WEBDESK: Former President General Pervez Musharraf (Retd) has rejected the statement of American journalist and lobbyist Mark Siegel and termed it a pack of lies. “I never made a phone call to Benazir Bhutto while she was in the United States,” said Musharraf in a statement issued on Friday. He declared the claim of Siegel as ‘false, fabricated, fictitious and malicious.’ “I never made a phone call to Benazir Bhutto while she was in the United States,” said Musharraf.
He added that Benazir would not have approached him for security if she were scared of him. “Mark Seigel’s statement is a conspiracy by anti-Pakistan elements and our enemies want to use the statement against Pakistan,” said the former Chief of Army Staff. Musharraf stated that he strongly and unequivocally rejects the claim of Siegel, a close advisor, paid lobbyist and co-author of the last book of the former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
“I am shocked and amazed at Mr Siegel’s assertion that I made a threatening phone call to Ms Bhutto.” The former president went on to say that besides meeting Benazir twice in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), he only spoke to her once in his life on the phone after she had returned to Pakistan in October 2007. “In that conversation, I shared with Ms Bhutto, intelligence information that was conveyed to me personally by the leadership in the UAE, indicating suicide bombers were planning an attack against her.”
He further said that he finds the testimony of Siegel despicable and finds the implications to be libelous with malicious intent. “Mr Siegel’s statement also compels me to inquire from him, why did he choose to omit this fabricated claim from the last book of Ms Bhutto: Reconciliation, Islam, Democracy and the West, which he co-authored and was published after Ms Bhutto’s assassination.”
He added that, “It is also widely known in the public domain, that Ms Bhutto wrote a letter to me a few days before her return to Pakistan in October 2007, in which she had expressed threats from General Hamid Gul, Brigadier Ejaz Shah, and Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi. If I had also threatened her, I wonder why she would write to me to solicit protection from these gentlemen.” Musharraf further said that, “It is also extremely mystifying as to why former president Zardari, who Mark Siegel claims was also present with Bhutto when she received this threatening phone call from me, has never mentioned it and did not pursue this claim aggressively while he was the president of Pakistan for five years.”