaz had repeatedly met Osama bin Laden who offered him money to buy the loyalties of parlimentarians in the late 1980s in order to topple the government of then prime minister Benazir Bhutto. Ahmad also said that bin Laden was a big supporter of Nawaz Sharif’s bid to be prime minister in 1990.

“Osama is above all this politicking,” said Khawaja. “He is a great man and will remain great. Even if Nawaz Sharif’s party refuse to admit a contact between Osama and Nawaz, it will not change the facts which were witnessed by many people including Khayyam Qaisar (Nawaz Sharif’s personal staff officer) and myself,” Khalid Khawaja maintained.

Khalid Khawaja is a retired squadron leader of the Pakistan Air Force who was an official in Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI, in the mid 1980s. After he wrote a critical letter to General Zia ul-Haq, who ruled Pakistan from 1977 till 1988, in which he labeled Zia as hypocrite, he was removed from the ISI and forced to retire from the airforce.

He then went straight to Afghanistan in 1987 and fought against the Soviets along side with Osama Bin Laden, developing a relationship of firm friendship and trust.

Khalid Khawaja’s name resurfaced when US reporter Daniel Pearl was abducted and subsequently killed. Pearl had come to Pakistan and met Khalid Khawaja in order to investigate the jihadi network of revered sufi, Syed Mubarak Ali Gailani.

“Actually the situation needs to be understood from very beginning as everybody has got the facts intermingled” Khawaja maintained.

“Soon after the plane crash of then President General Ziaul Haq in August 1988, I was fighting against the Soviets in Afghanistan. The biggest challenge before us was to save Afghan Jihad as in the post-Zia period the victory of the secular Pakistan Peoples Party was like writing on the wall.”

“So initially a few Pakistanis, including myself, planned an alliance which would be dominated by Islamic parties and also include the moderate Pakistan Muslim League. We wanted clear domination of hardline religious parties so that moderate Muslim League would not deviate from the cause of Jihad,” Khawaja asserted.

“A businessman, Tanveer Sheikh, Dr Adil of Jamia Farooqia, Karachi and myself were the three person who initiated this task. Tanveer Sheikh provided the seed money and we established an office in a bungalow in an upmarket neighborhood of Karachi.

“At that time we had zero percent support from ISI. Though they knew of our plan and we both used to exchange notes as well” he said.

“We had meetings with all top religious figures ranging from Mufti Rafi Usmani to Maulana Fazlur Rehman and finally brought them together under the umbrella of Muttahida Ulema Council (United Islamic Scholars Council).”

“However, the irony of this situation was that when all there was a ground-swell for a broader Islamic alliance the ISI hijacked the whole plan and deviated partners into IJI (Islamic Democratic Alliance).

Even then, Khawaja said, they did not give up and tried to outwit Benazir Bhutto . We met Altaf Hussain of MQM and he agreed to vote against Benazir Bhutto, then we tried to cut a deal between Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Nawaz Sharif. Nawaz was ready to give a big share to Fazl in power but Fazl insisted on premiership. As a result of these differences, Benazir Bhutto prevailed and with a very simple majority formed her government in 1989″ Khawaja recalled.

“Now after Benazir Bhutto formed her government and the opposition parties moved for a vote of no-confidence, Osama Bin Laden comes in a picture,” Khawaja recalled.

“However, let it be clear that Osama is Mujahid. His aim was not to manipulate Pakistani politics. His whole life revolves around the cause of Jihad” he said.

“I still remember that Osama bin Laden provided me with funds, which I handed over to Nawaz Sharif, then the chief minister of Punjab [and later premier], to dislodge Benazir Bhutto. Nawaz Sharif insisted that I arrange a direct meeting with the “Sheikh”, which I did in Saudi Arabia. Nawaz met thrice with Osama in Saudi Arabia. ”

The most historic was the meeting in the Green Palace Hotel in Medina between Nawaz Sharif, Osama and myself, Khayyam Qaiser is the witness for that meeting in which Khayyem, the personal staff officer tried to take a photograph but Osama’s friends there stopped him.

Osama asked Nawaz to devote himself to “jihad in Kashmir”. Nawaz immediately said, “I love jihad.” Osama smiled, and then stood up from his chair and went to a nearby pillar and said. “Yes, you may love jihad, but your love for jihad is this much.” He then pointed to a small portion of the pillar. “Your love for children is this much,” he said, pointing to a larger portion of the pillar. “And your love for your parents is this much,” he continued, pointing towards the largest portion. “I agree that you love jihad, but this love is the smallest in proportion to your other affections in life.”

