Islamabad: Slain former premier Benazir Bhutto had directed the Pakistan Air Force to be ready to attack India's nuclear facilities in case
Pakistan's atomic installations were targeted in 1990, former army chief Gen Mirza Aslam Beg has claimed. ( Watch Video )
Bhutto, the then prime minister, issued the directive to the PAF after reports surfaced that the US, Israelis and Indians were allegedly planning to attack Pakistan's nuclear facilities, Beg told a TV news channel in an interview.
He did not give further details. Beg also claimed that the Saudis had given "bags full of money" to late politician Mahmood Haroon to woo political leaders to join the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad, which was formed in 1988 to ensure that Bhutto did not return to power.
The money was also meant to fund IJI's election campaign, he said.
The former Army chief said Haroon had claimed that the "money bags" were so heavy that his "shoulders hurt for days".
Beg said Bhutto had posed "no threat to national security", thus dismissing reports of his differences with the late premier. Bhutto remained "rock solid" in 1990 amid reports of a conspiracy against Pakistan, he said.
However, PML-N parliamentarian Pervaiz Rashid said Beg had "given a very fake statement on the distribution of money by the Inter-Services Intelligence among politicians".
Reacting to Beg's comments in the interview, he said there was no truth in the former army chief's claims.
Former federal minister Ejazul Haq, the son of late military ruler Gen Zia-ul-Haq, said Beg should participate in the criminal investigation into the deaths of his father and Bhutto if he has information about the killers.
He also said the government should set up a judicial council to investigate politicians who received money from intelligence agencies.
First Published: Monday, August 31, 2009, 23:05