Pakistan ex-minister denies Indian media claims about Osama

Islamabad: A day after an Indian TV channel claimed to have exposed what it called “Pakistan’s link with Osama bin Laden”, former Pakistani defence minister Ahmed Mukhtar on Wednesday categorically denied claims that Pakistan had knowledge of Al-Qaeda leader’s presence in the country.

Talking to Geo News, Mukhtar termed the clips of his interview being shown on Indian media as “utter nonsense” and “totally misquoted”.

His statements had been taken out of context, said Mukhtar, who served as the defence minister in ex-prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s cabinet.

CNN-IBN on Tuesday repeatedly showed short clips of the interview, which shows Mukhtar agreeing to the idea that Pakistan’s top civilian and military leadership may have known about Osama’s presence in Pakistan.

After the interview was aired, Mukhtar rejected the statements as portrayed by CNN-IBN.

“Regarding the interview being shown on CNN-IBN, and having been the defence minister, I categorically deny and consider these statements utter nonsense and totally misquoted,” Mukhtar said, adding that if Pakistan knew about Osama residing in Pakistan, it would have taken action against him.

“The statements have been taken out of context…for example, if we knew about bin Laden, then we would have taken action ourselves much earlier,” he said.

Pakistan has repeatedly denied claims and allegations that it had any knowledge of Osama’s presence in the country at the highest levels of civil-military leadership.