Prime Minister Gilani speech in Parliament, orders joint probe into Osama saga

Pakistan has ordered a joint investigation into how Osama bin Laden was able to live in the garrison city of Abbottabad undetected, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told parliament Monday, Geo News reported.

Army and civilian investigation officers will investigate into intelligence failure on Osama hiding and a US attack on Pakistani soil keeping Islamabad in dark, he informed lawmakers.

Gilani told parliament the country was “united in our resolve to eliminate terrorism” and determined not to allow its soil to be used for militancy.

Pakistan has confidence in its military and intelligence services, the premier said, adding despite the discovery that Osama Bin Laden had been living in the country undetected.

PM Gilani said it was “absurd” to level accusations of complicity or incompetence over the discovery of Osama bin Laden in a garrison city and announced an official probe into the affair.

He also affirmed the government’s “full confidence in the military” and spy agency, which are accused of failing to spot bin Laden hiding under their nose.

“Allegations of complicity or incompetence are absurd. We emphatically reject such accusations,” Gilani told lawmakers in a televised speech that follows widespread criticism in the United States and elsewhere since Bin Laden was found and killed in a US raid a week ago.

Blaming “all intelligence agencies of the world” for failing to uncover Bin Laden’s lair, Gilani reiterated the country’s resolve to eliminate terrorism and said an inquiry had been ordered.

“We are determined to get to the bottom of how, when and why about OBL’s presence in Abbottabad. An investigation has been ordered,” he said, later adding that it would be conducted by a top Pakistani general.

“Let me also affirm the government’s full confidence in the high command of the Pakistan Armed Forces and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI),” he said.

Gilani also criticised the US raid that caught and killed the Al-Qaeda chief, despite an earlier statement that it had been a “great victory” for counter-terror efforts.

Bowing to domestic criticism of America’s covert action, he cautioned against unilateral raids on sovereign soil saying they risked “serious consequences.”

But addressing fears that Pakistan’s relations with its US counter-terror ally had sunk to a new low in the wake of the covert raid by US Navy SEALS last week, Gilani said: “Pakistan attaches high importance to its relations with the US…. We have a strategic partnership that we believe is in our mutual interest.”

Geo News

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