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Pakistan probably sheltered Osama, says former ISI chief

February 11, 2015 16:58 IST
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Al Qaeda's Osama bin Laden was killed in a raid by US Navy SEALs in Pakistan's Abbottabad

Former head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Lt General Asad Durrani said that Pakistan most likely harboured Osama bin Laden in the years leading to the raid in Abbottabad on May 2, 2011 in which in Al Qaeda terrorist was killed, according to an Al Jazeera report.

In an interview on the Head to Head show, the ISI director general, who served from 1990-1992, implied that Pakistan revealed bin Laden’s position to the United States.

MUST READ: CHILLING! A blow-by-blow account of killing Osama    

“I cannot say exactly what happened but my assessment […] was it is quite possible that they [the ISI] did not know but it was more probable that they did. And the idea was that at the right time, his location would be revealed. And the right time would have been, when you can get the necessary quid pro quo -- if you have someone like Osama bin Laden, you are not going to simply hand him over to the United States,” told Al Jazeera’s Mehdi Hasan.

According to Durrani, bin Laden’s position was revealed to the US in exchange of an agreement on “how to bring the Afghan problem an end”.

When questioned if the Abbottabad house was an ISI safe house, he said, “If ISI was doing that, than I would say they were doing a good job. And if they revealed his location, they again probably did what was required to be done.”

However, the ISI has always maintained that they had no information on bin Laden’s whereabouts and played no role in the raid that eliminated him.   

Durrani added during intervoew, “The admission of incompetence was probably done on political reasons… As far as the people of Pakistan were concerned, it was going to be very uncomfortable for them that their government, you know, is in cahoots now with the United States and gets hold of Osama bin Laden,” who “was an admired figure in Pakistan”.

However, he clarified that the comments were only his opinion and that he did "not know what had happened".

Also read: The Osama bin Laden I knew   

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