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Bin Laden operation deepens Pakistan-US rift

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 8, 2011

As the first wave of euphoria following Bin Laden’s death ebbed away, the US authorities demanded the identities of

Pakistan, Abbottabad : This framegrab from an undated video released by the US Department of Defense on May 7, 2011, reportedly show Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden making a video at his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. According to the Defense Department, the video was seized from the compound during a May 1 operation by US special forces in which bin Laden was killed (AFP PHOTO / US Department of Defense)

some of Pakistan’s top intelligence operatives whom they suspected had known more than they had let on about Bin Laden’s location.

The Obama administration believes some Pakistani agents had had some contact with the former Al-Qaeda leader long before the raid that killed him. Thus Pakistan’s government may now face pressure to see to it that some senior intelligence operatives are punished.

Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha, the Director-General of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has already departed for the United States in order to take in the situation.

Andrey Volodin, head of Oriental Studies at the Diplomatic Academy of Russia’s Foreign Ministry, told RT that the ISI is a rather heterogeneous organization.

“Some of its top officers are in sympathy with Bin Laden,” he said. “If Pakistan’s authorities find these people and fire them, it will be just a formal victory for the Obama administration. In fact, Bin Laden is supported by many more people in Pakistan than it might have seemed.” 

This may be the reason behind the fact that despite the seemingly good relations between the US and Pakistan, Islamabad was not made aware of the raid that was being prepared.

Political analyst Sergey Strokan says that despite US-Pakistan cooperation, the Americans do not trust their Pakistani allies and the whole story of this operation throws up more questions than answers.

“The problem is that although cooperating with the Pakistani services, the Americans deeply distrust them. If you compare all statements made by both American and Pakistani sides since last Sunday [May1], when Bin Laden was killed, you will see there are some discrepancies”, Strokan told RT. “The next day [after Bin Laden was killed] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a statement saying that the operation was conducted in cooperation with Pakistan, with the help of information given by Pakistani partners. But immediately afterwards the Pakistani Foreign Minister claimed that it was “an American operation” – thus he made it clear that Pakistan was not involved.” Read the rest of this entry »

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