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‘ISI employed architect for Osama`s compound’

The architect reportedly was told that a highly placed VIP was coming to the compound, Ignatius wrote in a column posted on the daily`s website.



Washington: An architect regularly employed
by the ISI worked on the compound in which Osama bin laden sheltered for years in Abbottabad and the slain al Qaeda chief communicated regularly with LeT from his hideout, a media report said on Saturday.

Though the original property records for the compound near
the elite Pakistan Military Academy have disappeared, the
architect who worked on the structure was regularly employed
by the ISI, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius quoted an
intelligence source as saying.

The architect reportedly was told that a "highly placed
VIP" was coming to the compound, Ignatius wrote in a column
posted on the daily`s website.

Though materials taken from the compound after bin laden
was killed by US Special Forces in May last year did not show
direct links with top Pakistani officials, US analysts "have
found evidence that the al Qaeda chief communicated" with
Mullah Mohammad Omar, leader of the Afghan Taliban, and with
the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Ignatious wrote.

"The ISI is thought to monitor both groups closely; how
did the messages slip through the net?" he questioned.

The columnist said any probe on bin Laden`s presence in
Pakistan should focus on several issues, including how the al
Qaeda chief came to Abbottabad in 2005 and what Pakistani
officials knew about his whereabouts.

Current Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani was ISI chief
at the time, but the "dominant figure was President Pervez
Musharraf, the former Army Chief", the columnist wrote.

The commander of the PMA at Abbottabad from 2006 was Lt
Gen Nadeem Taj, who succeeded Kayani as head of the ISI in
2007.

Ignatius referred to former ISI chief Gen Ziauddin Butt`s
claim that the Abbottabad compound was used by Intelligence
Bureau and noted that a report in the Pakistani press in
December had quoted Butt as saying that bin Laden`s stay at
Abbottabad was arranged by Brig Ijaz Shah, head of the
Intelligence Bureau during 2004-08, on Musharraf`s orders.

He further referred to the rumour that bin Laden was
suffering from kidney failure and required dialysis and said
this canard was "repeated for years, notably by Musharraf".

CIA analysts were dubious and no dialysis machines were
found at Abbottabad.

"So was this a deliberate piece of misinformation? And
what about bin laden`s claim in November 2001 to Pakistani
journalist Hamid Mir that he had nuclear and chemical weapons?

Was that a Pakistan-facilitated attempt to promote what bin
Laden called his `deterrent` against a US reprisal attack?" he
wrote.

Pakistan`s civilian and military leaders have denied
reports that they were aware of bin Laden`s presence in the
country.

A judicial commission is currently investigating the
matter.

Experts and US officials have contended that it would not
have been possible for bin Laden to live for so long in a
garrison town without some support from elements in Pakistan`s
security establishment.

Ignatius wrote that US officials had said "they don`t have
any evidence that Kayani or other top Pakistani officials knew
of bin Laden`s presence before the May 2 raid that killed the
al Qaeda leader.

This assessment is based on the review of materials taken
from bin Laden`s compound, plus the reactions of Kayani and
other officials the night of the raid".

PTI

From Zee News

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