Zardari gave go-ahead to Obama for Osama raid in Abbottabad: Ijaz

   Mar 18, 11:56 am

New Delhi, Mar 18 (ANI): Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, the key man in the Memo Gate scandal, has claimed that Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari had given a go-ahead signal to US President Barack Obama for the May 2 raid in Abbottabad that killed former al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, without consulting the Army and the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

Pakistani media reported that Ijaz testified on Friday that Zardari had asked Army Chief General Asfhaq Pervez Kayani on May 2 night to not send F-16 aircraft to bring down US choppers carrying Navy SEALS commandos who killed bin Laden in Abbottabad.

At its first meeting held on January 2, the Pakistani judicial commission investigating the memogate scandal had directed officials to send notices to all respondents and petitioners in the memogate case in the apex court. The respondents include Zardari, Pakistan army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, Pakistan's former envoy to the US, Haqqani, and Ijaz.

Ijaz further claimed that former Pakistan ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani had created an atmosphere that had led US intelligence officials to penetrate into Pakistan which resulted in the killing of bin Laden.

On being asked whether he was selected to deliver the memo, Ijaz said Haqqani was apprehensive of military and ISI people around him and wanted to hide the fact from them that a Pakistani would be behind a call asking army chief General Ashfaq Parvez to stand down, The Dawn reports.

"Haqqani chose me because of my decade-long association with him and also because he knew that I had the capacity to deliver the memo and I was also a plausibly deniable channel for that communication because of my previous stance against the military establishment," he added. (ANI)

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