A Reliable Witness?
[Home] [Afghanistan] [Niaz Naik and the Carpet of Bombs] [A Reliable Witness?]

The story...

According to the Pakistani representative at this [July 2001] meeting, Niaz Naik, US representatives, trying to convince the Taliban to share power with US-friendly factions, said: "Either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs."

Our take...

A Salon article suggests reasons why Naik might have told the story he did.

"Naik exaggerated the threat that was given to him in Berlin," says Ahmed Rashid, who believes Naik had his own unofficial, unsanctioned agenda: convincing his government of the danger of continuing to support the Taliban. Pakistan was one of the few countries to officially recognize the Taliban, which Naik felt was hurting his nation. So he exaggerated the U.S. military threat, the theory goes, because he wanted Pakistan to cut ties with the radical Muslim group. "He used it to try and frighten the army into changing policy," Rashid says. "The army had been favoring the Taliban; Naik wanted to emphasize that support could hurt the country."

The same article reports suggestions that Naik has proved unreliable before:

Oakley and other sources confirm that Naik ran into trouble for the way he characterized the ongoing talks between India and Pakistan in 1999 and 2000. At the time, he claimed that a deal between the longstanding enemies was imminent; Naik only had to show the right maps to Indian officials, who would then sign an agreement that would end to war over Kashmir. But soon after these claims hit the Pakistani press, critics refuted Naik's assertion. And of course, no such deal was ever inked. "He played up his role as an unofficial intermediary between Sharif and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee," Oakley says. "He claimed they almost reached this agreement. But again, I think there was a lot of exaggeration. The Indians were nowhere close to reaching an agreement." Oakley believes Naik is no more believable now.

Others appear to disagree so it's worth reading the whole article, but still, we wouldn't like to rely entirely on his account.

[Home] [Hijackers] [Foreknowledge] [Stand down] [WTC (demolition)] [WTC (other)] [WTC7 and Silverstein] [Pentagon] [Flight 93] [bin Ladin] [Obstructing Justice] [Afghanistan] [Others] [Investigations, more] [What's New?]