Sharif's party concedes receiving funds from Osama: Ruling party leader

Lahore: Pakistani former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrives at a court in Lahore, Pakistan, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. Pakistan's anti-graft tribunal has ordered that convicted Sharif be questioned on money laundering allegations over the next two weeks

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has conceded before the scrutiny committee of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that it had received funds from slain Al Qaeda terrorist Osama bin Laden, said the country's Parliamentary Secretary for Railways Farrukh Habib.

Talking to reporters on Wednesday after hearings of foreign funding cases against the PML-N and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) by the scrutiny committee, Habib said that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif laid the foundation of foreign funding in Pakistan by receiving funds from Osama bin Laden to topple former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's government, Dawn reported.

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader said that the PML-N and the Pakistan Peoples Party had failed to provide the details of their donors.

He also criticised the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl and said its chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had received funds from Libya and Iraq.

A few days back, Pakistan former envoy to the US, Abida Hussain revealed that Osama bin Laden had supported and extended financial assistance to Nawaz Sharif.

"Yes, he (Osama bin Laden) supported Mian Nawaz Sharif at one time. However, that is a complicated story. He (Osama) used to extend financial assistance [to Nawaz Sharif]," Express Tribune quoted her as saying.

Abida, also an ex-cabinet member of Nawaz Sharif's government, recalled that at one-time bin Laden was popular and liked by everyone including the Americans but at a later stage, he was treated as a 'stranger'.

Nawaz Sharif, who has been the prime minister of Pakistan for three non-consecutive terms, has been accused, time and again, of taking money from slain terrorist Osama bin Laden in order to promote and fund jihad in Kashmir. He served as prime minister from 1990-93, 1997-98, and 2013-17.

Sharif, the 70-year-old supremo of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) who was ousted from power in 2017 by the Supreme Court on corruption charges, is in London for medical treatment.

Osama was killed in a midnight raid by the US Navy SEALs in Pakistan's garrison town of Abbottabad in 2011.

Pakistan had officially denied having any knowledge of the terror chief until he was shot dead in a raid by US forces. Pakistan has been accused of using its soil to perpetrate terror in neighbouring countries.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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