In 1995, a former ISI official told reporters that he had arranged meetings between Nawaz Sharif and Osama bin Laden. Nawaz Sharif was allegedly looking to bin Laden to help fund his 1988 campaign for Prime Minister, and was willing to say anything to get it.
“Nawaz Sharif insisted that I arrange a direct meeting with the Osama, which I did in Saudi Arabia. Nawaz met thrice with Osama in Saudi Arabia. The most historic was the meeting in the Green Palace Hotel in Medina between Nawaz Sharif, Osama and myself. Osama asked Nawaz to devote himself to “jihad in Kashmir”. Nawaz immediately said, ‘I love jihad.’ Osama smiled, and then stood up from his chair and went to a nearby pillar and said, ‘Yes, you may love jihad, but your love for jihad is this much.’ He then pointed to a small portion of the pillar. ‘Your love for children is this much,’ he said, pointing to a larger portion of the pillar. ‘And your love for your parents is this much,’ he continued, pointing towards the largest portion. ‘I agree that you love jihad, but this love is the smallest in proportion to your other affections in life.’”
This wasn’t the last we heard of Nawaz Sharif’s friendship with Osama bin Laden. In 2007, ABC News reported that Sharif took bribes from bin Laden to look the other way as militants carried out their plans in Pakistan.
Cloonan says that back in 1999 Mohamed told the FBI he arranged for a meeting between bin Laden and Sharif’s representatives. Following that meeting, Mohamed told Cloonan he delivered $1 million to Sharif’s representatives. Mohamed said the payoff was a tribute to Sharif for not cracking down on the Taliban as it flourished in Afghanistan and influenced the Northwest Frontier Province in Pakistan, according to Cloonan.
New evidence has surfaced, though, that suggests those meetings were merely the beginning of a long relationship between Nawaz Sharif and Osama bin Laden.
Nawaz Sharif, a two-time former prime minister of Pakistan and current head of one of the country’s major political parties, has met with Osama bin Laden on numerous occasions, and it was in fact the al Qaeda leader who developed the relationship between Sharif and the Saudi royal family, says a former Pakistani intelligence official.