Pak Embassy official’s claim triggers US media interest
(Gold9472: Really? I haven't seen word one in the U.S. media.)
By Khalid Hasan
WASHINGTON: Investigative reporters, including a couple from a major American TV network, are trying to dig up details of a claim made by a senior Foreign Office official in Islamabad that Pakistan spent thousands of dollars through its lobbyists on members of the 9/11 Commission to drop some of the report’s negative findings about Pakistan.
If this claim turns out to be true, it might land Pakistan in trouble in this country because it would amount to an attempt to improperly influence public officials assigned with ascertaining the truth about the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The story, which first surfaced in The Friday Times, Lahore, is based on testimony by Muhammad Sadiq, who was No 2 at the Pakistan embassy in Washington before being posted back to headquarters some months ago, before the Public Accounts Committee. Sadiq, who appeared before the Committee at the end of February this year, revealed that a lot of money had been spent to “silence” members of the inquiry commission and induce them to go “soft” on Pakistan.
According to Sadiq, as quoted by The Friday Times in its issue dated March 3-9, 2006, “dramatic changes” were made in the final draft of the Commission’s report after Pakistani lobbyists arranged meetings with members of the investigation body and convinced them to remove anti-Pakistan findings. This information is also said to be available in the record of the Public Accounts Committee. The officer further claimed that Pakistan won the sympathies of 75 US congressmen as part of its strategy to guard the national interest in the US.