Musharraf knew about Osama hideout: Ex-ISI chief

February 15th, 2012 - 7:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Pervez Musharraf Washington, Feb 15 (IANS) 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.

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.

Musharraf knew all about it, he said.

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

Khawaja also fought in the 1965 and 1971 wars against India.

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