People detained to identify Osama network: Pak

Last Updated: Monday, June 20, 2011 - 15:29

Washington: Many people have been detained or questioned in Pakistan to identify members of Osama bin Laden`s support network, said Pakistani ambassador Hussain Haqqani.

The al Qaeda leader was gunned down May 2 by US commandos who stormed his hideout in Pakistan`s Abbottabad city.

Since then, media reports that the Pakistani spy agency had detained Pakistanis suspected to helping the Americans to get to Osama have sparked anger in the US.

In a special article on the CNN website, Haqqani wrote: "I have been asked why Pakistan has not gone after those who helped Osama live in a compound in Abbottabad.

"Moreover, we have been accused of arresting those who assisted in the raid that killed bin Laden.

"The truth is, many persons have been detained or questioned by Pakistani intelligence to identify members of bin Laden`s support network.

"Even if some people were arrested for collaborating with a foreign intelligence service...

"Allies share intelligence. They should not be found conducting espionage on one another," he added.

In an apparent reference to continued American criticism of Pakistan, the envoy said: "Public recrimination and cynicism is not the way forward."

He admitted that the standing of the US in Pakistan, "which has not been high for decades, has sunk to what may be its lowest level in history".

"Most Pakistanis mistrust the motives of the US, believing America is somehow manipulating, exploiting, patronizing and treating us with contempt.

The fear that the US will desert Pakistan once again, as it did at the end of the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan in 1989, is widespread," he said.

He said there needs to be introspection for both Pakistan and the US on Osama`s discovery in Pakistan.

He said a high-level commission in Pakistan will determine how Osama lived in the countryistan without detection and "how we can improve our surveillance to root out other terrorists in our country.

"It will also investigate how a foreign force, albeit an ally, could penetrate our airspace and conduct a military operation without our knowledge."

For the US, "there needs to be an examination as to why the US did not feel the need to inform the Pakistani leadership of the operation, being sensitive to the negative signals unilateral military action send to the people of Pakistan about our alliance".

Haqqani went on to write that Pakistan has paid an enormous price in its fight against terrorism.

"Strains in relationships, whether in families or between nations, require work and time. Both sides can and should do better to lower the decibels and strengthen the bilateral bond," he said.

IANS



First Published: Monday, June 20, 2011 - 15:29

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