Thursday, March 08, 2012

Pakistan's Malik Claims Government Had No Clue About Bin Laden's Presence

Pakistan continues to claim the government had no clue Osama Bin Laden was holed up in his large compound in Abbottabad, a mere 75 miles from Islamabad and a very short distance from the Pakistan Military Academy, for over five years.  

Interior Minister Rehman Malik appeared on Wednesday before the Abbottabad Inquiry Commission and claimed that at no stage was the government aware of Osama bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan, an insider told Dawn.

The commission is investigating the US commando raid in Abbottabad on May 2 last year which left Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden dead.

The minister gave a detailed briefing to the commission, which lasted six hours, about the internal security system, country’s visa policy and presence of illegal immigrants in the country.

[snip] During the briefing, the minister admitted the failure of civil intelligence agencies in tracking down the Al Qaeda founder.

However, it was for the first time that a government official told the Abbottabad Commission that the government was unaware of Osama bin Laden’s presence in the country.
It seems highly unlikely that authorities weren't somehow aware of his presence after all those years. Surely someone would have questioned the need for 18 ft high fortified walls with two security gates surrounding a compound that was much larger than other houses in the area.  But what else can they say. And they will keep denying that there are elements in the government and their intelligence service (ISI) that are aiding and abetting the Taliban.  But it would be well-nigh impossible to purge those who  have sympathies with the extremists, so nothing much will change in that region.

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