Washington: In an embarrassment to Pervez Musharraf, the former Pakistani dictator, in a leaked video, was purportedly seen seeking covert US support to regain power and telling American lawmakers that he was “ashamed” of the ISI being negligent about the al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden’s whereabouts.
The undated video clips, which have been posted by dissident Pakistani columnist Gul Bukhari, also shows the self-exiled former president as saying that he thinks that the negligence of the ISI was “pardonable” as the CIA was also involved in same level of negligence on 9/11.
General (retd) Musharraf, 75, was Pakistan’s president between 2001 and 2008, before resigning to avoid impeachment.
The former army chief has been living in Dubai since March 2016 after he left for medical treatment and has not returned since, citing security and health reasons. He is facing the treason case for suspending the Constitution in 2007, a punishable offence for which he was indicted in 2014.
“All I am saying is, I have certain credentials from the past. I need to come (to power) again and I need to be supported. Not overtly, but in a covert manner. So that we win again,” Musharraf is seen as telling US lawmakers in one of the leaked video of the meeting.
When posed with tough questions, he rued that US lawmakers “are too involved in minor tactics”.
He also claimed that Pakistan used the money, given by the US for fight against terrorist, to bring down the poverty from 34 per cent to 17 per cent.
To which, those present in the meeting, were quick to point out that none of the US Congress members voted for USD 20 billion aid to Pakistan in the last 10 years because of poverty.
Money was given to Pakistan to defeat al Qaeda and the Taliban, the lawmakers said, to which the former Pakistan president sought the US to help him get back to power.
In the first video clip, he is seen walking in the corridors of the US House of Representatives. The video clips seems to be from 2012, after he was ousted from power.
In the third segment of the clip, Musharraf is seen in conversation with a lobbyist and Chairman of the powerful American Jewish Congress Jack Rosen during an informal get-together. One of those present in that meeting was Congressman Gary Ackerman.
He argues that there was no complicity in Pakistan not being able to find out Osama bin-Laden.
“There are aspersions against Pakistan of hiding Osama bin Laden,” Musharraf says in his meeting with US Congressmen.
“First of all, is the US against Pakistan, or annoyed with the Army and ISI, because they believe there was complicity? My view is that there was no complicity and I would like to say a few words on that,” he told the lawmakers.
“There was negligence. Certainly. And we are all ashamed. Even, I, though I am not in the government now, I am ashamed that there was this level of negligence by the ISI that we did not know. I think negligence is pardonable,” he said, adding that the CIA was also involved in same level of negligence on 9/11.
Referring to the 18 people being trained in the US, Musharraf alleged that CIA being such a big organisation was sleeping.
“ISI was also sleeping. Let’s leave it at that,” he said.