Osama bin Laden was U.S. operator destabilising Benazir: Zardari
Tuesday, 12 May 2009, 02:06 Hrs
Washington: Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has alleged that elusive Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was a U.S. operator who had tried to destabilise his late wife Benazir Bhutto's government back in 1989. 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."