Islamabad, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has insisted his country had not been “complicit” in sheltering slain Al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden and said Bin Laden was able to live undetected for so long in Pakistan due to a global ‘intelligence failure’.
“There is no complicity. I think it”s an intelligence failure from all over the world,” the Guardian quoted Gilani, as saying.
Gilani, who is on a five-day visit to London, said Pakistan was “part of the solution, not part of the problem” when it came to the “global issue” of fighting terrorism, adding that “Osama bin Laden wasn”t a Pakistani”.
He denied suggestions that elements within Pakistan”s military may have been aware of Bin Laden”s hideout in the garrison city of Abbottabad. U.S. Special Forces killed Bin Laden on May 2 last year during a raid on his heavily fortified villa.
U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton had recently said she believed Ayman-al-Zawahiri, Bin Laden”s successor, was hiding “somewhere in Pakistan”.
Reacting to Clinton’s statement, Gilani said, “If there is any credible information please share it with us, so we can be quick and achieve our targets.”
Gilani said the U.S. had fuelled the problem of militancy by abandoning its ally Pakistan once the Soviets had been driven from Afghanistan.
“The vacuum was filled by militants,” he said.
Gilani said recent relations with the Obama administration hadn”t been “too normal” but said the CIA and ISI were still working hard together to wipe out – or “achieve” high-level targets.
Gilani also said Islamabad was “serious” about resolving all core issues with India, including Kashmir and Siachen, where 139 Pakistani soldiers were tragically buried in an avalanche last month.