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'His presence in Pak not surprising'

world Updated: Jun 27, 2011 00:11 IST

Controversial Indian-origin author Salman Rushdie says he was hardly surprised by Osama bin Laden's presence in Pakistan and finds it "ludicrous" that the al Qaeda chief could hide in the heart of that country without anybody's knowledge.

Calling the system in Pakistan "deeply unstable, corrupt and militarist", Rushdie said the power elite of that country is "profoundly duplicitous", and the Indian perspective would believe that in having Islamabad as an ally, the West "is in bed with the wrong people".

"For those of us who've been watching for a while, this is not rocket science. If you look at this from the Indian side of the frontier, you know that Pakistan has been harbouring terrorists forever," Rushdie told The Times.

The author also said he had never believed that Laden would be hiding in a mountainous cave cave and he was hardly surprised that he was found in Abbottabad.

"I never believed the cave. I thought, 'This is a rich kid who's grown up in a world of enormous wealth; he ain't living in no cave'. And Abbottabad? You're living next door to West Point? In a town where all your neighbours are retired generals... And nobody wants to know who lives there? Ludicrous," he said. Terming the power elite of Pakistan as "profoundly duplicitous," he contrasted the set up in that country with India which has a "stable democracy".

"Over there [in Pakistan], deeply unstable, corrupt, militarist, cronyist ratf***. That's the technical term. You choose your ally," the author was quoted as saying.