Islamabad: Amid a diplomatic row between
Pakistan and the US over the secret operation that killed al
Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza
Gilani has said Washington should not have violated his
country`s sovereignty to carry out the raid in Abbottabad.
"There was no need to (take) a shortcut or to bypass
Pakistan," Gilani told reporters who accompanied him on an
official visit to France.
In view of the long-standing relations with the US,
Pakistan`s sovereignty should not have been violated, he said.
Reacting to Monday’s operation by US special forces
inside Pakistani territory, Gilani said the issue of violation
of sovereignty was a matter of concern for the country,
particularly in view of the cooperation with the US in
intelligence and defence.
He said relations with the US had seen many ups and
downs in the past, including the incident of CIA contractor
Raymond Davis, who was arrested after he killed two men in
Lahore, and the killing of bin Laden.
He added that it would take "some time" for bilateral
relations to fully normalize.
Bin Laden was killed along with his son, two al Qaeda
couriers and a woman during the pre-dawn raid by US forces on
a compound located a short distance from the Pakistan Military
Academy in Abbottabad, 120 kms from the federal capital
Gilani had earlier sought to deflect criticism of his
government’s failure to detect bin Laden by describing it as
an "intelligence failure of the whole world".
During the interaction with reporters who accompanied
him to France, Gilani said US President Barack Obama had
acknowledged Pakistan`s contribution in the war on terrorism
and ongoing intelligence-sharing between the two countries.
Gilani said his visit to France had provided him an
opportunity to present Pakistan`s point of view and to inform
the French leadership about many things.
"There were many misunderstandings and I hope these
have been removed," he said.
Asked about the difference of opinion in various
quarters of the government regarding the US military operation
against bin Laden, Gilani said he would make a policy
statement during in the Senate or upper house of parliament.