October 2001 News

Bin Laden exploiting Kashmir, Palestinian issues: Bhutto

15 October 2001
The Indian Express

Washington DC: Osama bin Laden is trying to exploit Kashmir and other issues and is interested in imposing dictatorship and theocracy in Afghanistan, former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto has said. Bin Laden uses the Palestinian cause, Kashmir and other areas where Muslims ''have felt aggrieved'', she said in a television interview in Washington on Sunday. ''I wonder about the sincerity of his identification with the Kashmiris and Palestinians,'' she said adding ''I do think that the underlying causes of political dissent in the Muslim world are issues which he is trying to successfully exploit.'' He is certainly interested in imposing a theocracy and a dictatorship in Afghanistan, Bhutto said. ''He wants a theocracy, dictatorship and tyranny. So, it is important within the Muslim world for Muslim leaders to begin opening up our societies so that the social ferment can be controlled.'' ''As far as the Muslim world is concerned, there is a very big debate on our own future,'' Bhutto said. ''There are those who would say that to defend Islamic values is to adopt terror and to have a clash of civilisations but there are others like myself who believe that the message of Islam is peace and it is our duty to build peace, and we should look for a dialogue between civilisations rather than conflict. A lot of this also is dictatorship versus democracy.''


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