Pak spin specialists work overtime after Osama`s death

Outwitted by US helicopters that flew from Jalalabad in Afghanistan to Abbottabad to kill Osama bin Laden, Pakistan`s military and intelligence have claimed that the air detection systems were jammed by the Americans.

Updated: May 03, 2011, 20:02 PM IST

Islamabad: Outwitted by US helicopters that
flew from Jalalabad in Afghanistan to Abbottabad near here to
kill al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, Pakistan`s military and
intelligence have claimed that the air detection systems were
jammed by the Americans.

As part of moves to explain the embarrassment of how
79 US Navy SEALs in an air-borne operation carried out the
sensational hit on Monday, intelligence sleuths scrambled hard
to put a spin to the incident.

The spins ran contradictory. While one unidentified
Pakistani military official said the helicopters succeeded in
avoiding detection by flying low at tree-top level to evade
detection, another officer claimed the air defence systems had
been jammed by the Americans, Dawn reported.

Despite the accusations of complicity with militants,
none of the Pakistan`s military or ISI top brass has come out
publicly to comment on the daring US raid.

Instead, it was left to civilian leaders to explain
the doubts raised by media which questioned how the raid
could take place without the knowledge of the Pakistani
security establishment.

Pakistan`s Ambassador to US, Hussain Haqqani, said
"intelligence failures are not unique to the ISI".

In a television talk in the US, Haqqani said, "We will
enquire into the causes of what happened. But it is really
important not to turn it into allegations of complicity."

The ISI formed in 1948 plays a key political role in
the country, which has spent half of its 64 years of existence
under military rule.

The agency became all powerful after the Soviet
invasion in Afghanistan when it started funneling arms and
funds to Afghan resistance groups.

Barely days before the US raid, top US military commander
Admiral Mike Mullen accused the ISI of having "long-standing"
ties with the al-Qaeda-affiliated Haqqani network.

Though the Pakistani military establishment tried to put
a spin that such an operation could not go unnoticed,
American officials have said `Operation Geronimo` that killed
bin Laden was a pure US affair.

By the time Pakistani military was scrambling fighters to
intercept the choppers, the US SEALs were already back across
the border in Afghanistan.

"Thankfully, there was no engagement with the Pakistani
forces," John Brennan, President Barack Obama`s Adviser on
counter-terrorism, said about the 40-minute operation, not far
away from Pakistan`s capital Islamabad, yesterday.

PTI