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Updated: May 10, 2012 20:31 IST

No role in bin Laden’s stay in Pak: Gilani

PTI
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Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. File photo
AP
Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. File photo

Insisting that Pakistan had no role in providing shelter to Osama bin Laden, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has attributed presence of the slain al Qaeda leader in his country to universal intelligence failure.

Mr. Gilani, who is on a five-day visit to Britain, denied in an interview to ‘The Guardian’ that bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad was secretly known.

He said: “There is no complicity. I think it’s an intelligence failure from all over the world,” and denied suggestions that elements within Pakistan’s military may have been aware of bin Laden’s hideout, by saying: “Why should we do that? We have suffered the most.”

According to Mr. Gilani, Pakistan was “part of the solution, not part of the problem” when it came to the “global issue” of fighting terrorism.

He alleged that the U.S. had fuelled the problem by abandoning its ally Pakistan once the Soviets had been driven from Afghanistan.

“The vacuum was filled by militants,” he said.

To U.S. secretary of state Hilary Clinton’s statement in India that she believed that Ayman al-Zawahiri, who inherited the al-Qaeda leadership after bin Laden’s death, was hiding “somewhere in Pakistan”, Mr. Gilani said, “If there is any credible information please share it with us, so we can be quick and achieve our targets.”

Asked if Taliban leader Mullah Omar might also be in the country, the prime minister replied, “I don’t know. Please tell us.”

The CIA was far more “powerful” than Pakistan’s ISI intelligence service, and would have a better idea, he said.

The Guardian reported that during the interview, Mr. Gilani was “surprisingly upbeat” about relations with Delhi and spoke warmly of Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh.

Islamabad, he said, was “serious” about resolving all core issues with India, including Jammu and Kashmir and Siachen.

Mr. Gilani claimed that his country had been the biggest loser from the turmoil in neighbouring Afghanistan and from Islamist extremism at home: “Pakistan has paid a huge price.

Some 35,000 people have been martyred. 5,000 police and soldiers have been killed.”

In addition, Pakistan was now “catering to the needs” of 3.6 million Afghan refugees, he said.

The daily reported that Mr. Gilani was “upbeat about relations with Washington”, which have been under severe strain since US-led Nato forces killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last November.

Mr. Gilani admitted recent relations with the Obama administration had not been “too normal” but said the CIA and ISI were still working hard together to wipe out -- or “achieve”, as he put it – high-level targets.

He claimed that it was practically impossible to police the mountainous Afghan-Pakistan border, where thousands crossed every day.

“We don’t know if they are tourists or militants,” he said in the interview.

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Mr Gilani, if you knew that OBL was living in Abbottabad then you were complicit. If you did not know, then you were incompetent. Either way it spells damnation for you. And now, Mrs Clinton says Ayman Al Zawahiri is in Pakistan. You say he is not. Perhaps you will say the same thing about Mullah Omar, whose presence for a long time in Quetta was much written about in newspapers for a long time. The fact is Pakistan has been nurturing terror as its tool for its asymmetrical war with India - because Pakistan cannot hope to fight a regular war with India with any prospect of winning. If there is any substance to expressions of hope of better relations with India, then one thing that you need to do before expecting results is to stop your patronage to terror. Besides, you have an obligation to bring perpetrators of Mumbai 26/11 to justice, not just half-hearted stories before a court and letting off accused for want of evidence.

from:  V. C. Bhutani
Posted on: May 10, 2012 at 17:22 IST

Pakistan's SUDDEN reversal of attitude towards India stems from the US cutting a
majority of its aid ( most of which was controlled and used by the military or ISI ).
Thus, in order to sustain their "ventures", they are seeking to augment their
economic ties with India.

They now want to de-militarize Siachen ONLY because they do not have resources
to sustain their operations there ( i.e. due to lack of funds from the US, etc. ).

I hope the Indian Gov't does not fall into the trap of giving in. Pakistan, I believe
cannot be trusted by the world, let alone India.

from:  jai
Posted on: May 10, 2012 at 13:19 IST

They portray multifaced statements twisted to suit them.After milking billions of Dollars this is what they do as contribution for peace in the region.When it suits them, they defend themselves by saying they have no information on 26/11.Now they are singing in praise of India and MMS.This is because they want visa powers to be relaxed.As MMS said before trusting them verify first.

China also is sniffing around in this area for salvaging and grabbing space.These two countries are fountainheads of tensions.China may boast that they have many Agni's soaring than India, but they should know that the greatest possession people here soaring in enjoyment is freedom which even a common man in China cannot dream of.

from:  jayaraman
Posted on: May 10, 2012 at 11:05 IST

For anything bad in Pakistan, entire world has failed! What !!! Then please don't make noise over sovereignty of Pakistan when US drones attack.

from:  Hitesh
Posted on: May 10, 2012 at 09:03 IST

“If there is any credible information please share it with us, so we
can be quick and achieve our targets.” "claimed that it was
practically impossible to police the mountainous Afghan-Pakistan
border, where thousands crossed every day." "“We don’t know if they
are tourists or militants” Frank confession from the leader that Governmental writ do not run though out the country and still he want
world to believe the country does not harbour terror leaders! How
illogical!

from:  N.G. Krishnan
Posted on: May 10, 2012 at 08:49 IST
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