Ex-ISI Chief Says Musharraf Knew Where Osama Was


Washington: Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf knew where Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was hiding and said nothing, a former head of Pakistani spy agency ISI has said.
Former CIA official Bruce Riedel quoted ex-ISI chief Gen (retired) Ziauddin Khwaja alias Ziauddin Butt, as saying that Musharraf “knew bin Laden was in Abbottabad” in an article for The Daily Beast website.
Gen. Ziauddin Khawaja — also known as Ziauddin Butt — was director-general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) from 1997 to 1999.
Khawaja was promoted as army chief in October 1999, when then prime minister Nawaz Sharif fired Musharraf from the job.
Musharraf launched a coup that overthrew Sharif. Ziauddin had to spend two years in solitary confinement, was discharged from the army, and had his property confiscated and his retirement benefits curtailed, the Daily Beast reported.
Khawaja said the house in Abbottabad was specially made for bin Laden by another Pakistani intelligence officer, Brig. Ijaz Shah, who was the ISI bureau head in Lahore.
Musharraf later made him head of the country’s intelligence bureau.

Khawaja said Shah was responsible for setting up bin Laden in Abbottabad and ensuring his safety and keeping him hidden from the outside.

Riedel referred to US suspicions in his article, writing: “Ever since the Navy SEALs found Osama bin Laden hiding in Abbottabad, Pakistan, less than a mile from the country’s national military academy, the question haunting American relations with Pakistan has been: who knew he was there?” 

Bin Laden was killed in a unilateral operation launched by US special forces at his hideout in Abbottabad in May last year.

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