‘We are in consultations Pakistan about access to bin Laden's wives, materials seized from Abottabad hideout'
Rejecting Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani's criticism of the unilateral action through which Osama bin Laden was killed, the United States on Monday asserted that it would not apologise to the Pakistan Government for the incident.
The Obama Administration maintained that it expected the Pakistan government to continue to cooperate with the U.S. in the ‘war against terror'
“We do not apologise for the action,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters at his daily news conference.
Mr. Carney was asked about the allegations by Mr. Gilani that the U.S. had violated Pakistan's sovereignty last week when its helicopters and special operation forces carried out a covert operation some 60 km of Islamabad in which bin Laden was killed.
“This relationship is too important to walk away from,” Mr. Carney said when asked about the strain that had arisen in the ties between the two countries.
“The relationship is important and complicated. It has been cooperative in the past and we hope that it will continue to do so,” he said.
The U.S. hoped the investigation would be carried on, as it was in the interest of both countries.
Mr. Carney said the Obama Administration was in consultations with the government of Pakistan at various levels on a host of issues including access to the three wives of Osama bin Laden, who were detained by Pakistani authorities from the Abbottabad hideout, and to the materials seized from there.
Acknowledging that there were differences between the two countries on a host of issues, he hoped that Pakistan would carry out a complete investigation as to how bin Laden had successfully evaded detection staying in Abbottabad for so long.
“The U.S. and Pakistan have an important, complicated relationship, as we have said. The cooperation that we have had with Pakistan has been important for years now in our fight against terrorism and terrorists. And more terrorists have been killed on Pakistani soil, because of that cooperation, than anywhere else in the world, and that's important to note,” Mr. Carney said.
“Which is not to say that we don't have our differences — because we do, we obviously do, and those differences are frequently aired. But the fact of the matter is, that relationship is important; the cooperation continues to be important for the U.S. in order to pursue al-Qaeda and other terrorists as the war continues after the death of bin Laden,” Mr. Carney said.
Asked whether the Obama Administration had confidence in the leadership of Pakistan, Mr. Carney said it thought it important that the Pakistanis did a full investigation. “We are, obviously, doing a full investigation and examining some of the substantial material that our operators collected in bin Laden's compound for evidence of the support network that must have existed to allow Osama bin Laden to continue to live in Abbottabad for so long,” he said.
“We have made clear that given the threat that bin Laden represented to the U.S., — given that he was the most wanted man in the world, a mass murderer, a terrorist who continued to plot against us the United States and our allies, — that the President would use whatever means necessary to ensure that we could eliminate him. And he did that,” Mr. Carney said.