These sorts of arguments were beyond Nawaz Sharif’s comprehension and he kept asking me. “Manya key nai manya?” [Agreed or not?] He was looking for a grant of 500 million rupee [US 8.4 million dollars at today’s rate]. Though Osama gave a comparatively smaller amount, the landmark thing he secured for Nawaz Sharif was a meeting with the [Saudi] royal family, which gave Nawaz Sharif a lot of political support, and it remained till he was dislodged [as premier] by General Pervez Musharraf [in a coup in 1999]. Saudi Arabia arranged for his release and his safe exit to Saudi Arabia,”

“Now with these immortal accounts secured in my memory I see the denials published in newspapers, that Nawaz had nothing to do with Osama, and I think “how can people forget their mentors?”. Nawaz proudly said that he is friend of US president Bill Clinton and but denies his association with a revered holy figure like Osama Bin Laden,” Khalid Khawaja concluded

Comments:

Syedpk says:

Our army has strong religious elements many were replaced by the president saab most of these mulah faujis were inducted and promoted during the time of zia.

There is always mulah military connection in pakistan.MMA some call it mullah military alliance and its main parties which are jamaat e islami and jamiat ullema islam are always helping military to remain in power in some way or the other.The nizam e mustafa tehrik during the bhutto government and uptill now where they have a coalition government in balochistan and their own in NWFP.

All parties have in some way or the other had their relations with the GHQ but the mullahs have always had good relations with army and agencies

Dont you guys think that the GHQ ordered qazi saab to reveal the osama nawaz connection so that nawaz sharif could face problems in lobbying his return to pakistan and participating in the next elections.

Zakk says:

Yup this bit of info has been floating around..again this is all old news..considering how the IJI had effectively conceded all foreign affairs and particularly Afghan policy to the Faujis I doubt Nawaz could do much without approval

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  • Osama-Nawaz ties to haunt PML-N

    Amir Mir
    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    LAHORE: Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s outburst against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in the National Assembly, saying the party had become an orphan after the death of Osama bin Laden who used to finance Nawaz Sharif in the past, has dusted off an old controversy, which is set to blemish the PML-N leadership.

    In fact, it was way back on April 30, 1999 that the slain PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto had accused Osama bin Laden, Mian Nawaz Sharif and a corps commander of toppling her first government in early 1990s. “Bin Laden financed an operation to topple me in cooperation with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistani intelligence services,” she had stated in an interview with the London-based al-Hayat newspaper. “Ramzi Yussef (implicated in the 1993 New York World Trade Centre bombing) tried to assassinate me on two occasions in 1993 to facilitate Nawaz Sharif’s rise to power. Yussef admitted to Pakistani investigators before his extradition to the United States that it was his duty to assassinate me, only because I was a woman in charge of the government,” she had added.

    Almost 20 months later, Benazir repeated her allegations in more detail in an interview with Herald magazine on January 11, 2001. “Osama paid $10 million to overthrow my government during my first term. A serving Corps Commander held several meetings with PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and Bin Laden to chalk out the plan to topple my government. Osama bin Laden was told that a woman in the prime minister’s position in an Islamic country was against Islam and so he should give them money to overthrow her. Nawaz Sharif told bin Laden he would bring Islam to Pakistan.” “No one had heard of Osama Bin Laden at that time, neither had me. He has become famous now. He would be sitting there and interfering with the government’s work,” Bhutto said and added that Osama also paid $10 million to a PPP member [of the National Assembly] to finance the no-confidence motion against her government, but they had voted against the motion. However, the then ameer of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Qazi Hussain Ahmed, was the first Pakistani politician to have endorsed the allegation levelled against Osama and Nawaz Sharif by Benazir Bhutto, almost five years later. In an interview with Suhail Warraich that had appeared in the daily Jang on March 18, 2006, Qazi Hussain Ahmed said Bin Laden visited Mansoora and was willing to buy parliamentarians’ loyalties to ensure Nawaz Sharif’s election as prime minister. “Osama bin Laden said that if there was a way to buy votes [to topple Benazir Bhutto’s government and to bring Nawaz Sharif into power], he was willing to pay for them. Osama was a big supporter of the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad and Nawaz Sharif, who was the IJI president at that time,” Qazi Hussain Ahmed had added in his interview.

    However, PML-N Information Secretary Siddiqul Farooq had rejected Qazi’s claim at that time, saying that Osama bin Laden never met Nawaz Sharif nor they ever talked about any political cooperation. “I want to keep it on record that American intelligence agencies, the then Pakistani government, the Inter Services Intelligence and other secret agencies, the Afghan Mujahideen, several religio-political parties including the Jamaat-e-Islami and Osama bin Laden were jointly fighting to liberate Afghanistan from the Soviet occupation. Bin Laden was a highly dignified person in the eyes of the US at that time. Later, differences developed between Osama and the US on the issue of Afghanistan and now they stand adversaries to each other. But Nawaz Sharif has no relevance to this situation,” Farooq said.

