Sat, 24 Dec 2011 10:55:10 GMT

Pakistan military hid Osama in Abbottabad: Ex-army chief

Washington: Pakistani military had harboured Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden with the knowledge of former president General Pervez Musharraf, former army chief General Ziauddin Butt has said.

Pakistan military hid Osama in Abbottabad: Ex-army chief

An article on the Jamestown Foundation website, which cited Butt, said that despite denials, evidence is emerging that "elements within the Pakistani military harboured Osama with the knowledge of Musharraf and Kayani". Ashfaq Parvez Kayani is the current army cheif.

Ziauddin Butt, a former army chief, told a conference on Pakistani-US ties in October 2011 that according to his knowledge then director general of Intelligence Bureau, Brigadier (retd.) Ijaz Shah, had "kept Osama bin Laden in an Intelligence Bureau safe house in Abbottabad".

Osama bin Laden was gunned down May 2 by US commandos who mounted a daring operation using stealth helicopters. The retired general said in the same address that the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) had helped the CIA to track Osama down and kill him. The report said that stunning revelation was unreported for some time as some intelligence officers had asked journalists not to publish Butt's remarks.

The report said Butt told the daily Dawn Dec 11 that he fully believed that "(Brigadier) Ijaz Shah had kept this man (bin Laden in the Abbottabad compound) with the full knowledge of General Pervez Musharraf..." Butt added, "Ijaz Shah was an all-powerful official in the government of General Musharraf".

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