Benazir Bhutto: The Greatest Opponent of Osama bin Laden– by M Usama Kabbir & Humza Ikram

Benazir Bhutto was elected the first woman Prime Minister of a Muslim country in 1989. The security apparatus of Pakistan could not digest a progressive democratic leader steer Pakistan out of militancy and who happened to pose a major threat to their islamo-facist ideas. Unfortunately though, Pakistan’s security establishment conspired with Osama bin laden to oust the democratic government through a no confidence vote. The no confidence vote failed miserably, nonetheless, it weakened the government and eventually Benazir Bhutto was removed from office in 1990, just 20 months after she became Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Benazir Bhutto expressed the role of intelligence agencies and that of Osama bin laden in particular in destabilizing the government. She believed Osama bin laden was being harbored by the ISI, the Military leadership of Pakistan and the then opposition leader Mian Nawaz Sharif. 22 years down the road, our worst fears have been realized.

Khalid Khawaja has a proof of Nawaz Sharif meeting Osama bin Laden 5 times

Rajiv Sharma, a New Delhi based journalist-author and a strategic analyst writes:

For decades the Indian political and military establishments have been convinced that the deep anti-India mindset in Pakistan is rooted in Pakistan Army and the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). However, available indications are that the rot is much deeper, wider. The anti-India and the fulminant form of Islam in Pakistan have political as well as societal backing.

The fresh crop of Wikileaks Cablegate says Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, younger brother of Pakistan’s Opposition leader and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, had “tipped off” the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) about the United Nations’ sanctions after the LeT’s terror operation in Mumbai in November 2008, the biggest-ever terror strikes in India. As a result of this tip-off, the LeT clean swept its bank accounts, leaving ludicrously small sums to mock at the authorities.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari gave this information to the US ambassador in Islamabad Anne Patterson, the Wikileaks cable said in January 2009. “Information from the ministry of the interior does indicate that bank accounts contained surprisingly small amounts,” the cable said. This was contested by Shahbaz Sharif’s adviser Senator Pervaiz Rashid, who said: “There’s nothing true in it. Zardari is our political opponent and he wants to topple our government.”

Even more serious – and dangerous – aspect is the Sharif brothers’ linkages with the Saudi Arabian royal family. On March 21, 2010, Pakistan’s Daily Times reported a significant disclosure by former ISI official Khalid Khawaja that he arranged five meetings in the past between Nawaz Sharif and al Qaida chief Osama Bin Laden on separate occasions – all in Saudi Arabia. Khawaja said Nawaz Sharif asked bin Laden for a sum of 500 million Pakistani rupees for “development projects”. Eventually, bin Laden did give him money but much lesser than the original demand. “I still remember that Osama provided me funds that I handed over to then Punjab chief minister Nawaz to toppleBenazir Bhutto’s government,” said Khawaja.

The al Qaida Chief gave money to Nawaz Sharif after obtaining assurance from him that he would make Pakistan a complete Islamic state. Khawaja also claimed that Nawaz Sharif had met leaders of Islamic movements around the world. Osama also arranged a meeting for Nawaz Sharif with the Saudi royal family. “During his first visit to Saudi Arabia as chief minister of Punjab in the late 1980s, no one from the royal family gave Nawaz importance,” he said. “Thereafter, on Nawaz’s request, Osama introduced him to the royal family,” said Khwaja. “A close aide of the Sharif family and I arranged at least five meetings between Nawaz and Osama in Saudi Arabia.”

The Daily Times came up with another report on March 23, 2010, saying a Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif suggested that Talibanwork outa “separate peace” with Punjab province. Shahbaz’s rabid suggestion was “Cease targeting Punjab” and focus on the other three provinces. The comment triggered off a nation-wide furore. “Kayani summoned him and upbraided him in language he won’t soon forget. But this didn’t deter Nawaz Sharif from bragging about his ‘old friendship’ with Osama bin Laden,” the Pakistani newspaper said. Nawaz Sharif’s linkages with Osama bin Laden had rankled former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto too and she had discussed this with George Bush Senior in 1989, Zardari told an American channel recently.

Clearly Pakistan’s anti-India mindset has permeated so deeply in the Pakistani polity and society that no Pakistani leader can even dream of normalizing relations with India, no matter howsoever genuine his or her desire to make up with India is. This is borne by Zardari’s frank talk with the US National Security Advisor General James Jones in Islamabad on June 25, 2009. Zardari said Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did not understand the constraints under which he was functioning and had no clue of what it takes to change the mindset of the Pakistani establishment. Though he praised Manmohan Singh as an “excellent economist” (implying that Singh was a better economist than politician), he said Singh was unaware of what it took to change the mindset of the Pakistani establishment. Zardari is perhaps alluding to the Sharif brothers’ propensities and their questionable dealings with state and non-state actors that makes it well nigh impossible for any Pakistani leader to think out of the box to smoke the peace pipe with India.

