Washington: In a bid to calm tensions with Pakistan, the Pentagon said Washington still believes that Pakistani officials were unaware about Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad.
Last week, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said that he still believed someone in authority in Pakistan knew that Osama bin Laden was hiding in Abbottabad.
The Dawn quoted Pentagon Press Secretary George Little as saying that the interview which quoted Panetta as stating his belief was old.
“Secretary Panetta made clear his belief — which other senior US officials have also expressed — that Osama bin Laden had some kind of support network within Pakistan,” Little said.
“The secretary indicated in the same interview that he had seen no evidence that bin Laden was supported by the Pakistani government or that senior Pakistani officials knew he was hiding in the Abbottabad compound. Since the bin Laden operation, Secretary Panetta and his colleagues in the government have been working hard to improve US-Pakistani relations.”
In a TV interview which was to be aired on Sunday, Panetta said, "I personally have always felt that somebody must have had some sense of what was happening at this compound. Don`t forget, this compound had 18-foot walls... It was the largest compound in the area.”
"So you would have thought that somebody would have asked the question, `What the hell`s going on there?`," Panetta told CBS`s "60 Minutes”.
He, however, added that he has no proof Pakistan knew it was Osama bin Laden.
The US Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden on May 02 in a raid on a compound in Abbottabad and later buried him at sea.