A new book has claimed that Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif received money from Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. The book “Khalid Khawaja: Shaheed-i-Aman”, authored by Shamama Khalid, the wife of former Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) operative Khalid Khawaja, claimed that Sharif received money from Bin Laden to contest elections against the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Dawn online reported.
“Chief of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Nawaz Sharif received funding from Osama bin Laden, founder of Al-Qaeda, to contest elections against Benazir Bhutto-led PPP after the end of the Zia regime,” the book said.
Sharif’s pledge of introducing an Islamic system attracted Khalid Khawaja, an ISI officer, and Bin Laden. But even though the Al-Qaeda head honcho funded Sharif heavily, the latter backtracked from all his promises after coming to power, it claimed.
According to book it was Abdullah Azzam who introduced Khalid Khawaja to Bin Laden. The book carries a note from former ISI director general, retired Lt-Gen Hamid Gul, which claims that Khawaja was very close to Nawaz Sharif for some time.
Azzam, who is also known as the ‘father of global jihad’, was a Palestinian Sunni. Azzam raised funds and recruited jihadis from the Arab world, known as Afghan Arabs. A mentor of Bin Laden, he is said to have persuaded him to come to Afghanistan.
The book claims that Khawaja was killed by a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban while he was on a peace mission in the restive tribal areas.
Khalid Khawaja went to North Waziristan along with retired Col Imam and British journalist Asad Qureshi. Khawaja and Col Imam were killed by terrorists while Qureshi was released in exchange for a ransom.
Khawaja and the other two went missing on March 26, 2010, reportedly while on a trip to North Waziristan to make a documentary; this is what was claimed in media reports. A few weeks later, he was found murdered. The Asian Tigers group, that claimed responsibility for the crime, had never been heard of before.
( with IANS inputs)