Pak describes as `disquieting` CIA chief`s remarks

Pakistan has described as "disquieting" CIA chief Leon Panetta`s revelation that no intelligence about the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden was shared with Islamabad for fear that the operation would be jeopardised.

Last Updated: May 04, 2011, 13:01 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan has described as "disquieting" CIA chief Leon Panetta`s revelation that no intelligence about the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden was
shared with Islamabad for fear that the operation would be
jeopardised.

"Most of these things that have happened in terms of
global anti-terror, Pakistan has played a pivotal role... So
it`s a little disquieting when we have comments like this,"
Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir said.

Bashir told the BBC that Pakistan had a "pivotal role"
in fighting terrorism.

He said Panetta was entitled to his views but Pakistan
had cooperated extensively with the US.

In his first interview with Time magazine since
leading the operation that resulted in the killing of bin
Laden near the Pakistani garrison city of Abbottabad, Panetta
said US officials feared Pakistan could have undermined the
mission by leaking word to its targets.

Bin Laden was shot dead during the raid by
helicopter-borne US special forces early on Monday.
Bashir said the compound in Abbottabad, where bin Laden was found, had been identified as suspicious some time
ago by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency.

It took the CIA`s greater resources to determine that
it was the al-Qaeda leader`s hideout, he said.

Pakistan`s Foreign Office yesterday issued a statement
that said the country`s civil and military leadership had no
prior information of the US raid, which it described as an
"unauthorised unilateral action" that should not be repeated.

The statement also defended the ISI, saying the spy
agency had been sharing intelligence with the US about the
"target compound" in Abbottabad since 2009.
However, several questions have been raised following
the killing of bin Laden in a compound located just about 800
yards from the Pakistan Military Academy, one of the country`s
main military training facilities.

US officials have questioned whether elements in
Pakistan’s military and intelligence set-ups had known about
bin Laden`s presence in the compound for as long as five years
and were providing the world’s most wanted man a "support
system".

PTI