London, Feb 2(ANI): Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown had ordered Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari to have al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden killed, a diplomatic cable unveiled by the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks has revealed.
Apparently convinced that bin Laden was alive and hiding in Pakistan, the then British Prime Minister told Zardari to "take Osama bin Laden out" during a private telephonic conversation in December 2009, The Telegraph reported, adding that Pakistani officials were reportedly "unhappy" with Brown's aggressive language.
The incident is among a number of references to the alleged sightings of the world's most wanted man detailed in the leaked cables obtained by WikiLeaks, showing that the manhunt for bin Laden is still focused on Pakistan, despite one apparent tip-off that the al-Qaeda leader was in Europe.
However, Pakistan has repeatedly denied any knowledge of bin Laden's whereabouts during private meetings with Americans.
In January 2008, Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Kayani told visiting US senators that it was "unjust" to criticise Pakistan for not locating bin Laden, adding that "he would place Pakistan's track record in pursuing and capturing al-Qaeda operatives against any other country's."
In September 2009, Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik told US diplomats that they had "no clue" about the terrorist's whereabouts. "Bin Laden sent his family to Iran, so it makes sense that he might have gone there himself, a record of the meeting quoted Malik, as arguing.
"Alternatively, he might be hiding in Saudi Arabia or Yemen, or perhaps he is already dead," he added.
However, the Tajikistan Government claimed that "many" people in Pakistan knew where Bin Laden was hiding.
During a meeting with the US Ambassador in December 2009, senior Tajik counterterrorism official General Abdullo Sadulloevich Nazarov said: "In Pakistan Osama Bin Laden wasn't an invisible man. Many knew his whereabouts in North Waziristan."
But sympathisers in the security forces tipped off the terrorists whenever a raid on the al-Qaeda leader was about to begin, he added. (ANI)