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Rediff.com  » News » 'Does Pak want to be a friend or has it been an enemy?'

'Does Pak want to be a friend or has it been an enemy?'

March 28, 2012 04:21 IST

Pakistan harbouring Osama bin Laden was the straw that broke the camel's back and led to the irrevocable trust deficit between the United States and Pakistan, says Louie Gohmert. Aziz Haniffa reports

United States Congressman Louie Gohmert, a Republican who represents Texas, has said Pakistan harboring Osama bin Laden was the straw that broke the camel's back in terms of Washington's mistrust over Pakistan's perfidy in the US-led war on terror and put paid the to the longtime theory that the enemy of our enemy is our friend.

Gohmert said it was bad enough that Pakistan was harboring America's greatest enemy but said that adding insult to injury was when Islamabad immediately provided China with access to the one of the helicopters that crashed while the elite US Navy SEALS team launched its attack on the compound where bin Laden was hiding out in the military garrison town of Abbottabad and killed him.

Gohmert, speaking at the National Press Club, echoing sentiments expressed by Defence Secretary Leon Panette recently in a CBS 60 Minutes interview, said, "Pakistan was harboring our nation's greatest enemy and they were not letting us know he was there."

In his Texan drawl, he said, "We don't know who all officials knew he was there. But there had to be people at or near the top (in Pakistan) that knew."

"And, then what happened, when the helicopter crashed? Did our friends say, 'Please come, we are so sorry, we didn't know we were harboring your greatest national enemy? Oh, no, they were mad because we found out they were harboring our national enemy and not only that, they said, 'China come, look at what the Americans have here and this helicopter.'"

Gohmert said, "That's not what friends do. Friends don't harbor enemies so that they can keep directing attacks on the United States -- they don't harbor enemies so that another country can come in and examine their weaponry. You don't do that to friends."

"And so, we are finding out more and more as times goes on, just about whether or not Pakistan really wants to be our friend or has really been our enemy for sometime," he said.

Gohmert said it was a failed policy that "we've spent a great deal of time trying to placate Pakistan because they were in such a strategic location."

"But it turns out," he reiterated, "Pakistan was harboring enemies of ours. It didn't turn out that our enemy was their enemy so much."

Aziz Haniffa in Washington DC