WASHINGTON: President of United States, Clinton in late 90’s had demanded help from Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Minister Pakistan of those times against Al-Qaida’s chief, Osama bin Laden to stop attacks over US interests, The News Tribe has learnt.
The US sought Pakistan’s help in 1998 to prevent Osama bin Laden from launching an al Qaeda attack against it, with Bill Clinton asking Nawaz Sharif to personally use his influence to prevail over the Taliban in averting the imminent strike, according to the documents disclosed on Sunday.
Clinton called up Sharif from his Oval Office and asked for his personal help after an intelligence input about an imminent al Qaeda attack, according to the declassified memorandum of the telephonic conversation made available by the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas.
“I need your personal help,” Clinton told Sharif on December 18, 1998, after he received intelligence information about the possible al Qaeda attack.
During the telephonic conversation, which lasted for about six minutes, Clinton asked Sharif to use his relationship with the Taliban leaders, who then were the rulers of Afghanistan, to bring bin Laden to justice.
“I understand your anxiety and your position, Mr President. You know, I told you in Washington that the Taliban are very stubborn and very uncooperative people,” Sharif told Clinton, according to the document.
“I will send my people tomorrow to Afghanistan to meet with them and discuss this with them, and tell them this will not in their interests and it would serve no purpose, which will invite retaliation and a world reaction”, Nawaz said.
Sharif was quoted as saying to Clinton, “I will do whatever I can, I can assure you of that, but you must understand they are very stubborn and uncooperative”.