Wrong to say Pakistan harboured Osama: Ex-ISI chief

Hamid Gul claimed that it was possible that ISI was not aware of Osama`s presence in Pakistan.

Islamabad: Former chief of Pakistan`s spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Hamid Gul on Monday said it was wrong to say that the Pakistani establishment "harboured" Osama bin Laden, who was killed in a daring attack by American forces in Pakistan`s Abbottabad city.

"It is wrong to say that the ISI or the Pakistani government was harbouring Osama. Let more information come in. If Pakistani intelligence was harbouring him, why would they coordinate with American intelligence?" Lieutenant General (retired) Gul told news channel CNN-IBN.

When asked about the kind of suspicious high-wall mansion in which Laden was hiding in Abbottabad, Gul clarified that big wall compounds were common in areas of Quetta and Abbottabad.

"It is not unusual to have compounds with huge walls and heavy security in this part of Pakistan. Pathans usually build huge compound walls," he said.

Gul revealed that he had met Laden in 1993 at a conference in Sudan, but he never met the al Qaeda chief in Pakistan.

He also claimed that it was possible that ISI was not aware of his presence in Pakistan.

"ISI is not an organisation which knows everything. I think sometimes such people get away unnoticed and it could be possible that ISI did not get to know about it," he said.

IANS