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Pak Army & ISI elements helped Osama: US lawmaker

Elements within the Pakistani military and ISI provided some level of assistance to al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, a top US lawmaker having access to classified intelligence matters has said.



Washington: Elements within the Pakistani
military and ISI provided some level of assistance to al Qaeda
chief Osama bin Laden, who lived in a safe house in Abbottabad
before being killed by the American forces, a top US lawmaker
having access to classified intelligence matters has said.

"I believe that elements of both the military and the
Intelligence Service who in some way, both prior, and maybe
even current, provided some level of assistance to Osama bin
Laden," Mike Rogers, Chairman, House Intelligence Committee,
said in his remarks before Center for Strategic and
International Studies, a Washington-based think-tank.

"I believe that elements of both the military and the
Intelligence Service who in some way, both prior, and maybe
even current, provided some level of assistance to Osama bin
Laden," Mike Rogers, Chairman, House Intelligence Committee,
said in his remarks before Center for Strategic and
International Studies, a Washington-based think-tank.

"Now, there is no evidence, and I want to make this
very clear, today, as we sit here today, there is no evidence
that the leadership of the Army, or the government, or the ISI
knew that Osama bin Laden was there and that that was his
compound," he said.

"I do believe, and I think that the recent news report
on the compounds that were provided to them highlights that
there is some level of sympathizers within the ISI, within the
local police departments, within the way that they would
handle that piece of information," Roger said.

"I think you can extrapolate that on a proactive side
to the fact that bin Laden was in Abbottabad for nearly five
years. So that is a serious issue... I think they understand
the seriousness of that. We will just have to move forward
based on what they may find, and what we may find," said
Roger, who was in Pakistan last week to meet Army chief Gen
Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and the ISI head Ahmed Shuja Pasha.

"Well we will have to deal with it on how we find the
information, who it is, what we know, I mean, clearly we will
work with the Pakistanis to the level that we can. And
remember, we continue to try to find places we can cooperate
with the Pakistanis. That to me is a very important part of
this relationship. And so if they are willing to cooperate on
those efforts then we will welcome that," he said in response
to a question. Rogers said the Obama administration should demand
tough actions from Pakistan if it wants to remain a US ally
and receive American aid money.

He said that the US must set real benchmark for
Pakistan and it is high time that the Obama Administration
re-set its relationship button with Islamabad.

"What we think we must do is lay out some benchmarks,
and that`s what I`m looking at doing even as early as next
week, to lay out some benchmarks to say these are the things
we have to meet if we`re going to continue a relationship.

And, by the way, some of the things you`re doing, you have to
unwind," Rogers told MSNBC.
"We we need to reset this button, and we need to
reset it soon. It`s causing real harm to our relationship," he
said.

Referring to his meetings with Kayani and Pasha,
Rogers said that it is still the most frustrating relationship
he thinks the United States finds itself in, certainly the
most complicated.

"It is soon to be a rising nuclear power. It has
extremist elements, meaning it will move up, by the way, on
the list of sheer number of weapons and systems that it
possesses. It will edge out some of the other nuclear powers
in the world. It is a place that has extremist areas in the
tribal regions that we all know about," he said.

"I came away from this this time with just the strong
realization that Pakistan today is an army with a country, not
a country with an army. And so the way we deal with Pakistan
has to be through that matrix. And we have to step back. I
would love to say `listen, this is too hard and too
complicated, you?re on your own`. None of us believe that is
the right answer. It can’t be. But I do believe now is the
time to start putting more pressure on Pakistan to do the
right thing," Rogers said.

"Now, they had a choice, after the Osama bin Laden
raid, two roads they could have taken. One, yes, it was a
horribly embarrassing event for them. I understand that. They
could have said we are going to redouble our efforts with the
United States. We are going to fight extremism. We are going
to fight terrorism," he said.

"We are going to join with you as partners to try to
remove the extremist and dangerous elements from Pakistan that
we know have targeted the United States in the past. That
would have been the outcome we looked for. That is the outcome
we were hoping for. That is the outcome we were advocating for
with Pakistan.

"Unfortunately, as, I think, my trip confirmed for me
and all the intelligence I certainly see, that is not the
Pakistan that we find ourselves with today," Rogers said.

He said the Pakistani government is making it more
difficult for operations of US Embassy in Pakistan.

"There was a press report about a disclosure of
information that was passed to the Pakistanis so that they
could take care of, what the press referred to as an IED
factory that was compromised. And it would be something that
we would find that we needed to deal with in a political way,
as I said, if it were a country with an army," he said.

"But given where we are, I think we are just going to
have to change our tactics, and I have looked at Pakistan for
the last six years. I have traveled extensively into the
tribal areas. I have been to all parts of Pakistan. And I
always wanted Pakistan to be that ally that I knew it could be
if it wanted to be. But it is just not the Pakistan that we
find ourselves with today," he said.

"I think that you are going to see in the future here
that there is going to be more benchmarks. The American people
are asking themselves questions on why they would supply their
taxpayers to a country that clearly has not been completely
open and transparent in its efforts on extremism in Pakistan,"
he said.

"I clearly think they have a point and despite the
fact that we need to continue this relationship, it is a
relationship that needs some benchmarks on behalf of either
the US Congress or this President in order to get them back on
the right track. We have got a lot of repair work to do. I am
concerned greatly about our relationship as we move forward
and the directions and the decisions that they are going to
need to make in the weeks and days ahead," Rogers said.

"Hopefully they will make the right decisions and we
will be back to that other road that we all hope they are on.

But, again, today, it is not the road that we see Pakistan
taking. I think we are going to have to continue to make some
tough demands from Pakistan if they want to remain an ally to
the United States of America. They have to make those decision
and they have to make those decisions very, very soon," Rogers
said.

PTI

From Zee News

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