Zardari’s spokesman rejects Obama’s claim as ‘insidious allegation’

By: News Desk
Published: 12:07 AM, 19 Nov, 2020
Zardari’s spokesman rejects Obama’s claim as ‘insidious allegation’
Caption: Former Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari (L) at a meeting with his then US counterpart Barack Obama.–File photo
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A spokesperson for former president Asif Ali Zardari has rejected former US President Barack Obama’s claim about Pakistan’s reaction to the Abbottabad raid, which led to the killing of Osama Bin Laden

Obama has claimed in his new memoir the then Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari was not as upset as he expected him to be when he called him to explain the US raid on the Abbottabad compound of Osama Bin Laden. 

The spokesperson for Zardari says, “This is a purely one-sided account of a phone call that is more self-serving than true, as it distorts the fact of President Zardari being both upset and disturbed at the serious breach of Pakistan’s sovereignty.” 

He categorically rejected “the insidious allegation, which confuses President Zardari’s abhorrence of terrorism in all its forms, with an absurd and fictional acceptance of such an unauthorised raid on his country’s territory.” 

“For the record, in fact, to the contrary, President Zardari was the first to insist on taking up the gravity of the matter both with the United States and the people of Pakistan by immediately asking the Prime Minister to summon a joint session of parliament for a strong and united position on the matter. 

“There is absolutely no truth in the claim that President Zardari congratulated President Obama on breaching Pakistan’s border, and [the claim] represents a highly misleading distortion of a telephone conversation made in a fraught atmosphere. 

“It was in the same government that Pakistan went into a long suspension of high-level ties with the United States, after an incident at the Salala border, which involved shutting down airbases on Pakistani soil agreed to by a previous government. It was on President Zardari’s orders that such covert agreements were terminated along with other encroachments on Pakistan’s sovereignty,” said the spokesperson, who represents both Zardari as well as the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).