Friday, May 15, 2009

CIA and ISI together created Taliban: Zardari

11 May 2009

Lalit K Jha
Press Trust Of India
May 11, 2009

WASHINGTON: In a new revelation, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has said that the CIA of the United States and his country's ISI together
created the Taliban.

"I think it was part of your past and our past, and the ISI and CIA created them together," Zardari told the NBC news channel in an interview.

In the interview, which was given to the NBC on May 7, Zardari also accused the US of supporting the military rule of Pervez Musharraf who was alleged to be taking sides of the Taliban.

He disagreed with the popular belief in the US that the Pakistan military and intelligent services still have sympathies for the Taliban.

"I think General Musharraf may have had a mindset to run head and hand with the hound but certainly not on our watch. We don't have a tough process at all," Zardari said.

Asked about the influential role of the Pakistan army, Zardari said he is in control of everything in the country, including the military.

"The Parliament has final say. It's the Parliament form of government, and I am a product of the Parliament," he said.

Earlier, Zardari in an another interview had said that India was not a "threat" to his country and that Pakistan had moved some of its forces from its Indian border to western frontier to eliminate Taliban in its tribal belt.

May 11, 2009 "New Karala" -- Washington, May 11: Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has alleged that elusive Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was a US operator who had tried to destabilise his late wife Benazir Bhutto's government back in 1989.

Meet the Press transcript here.

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."

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