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Pak: judicial commission 'interviews' bin Ladens's widows

Source: PTI
October 05, 2011 21:08 IST
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The Pakistani judicial commission investigating the killing of Osama bin Laden has interviewed the al Qaeda leader's widows and daughters for the first time, the panel announced on Wednesday.

 

The "exhaustive interview" of bin Laden's three widows and two daughters was conducted Tuesday, said a brief statement issued by the commission. It did not give details.

 

The commission headed by former Supreme Court judge Javed Iqbal on Wednesday interviewed Inter-Services Intelligence agency chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha regarding the US raid against bin Laden, the statement said.

 

The panel has interviewed senior military officials in the past but this was the first time that the Inter-Services Intelligence chief appeared before it.

 

The statement said the ISI chief would be interviewed again on Thursday.

 

The questioning of senior military officials, including those from the powerful ISI, by a civilian commission is extremely rare in Pakistan.

 

The

statement further said that the commission also interviewed Shakil Afridi, a government doctor who was detained on charges of working for the Central Investigation Agency to obtain DNA samples of the residents of bin Laden's compound in the garrison town of Abbottabad.

 

Media reports have said Afridi conducted a free vaccination campaign in bin Laden's neighbourhood early this year in a bid to obtain DNA samples of residents of the compound after the CIA had zeroed in on it.

 

Bin Laden's widows -- two Saudis and a Yemeni -- and about 10 of his children have been in the custody of Pakistani security agencies since US special forces killed the Al Qaeda leader during a covert raid in Abbottabad on May 2.

 

The commission had earlier barred bin Laden's widows and children and Afridi from leaving Pakistan.

 

The government has directed the commission to probe how bin Laden's presence in Pakistan went undetected for almost five years, the circumstances of the US  raid and any security lapses that may have occurred on May 2, and to make recommendations based on its findings.

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