Munter not summoned by Pak to protest Osama raid: US

Last Updated: Thursday, May 12, 2011 - 22:30

Islamabad: The US Thursday dismissed as
"completely false" media reports that its envoy was summoned
by Pakistan`s Foreign Office to protest last week`s military
raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

"The reports about Ambassador Cameron Munter
being summoned by the Foreign Office are completely false," US
Embassy spokesman Alberto Rodriguez said.

Munter had a "regular meeting" with Foreign
Secretary Salman Bashir, who is his "main interlocutor" in
Pakistan, Rodriguez said.

TV news channels had quoted sources as saying that
Munter had been summoned by the Foreign Office over the May 2
raid in which the al-Qaida chief was killed by US special
forces in a compound in Abbottabad, a garrison city 120 km
from Islamabad.

The reports claimed Pakistan had lodged a protest
against the operation, describing it as an attack on the
country`s security and sovereignty.

The reports quoted Munter as purportedly regretting
the violation of Pakistan`s airspace.

Diplomatic sources said the US envoy had not offered
any apology for the raid, as had been reported by the TV news
channels.

The sources said efforts were being made to ratchet
up the pressure on the US in the wake of awkward and
embarrassing questions raised by the killing of bin Laden in a
compound located a stone`s throw from the Pakistan Military
Academy and in a city that is home to thousands of soldiers.

Since the killing of bin Laden, a TV news channel
and a right-wing newspaper made public the purported name of
the CIA station chief in Islamabad, who had played a key role
in the operation against the Al Qaida chief.

US and Pakistani officials said the name given in
media reports was incorrect but diplomatic sources said it was
very close to the actual name of the US operative.

This was the second incident of its nature in less
than six months. In December last year, the CIA was forced to
withdraw its station chief in Islamabad after he was named in
media reports and a lawsuit filed by a tribesman against US
drone strikes in Pakistan`s tribal belt.

A section of the Urdu press today misreported
Ambassador Munter`s comments during an interaction with
students at the University of Sindh, in which he had remarked
that some names were

Some media outlets mischaracterised Munter`s
statements to imply that individuals with certain names are
not eligible for US visas, and the charge was denied by the US
Embassy*.

"It`s very obvious that certain elements are
bringing up these issues to divert focus from the bin Laden
episode," a diplomatic source said.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, May 12, 2011 - 22:30

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