A new leaf has been added to the Saudi saga by the Wikileaks cables. One cable quotes Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as saying in December 2009 that Saudi Arabia is the world’s most significant source of funds for Sunni terrorists. Apart from Saudi Arabia, Clinton has also named Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and Qatar as terrorism’s major bankers. These countries, the cables say, keep the terror machinery of Al Qaida, Taliban and Lashkar e Toiba well oiled.

This is ominous as it denotes business as usual for the terrorism’s bankers despite the US setting up an Af-Pak specific task force months earlier in 2009 – The Illicit Finance Task Force — to prevent funds flowing to terror groups. This is how excerpts from a Saudi-specific cable read: “Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide… It’s been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority. More needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for Al-Qaida, the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Toiba and other terrorist groups, including Hamas, which probably raise millions of dollars annually from Saudi sources, often during Hajj and Ramadan.” The cables quote Clinton as saying that the American intelligence reports suggest that Riyadh’s charity groups and multilateral organisations are the conduits for transfer of money out of Saudi Arabia to fund terrorists.

On Kuwait, the cables show that Clinton is worried that the oil rich country is not doing enough to stop flow of money to terror outfits. “Al-Qaida and other groups continue to exploit Kuwait, both as a source of funds and as a key transit point,” one cable says. Qatar, the country that just won the right to host the 2022 Soccer World Cup, too is a source of funds for Al Qaida, Taliban and LeT, says another cable. “Qatar’s overall level of CT (Counter Terrorism) cooperation with the US is considered the worst in the region. They’ve been hesitant to act against known terrorists out of concern for appearing to be aligned with the US and provoking reprisals.” Ironically, Qatar is a member of the Illicit Finance Task Force and in view of this Clinton has suggested handling Qatar with kid gloves.

The recent disclosures about the Sharif brothers should help India’s cause in one way. India would now know better which dramatis personae in Pakistan it should pursue and which ones it should not just ignore but prepare suitable policies to deal with them. Shahbaz has ambitions, as one of the Wikileaks cables shows, to become Prime Minister of Pakistan, provided his brother agrees. If that were to happen it would be a huge strategic setback to India now that the Sharif brothers’ true colours are known. India’s Pakistan policy makers need to evolve effective counters for such an eventuality, and better still, prevent such a disaster from happening in the first place.

Writing for The Daily Beast, former CIA officer, presidential advisor, and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, Bruce Riedel, says that the US should follow the successful operation against Osama bin Laden by signaling our support for President Asif Ali Zardari and democratic forces in Pakistan.

Obama was right to call his Pakistani counterpart, Asif Ali Zardari, to thank him for help in the chase. Zardari’s wife Benazir Bhutto was murdered by al Qaeda in 2007; the death of the country’s most popular and capable leader was perhaps the group’s biggest triumph since 9/11. Pakistan has yet to recover from her demise. Al Qaeda has been focused like a laser beam on Pakistan for the last decade. It rightly judges Pakistan to be both uniquely vulnerable in the Islamic world to jihadism and equipped with the ultimate strategic prize, the fastest growing nuclear arsenal in the world. With allies like the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba, al Qaeda will remain a threat to Pakistan’s nascent democracy and to peace in the Indian subcontinent.

Obama should schedule an early Zardari visit to Washington and his own visit later this year to Pakistan to signal our support for democratic forces there.

15 responses to “Benazir Bhutto: The Greatest Opponent of Osama bin Laden– by M Usama Kabbir & Humza Ikram”

  1. Benazir is more popularly known as “Daughter of the Dollar”. Her birth was very unfortunate incident to happen in Pakistan. She was the root cause of terrorism.
    Her father who was a democratic dictator divided our beloved Pakistan. I hope ZAB and BB call this moroon Asif to Gadi Khuda Bakhsh for a permanent relocation. If they were true well wishers of Pakistan, they should do this act as soon as possible. We will be thankful to them.

  2. I am really impressed with the patriotism of the writers who quote Indian and American journalists journalist to support their cause;only God knows what it may be. I fully support Mr Rajiv Sharma in his assertions that anti Indian feelings in Pakistan are deep rooted, since these are based on hard realities and experienced spanning decades; rather centuries.

