Washington: Calling Pakistani intelligence`s
failure to detect Osama bin Laden`s presence in Abbottabad a
"massive slip-up," ex-President Pervez Musharraf has admitted
that "rogue" members of ISI and military may have helped the
al-Qaeda chief hide in plain sight in the garrison city.
Musharraf, who lives in Britain in self-exile, said the
"rogue" lower-level members of the powerful ISI and military
might have known about bin Laden`s location during the last
year of his Presidency six years ago.
"It`s really appalling that he was there and nobody knew.
“I`m certainly appalled that I didn`t know and that
intelligence people from that time onward didn`t know for six
years that he was inside.”
"And there is no excuse for this great, massive slip-up.
And an investigation is in order and people must be punished
for this big lapse," Musharraf told ABC News.
As a policy, the army and ISI are fighting terrorism and
extremism, including al Qaeda and Taliban, he said. "But rogue
element within is a possibility," he said.
According to the former President, there were three
attachment commanders in Abbottabad in the past six years and
he could not imagine all three knowing and harbouring bin
"The possibility as I said, at the lower level, somebody
following a policy of his own and violating the policy from
above, is a possibility," he was quoted as saying.
Regardless of who knew what, according to Musharraf, was
the fact that the US raid was a possible violation of
Pakistan`s sovereignty and that there was never a deal struck
during his tenure to allow the US to make a unilateral attack
on Pakistan`s soil if bin Laden was found.
While calling the al-Qaeda chief`s six-year residence in
Abbottabad a "big blunder" on the part of Pakistani
intelligence, Musharraf warned the United States that if it
continues to alienate Pakistan as it did in the bin Laden
raid, the US will be the "loser."
"You want to alienate Pakistan, you will be a loser," he
was quoted as saying.