Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani vigorously rejected accusations that Osama bin Laden was protected in his Abbottabad mansion by local army or security services.
It is disingenuous for anyone to blame Pakistan or State institutions of Pakistan including the ISI and the armed forces for being in cahoots with the Al Qaeda. It was Al Qaeda and its affiliates that carried out hundreds of suicide bombings in nearly every town and city of Pakistan and also targeted political leaders, State institutions, the ISI and the General Headquarters.
Furthermore, Gilani affirms that it was information provided by the Pakistani Secret Service, ISI, that lead to finding Osama’s lair and to his execution.
The obvious question that has vexed everyone is how could Osama bin Laden hide in plain sight in the scenic surroundings of Abbottabad. Let’s not rush to judgment…. It was the ISI that passed key leads to CIA that enabled the US intelligence to use superior technological assets and focus on the area in which Osama bin Laden was eventually found. All this has been explained in the statements issued by the Foreign Ministry and the ISPR as well as in the detailed briefing by the Foreign Ministry.
Gilani also warned that next time Pakistan might stop any unannounced anti-terrorism American operations in Pakistan by force.
Unilateralism runs the inherent risk of serious consequences. Suppose the operation had gone wrong. A US helicopter was abandoned and destroyed on the site. This is a small though important reminder of the risks in such operations.
Let no one draw any wrong conclusions. Any attack against Pakistan’s strategic assets whether overt or covert will find a matching response. Pakistan reserves the right to retaliate with full force. No one should underestimate the resolve and capability of our nation and armed forces to defend our sacred homeland.
The speech was peppered to allusions to the fact that if there was incompetence in finding Osama, this should be shared by all global investigation and secret services.
The most surprising point of the speech was a reference to Pakistan’s strengthening relationship with China. The paragraph below openly alludes to the fact that US is not Pakistan’s only strategic partner.
We realize that the world and in particular the Asian region is undergoing a fundamental and fast transformation. We are delighted that our all weather friend, the Peoples Republic of China has made tremendous strides in economic and technological development that are a source of inspiration and strengthen for the people of Pakistan.
Video Clip of Gilani’s Speech to the Pakistani Parliament on the American operation against Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad
- You: Gilani orders Bin Laden inquiry (guardian.co.uk)
- Don’t blame us, Pakistan PM insists (independent.co.uk)
- Pakistan Prime Minister to warn US over Osama bin Laden raid (telegraph.co.uk)