US raid an attack on sovereignty: Pakistan Senate

The row over the May 2 Abbottabad operation dominated the Senate proceedings.

Last Updated: May 05, 2011, 16:57 PM IST

Islamabad: The US raid at Abbottabad to kill al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was an attack on the country`s sovereignty, members of the Pakistan Senate have said.

The row over the May 02 Abbottabad operation dominated the Senate proceedings on Wednesday, reported Dawn.

Heavily armed US commandos flew into Abbottabad city on May 02 and stormed a mansion where Osama bin Laden was hiding. The al Qaeda leader was shot dead and his body was then buried at seat.

The members called the incident an attack on the country`s sovereignty and sought revisiting the policy on war on terrorism.

A statement by Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan denied reports that the Ghazi airbase had been used by the US troops for the operation.

She said the country`s armed forces did not provide logistic and operational support for the operation.

The Abbottabad operation was conducted by the US forces without informing the Pakistani authorities, she said and added that the unilateral action was unauthorised and both the military and civil leadership were unaware of it.

Khurshid Ahmed of Jamaat-i-Islami contested Awan`s statement and wondered how could one believe that the intelligence agencies were unaware and the air force was grounded.

He said the US operation was an attack on the country`s sovereignty and open military aggression.

Ahmed said the incident was a failure of the civil and military leadership and called for a paradigm shift in the country`s foreign policy.

The information minister said Abbottabad and its surrounding area had been under the focus of intelligence agencies since 2003 that led to the arrest of a high-value al Qaeda target in 2004.

She said that as far as Osama`s hideout was concerned, the ISI had been sharing information with the CIA and other friendly intelligence agencies since 2009.

Awan said Osama`s family was in the custody of the country`s intelligence agencies and the injured among them had been provided medical aid. They would be handed over to the countries they belonged to.

She said about 40 key al Qaeda operatives had been arrested by intelligence and security agencies over the past decade in the country.