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Commission clears Pak govt, army of protecting Osama

October 22, 2012 16:41 IST
The judicial commission assigned to investigate the American raid in Abbottabad, which killed Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden in May 2011, states that no one else in the garrison town knew that the world's most wanted man had taken up residence there, according to a senior government official.

The revelation clears the Pakistan government and the military establishment of involvement -- a verdict that will prompt accusations of a cover-up and infuriate Western diplomats, reports The Telegraph.

The Abbottabad commission had spent the past year and a half questioning military officers, Osama''s wives and residents of Abbottabad. Osama's presence in Abbottabad, a little away from Islamabad, was deeply embarrassing for the country's leaders.

A senior government source said they would find few answers in the commission's report. "At the end of the day it really doesn't tell us much more than we already knew. It's a disappointment for those who thought this episode might represent a turning point for Pakistan's relationship with extremist groups," he said, adding that the investigation had spent more time considering infringements of Pakistan''s sovereignty by the United States Seals than probing how such a well-known fugitive evaded detection.

American critics have accused Pakistani officials of knowing more about Osama's presence than they were letting on. "If Pakistan had taken this breach of sovereignty seriously -- by which I mean the head of Al Qaeda sitting in a cantonment so close to the capital -- we should have seen a very vigorous investigation," said Christine Fair, a Pakistan watcher at Georgetown University. "This was a joke," she added.

The five-member judicial commission submitted its report to the government last week. The report also concludes that stealth technology used by the US helicopters enabled them to enter Pakistani airspace without being detected.

Source: ANI