INTERNATIONAL

"Osama wanted to prop up Nawaz Sharif"



B. Muralidhar Reddy

ISLAMABAD: President Muttahida Majalis-e-Amal (MMA) and Jamaat Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed has disclosed that Al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden had visited headquarters of his party Mansoora and was prepared to buy support of parliamentarians to prop up Nawaz Sharif as the Prime Minister,

In interview with `Sunday Magazine' of daily Jang, the full text of which would be carried on Sunday, Mr. Qazi also revealed that Osama was interested in a deal with Jamaat Islami, which was declined by him (Mr. Ahmed). It is immediately not clear from the excerpts carried by the daily on the interview as to when Osama attempted to shore up support in favour of Mr. Sharif and when he was engaged in negotiations with the Jamaat.

The reference of Mr. Ahmed appears to pertain to the 1990 election, when the ISI cobbled up alliance of political parties to defeat Benazir Bhutto.

In his interview the JI chief has said that he had met Osama and sought cooperation of his party. "But I refused and told him that he [Osama] himself was not secure in Afghanistan. "

In his interview Mr. Ahmed has claimed that Osama was a big supporter of IJI, the alliance of political parties stitched together by the ISI and Nawaz Sharif.