Still more evidence of where Pakistan’s loyalties actually lie. “I love jehad: Nawaz to Osama,” from ANI, with thanks to Looney Tunes:
LAHORE: Former Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif met al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden at least three times prior to the 1988 general polls in Pakistan and told the latter that he loved jihad.
Nawaz, the then chief minister of Punjab, said this in response to Osama’s appeal to him to devote himself to “jihad in Kashmir”.
Osama had promised to give Nawaz a grant of Rs 500 million to stop Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples” Party (PPP) from storming to power in the ensuing polls. “Nawaz Sharif was looking for the Rs 500 million grant from Osama,” the Daily Times quoted ex-ISI official Khalid Khawaja as saying in an interview with the Asia Times Online.
Khalid, who had reportedly arranged the meeting of the duo reportedly said that after the elections were announced, the mujahideens in Pakistan felt 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,” he said adding that Osama provided him with funds which he handed over to Sharif to dislodge Benazir.
“Nawaz insisted that I arrange a direct meeting with the Osama, which I did in Saudi Arabia. Nawaz met thrice with Osama. At one of these meetings Nawaz told Osama that he loved jihad, but the latter insisted that he should be more committed for the cause of jihad,” the paper quoted Khalid as saying.