Osama sponsored Sharif's election campaign in 1988, claims ex-ISI official

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Lahore, Sep.10 (ANI): A former Pakistani spymaster has revealed that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif maintained a close relationship with Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and claimed that the chieftain had sponsored the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief's election campaign in 1988.

Former Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) officer Khalid Khawaja said bin Laden not only funded Sharif's campaign, but also paid him huge money to ensure protection of Al Qaeda operatives inside Pakistan and to 'Islamise' the state and society.

In an interview with television channel, Khawaja said he had personally arranged the meeting between Sharif and bin Laden on the former Prime Minister's request, and he has evidence to prove his claims.

Khawaja said that he used to be a close associate of bin Laden in the past and might have met him more than a hundred times, but said he never met him after 9/11.

Meanwhile, the ABC News has also confirmed that Al-Qaeda chief had paid huge money to Sharif, The Daily Times reports.

It quoted former FBI agent Jack Cloonan as saying that bin Laden paid nearly one million dollars to Sharif's representative for not initiating any action against militants based in the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP). (ANI)

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