Abbottabad Commission clears Pak govt, military of protecting Osama
23 October, 2012
LONDON: The Abbottabad Commission, assigned to investigate the U.S. raid in Abbottabad which killed Osama Bin LAden, has cleared Pakistan's government and military establishment of involvement in protection of the Al-Qaeda chief .
The Daily Telegraph quoting a senior government official says that no one else in the town knew the world's most wanted man had taken up residence there. It clears Pakistan's government and military establishment of involvement, a verdict that will prompt accusations of a cover-up and infuriate Western diplomats.
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.
The investigation describes how the daughter of one of bin Laden's two couriers, who lived with their families in separate buildings inside the high-walled compound, saw the al-Qaeda leader as she climbed the stairs in his private area for a Koran lesson with one of his wives.
According to the Pakistani source, she was oblivious to his identity until she saw his picture on television some days later.
This prompted a hurried security conference inside the compound, which ended with bin Laden giving up his exercise routine in a covered part of the courtyard.
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 U.S. 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.he report also concludes that stealth technology used by the U.S. helicopters enabled them to enter Pakistani airspace without being detected.