No apology to Pak for unilateral Osama action: US
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Last Updated: Wednesday, May 04, 2011, 12:47
Washington: The US will not offer any apology to Pakistan for its unilateral military action against Osama bin Laden deep inside that country, the White House said, adding he was "enemy number one" for America.

The White House however acknowledged that Pakistan provided useful intelligence and cooperation over the years and assistance that helped the US build the "mountain of information" that it needed to build in order to find the al- Qaeda chief and execute the mission in Abbottabad.

The Obama Administation also termed US' relationship with Pakistan as "complicated but important" and that it was "working very hard" on its ties with that country which received a setback after a secretive American commando operation to kill the 9/11 mastermind on Monday.

"We make no apologies about that," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said when asked whether the US should have gone unilaterally inside Pakistan to get bin Laden.

"He was enemy number one for this country and killed many many innocent civilians. And no apologies," Carney said.

Pakistan yesterday termed the US commando operation that killed Laden an "unauthorised, unilateral action" without its knowledge.

Besides, the White House said America has never been at war with Islam.

"This has never been a war against Islam. President (George W) Bush said that; President (Barack) Obama has said that. Osama bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims, as well as people of other faiths," Carney said.

"It has been our cooperation with Muslims in Pakistan and other countries, as well as Muslim Americans, which has helped in our overall effort to fight al Qaeda and protect Americans, to protect this country," he said.

Taking action against bin Laden does not mean that one shouldn't be entirely respectful of Islam, which the US is.

"It doesn't change the fact the President's very strongly held conviction and expressed conviction that this has never been about Islam, because, in fact, Osama bin Laden was a mass murderer who killed many Muslims," he said.

Carney said Laden was a relic of the past, in many ways.

CIA Director Leon Panetta also briefed members of the Congress on the successful operation during which he is believed to have said the US did not inform Pakistan as he believed that any information provided them to could be leaked and thus jeopardize the sensitive information.

Describing US' relationship with Pakistan as "complicated but important", Carney said it was "working very hard" on its ties with Islamabad that has been tested in many ways over the years and even this year.

"It's vital because, as we have said, that lopping the head off the snake is important, but the body, while battered and bruised because of the actions that have been taken over the years, is still there and we need to bury that body," he said. PTI

First Published: Wednesday, May 04, 2011, 12:47

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