Award-winning novelist Salman Rushdie says it is unbelievable that Pakistan did not know that Osama bin Laden was holed up in a huge compound just yards from that country’s version of West Point. “The old flim-flam [‘Who, us? We knew nothing!’] just isn’t going to wash,” Rushdie wrote on The Daily Beast
|Salman Rushdie: Washington must demand answers from the Zardari government in Islamabad. (Getty Images Photo)
And Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency also is protecting former Afghan leader Mullah Omar in a safe house, Rushdie alleges.
“The facts speak too loudly to be hushed up,” wrote Rushdie, who was placed under a death fatwa by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1988 because of his book ‘The Satanic Verses.’
Rushdie expressed disbelief that bin Laden could have lived “at the end of a dirt road . . . in a military cantonment where soldiers are on every street corner, just about 80 miles from the Pakistani capital.”
“This extremely large house had neither a telephone nor an Internet connection. And in spite of this we are supposed to believe that Pakistan didn’t know he was there, and that the Pakistani intelligence, and/or military, and/or civilian authorities did nothing to facilitate his presence in Abbottabad, while he ran al-Qaida, with couriers coming and going, for five years?”
Rushdie said he never believed the terrorist leader was hiding out in a cave in Tora Bora “living on plants and insects.”
“An extremely big man, 6-foot 4-inches tall in a country where the average male height is around 5-foot 8, wandering around unnoticed for ten years while half the satellites above the earth were looking for him? It didn’t make sense.”
It is time for Washington to demand answers from the Zardari government in Islamabad, Rushdie wrote.
“If it does not provide those answers, perhaps the time has come to declare it a terrorist state and expel it from the comity of nations.”
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