    About Qazi Hussain’s claim that Osama wanted to see Nawaz Sharif as prime minister and was ready to buy loyalties of assembly members for this purpose, Siddiqul Farooq said: “It was Osama’s personal desire. And remember, Nawaz Sharif’s politics has been revolving around preserving and promoting the interests of Pakistan and its people”.

    On March 21, 2006, hardly two days after Qazi Hussain Ahmed’s interview was published, a former ISI official Khalid Khwaja, who was considered close to Osama bin Laden, alleged that Nawaz Sharif had met Osama bin Laden and received funds from him to topple rival Benazir Bhutto’s government. “Let me tell you, Nawaz Sharif met Osama bin Laden on at least three occasions and was desperately seeking financial assistance to topple the Bhutto government,” Khalid Khwaja had told a Hong Kong-based web newspaper Asia Times Online in an interview which was also reported by Adnkronos International (AKI) on March 22, 2006. Killed in April 2010 after being kidnapped by Taliban militants, Khalid Khwaja, a retired officer of the Pakistan Air Force who was in the ISI in the late 80s, rejected a recent denial by the PML-N that its leader had only sought political cooperation from Bin Laden. Khwaja said the al-Qaeda head wanted the secular PPP government overthrown to ensure that Pakistan continued supporting the Afghan jehad. Khwaja claimed that Bin Laden gave him funds, which he personally delivered to Nawaz Sharif. Giving a graphic account, he said Nawaz wanted to have a direct meeting with the Sheikh, which ‘I arranged in Saudi Arabia’. Nawaz met Osama thrice in Saudi Arabia. The most historic meeting between the two men was held at the Green Palace Hotel in Madinah. Osama asked Nawaz to devote himself to jehad in Kashmir. Nawaz immediately said: “I love jehad”. Osama smiled, and said: ‘Yes, you may love jehad, but your love for jehad is this much’, pointing to a small portion of a nearby pillar. “Your love for your children is this much,” he said, pointing to a larger portion of the pillar. “And your love for your parents is this much,” he continued, pointing towards the largest portion. Khwaja said such arguments were beyond the comprehension of Nawaz Sharif, who kept asking, in Punjabi, ‘Manya key nai manya?’ (Has he agreed or not to pay money?).

    Going by Khalid Khwaja’s claim, Nawaz Sharif was hoping for a grant of Rs500 million. Although Bin Laden gave a smaller amount, Khwaja said he arranged for Sharif to meet the Saudi royal family, which had pledged political support for him and kept its word until he was dislodged by Musharraf in 1999. “It was the royal family that secured Sharif’s pardon and exile to Saudi Arabia,” he reminded. “Now with these immortal accounts secured in my memory, I see the denials in newspapers, that Nawaz had nothing to do with Osama, and I think how can people forget their mentors,” Khwaja added.

    The alleged links between Osama and Nawaz Sharif were once again highlighted by the British author and journalist Simon Reeves in his book titled “The New Jackals: Ramzi Yousaf, Osama bin Laden and the future of terrorism”, which was published in September 2009. Simon also claimed that Bin Laden not only sponsored the election campaign of the former prime minister and PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif in 1988, but paid him large sums of money to ensure protection of al-Qaeda operatives in Pakistan and to ‘Islamise’ the state and society. According to Simon Reeves, the ABC News also confirmed the same incident of payoff by quoting former FBI agent Jack Cloonan who used to interrogate one of the key al-Qaeda operatives in US custody, Ali Muhammad. Cloonan, who is currently working as an ABC News consultant, claimed that Ali had once told him that Osama paid Nawaz’s representatives $1 million for not cracking down on the militants in the Frontier Province. The book further states that after re-establishing al-Qaeda, one of Osama’s first actions was to try and guarantee the security of his men living in Pakistani refugee camps by throwing money at the election campaign of Sharif, ‘an energetic Pakistani politician’ standing for the election of Prime Minister. According to Simon Reeves, Nawaz Sharif had received the money from Osama with a promise to convert Pakistan into a strict Islamic state. An American website – History Commons – has not only confirmed Cloonan’s claim but has also mentioned another book by Scott-Clark and Levy, claiming that General Hameed Gul had contacted Osama Bin Laden who was then known to provide financial support to the Afghan mujahideen, to pay for a coup and assassination of the late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. However, the central secretary information of the Nawaz-led PML-N, Ahsan Iqbal has strongly rejected all these claims as a pack of lies.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=5923&Cat=13&dt=5/11/2011