  3. نہ ملے گی تورا بورا میں
    دہشتگردی کی جڑ منصورہ میں
    وزیرستان کو ہی نہ چورا کر
    ایک ڈرون ذرا منصورہ پر

  4. Kiani & its military establishment is the mother of all evils. It needs to be cut in size if PaKISTAN HAS TO SURVIVE.

  5. Plea Me! This nation of ours necessitates to wake up from this profound slumber! Ever stumble on the folios of the past & comprehend with a fair psyche:- “Who provided you the Pakistan in which you dwell”? “Who made you aware of the terms & to distinguish between ‘democracy’ and’dictatorship’”? Or “Who made this nation a nuclear Power”?
    Likewise, Benazir Bhutto , who was a liberal & optimist for a Pakistan, free from hunger, illiteracy and paucity & radicalism was a huge threat to the Terrorists, for democracy undermined their clout to rummage around freely & slay as many as plausible! The very astringent reality`that can never be shorn of it that Benazir, being the exemplar of the Women emancipation brought further shivers to the Al Qaeda & their associates in the Establishment, And Benazir Bhutto Shaheed lastly gave her blood to prove the veracity that “SHE CAN DEAL WITH TERRORISM WITHOUT A UNIFORM”.
    President Asif Ali Zardari stands as the crest of tranquility who’s once again proved that the Pakistan’s soil cannot be used for such heinous & notorious purposes and only, an egalitarian government could throw out the FBI’s most wanted mass murderer out of the Pure land of Pakistan!

  6. Bloody Tahir son of Zia. Please whoever is editor of this blog please remove his comments. Bastard war criminals (Bangladesh) were welcomed in Pakistan.

  7. Pakistan military and establishment were primarily responsible for the dismemberment of Pakistan. Also the elite in West Pakistan didn’t treat Bengalis with respect. And now they are repeating the same mistakes in Balochistan.

  8. @ali sher
    Why cant you digest the truth?
    Didnt ZA Bhutto divide my beloved Pakistan? Had ZAB accepted the verdict of the massses, Pakistan would have been united. Shame on such a fake leader.
    @Saira Benazir
    For your kind information,the credit for making Pakistan a nuclear power goes to Ayub Khan and Nawaz Sharief.
    What did Benazir contribute to Pakistan? She looted billions of dollars Pakistan and made her assets are present all over the world. Last but not the least her contribution to Pakistan is Zardari moroon whose mission is to make Pakistan a failed state.
    @ ahussaini
    You along with your paid agents need to get a life. Be afraid of Allah and support the truth.

  9. @Dr. Tahir … i am answerable to Allah not to you … dont play God… mazhab kay thaykaydaar … finally the world and muslims see the harm bigots like you have done to Islam and Pakistan … you and yur mindset is the reason why we are in this mess today …

    Army lost the Gibralter operation in 1948…1965 war was lost … Army lost half of the the country in 71 …surrendered 90,000 soldiers in 71 … brought Klashinkov and drug culture in 80’s…unnecessarily meddled in Afghan affair… got thousand of people dead in Ojhri camp disater…lost siachen…lost kargil…and drones and the abbotabad operation just now …played its double game ..has been insulted and ridiculed time and again globally…this incompetent army is only good at overthrowing elected governments and eating up our budget…this is the truth ..wake up and smell the coffee

  10. Dr. Tahir
    U sure are JI activist by birth because such a shameless lie can only be told by those mentally mongol people. ZAb and BB are the two warriors against the capitalists who laid their lives to transform our nation into a self sufficent and sovereign one. Pakistan got the nuclear capability only due to elder Bhutto whether peaceful or defence oriented. In the 1990 it was Benazir who atarted the Missile Program in Pakistan. Ask Javed Ashraf Qazi who categorically stated that Benazir was the pioneer of Missile Program. U people only think of deaths to your oponents being followers of a party of GHATTIA people.

  11. @ahussainy
    If your conscience is satisfied with supporting criminal Zardari(whose every action is leading Pakistan to become a failed state)and his mafia then hellfire is waiting for you surely. BECAUSE U R ANSWERABLE TO ALLAH.
    Army may have done failed ventures but the biggest tragedy in the history of Pakistan was division of Qaid-e-Azam’s Pakistan. Undoubtedly ZAB is directly responsible for that tragedy.
    What is JI??? IDK.
    All I know is I am a Pakistani who can not see the deteriorating condition of Pakistan.Yes credit goes to BB and Zardari to pull Pakistan to numero uno in the list of most corrupt countries.

  12. Dr. Tahir ….Oh My God…u n your whole family is jahanammi… now argue bi*&h … there is no answer for ignorant people like you who pass judgements, when there is no logic left, like they were GOd…die bit%% die