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Pakistan dismisses CIA's Osama outburst as false

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, May 5 IRNA -- Pakistan has rejected the statement of the CIA chief as 'a false and hypothetic allegation' that the country's intelligence agency either involved in sheltering Osama bin Laden or it is incompetent.

The CIA chief issued the statement a day after the US Special Forces raided a compound in the northwestern Abbotabad city and killed Osama bin Laden.

'Such statements continue to surface and resurface and are aimed at pressurizing Pakistan to do more. Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir said at a news conference.'

Bashir said that the performance of no intelligence agency, including CIA, can be compared with that of the ISI in the war against terror. The Foreign Secretary said that the ISI had done a commendable work and had a brilliant track record of combating terrorism and interdicting al-Qaeda.

The Foreign Secretary said that the US action, which led to the killing of Osama Bin Laden, was a covert operation and Pakistani armed forces were not consulted.

'The US helicopters reached the scene evading Pakistani radars and our authorities came to know of the incident when a copter crashed there. Relevant units reached the site within fifteen minutes, Pakistan Air Force was alerted and two F-16s were air-borne.'

He said that American CENTCOM Chief Admiral Mike Mullen telephoned Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani at about 3:00 a.m. and informed him about the operation.

The Foreign Secretary said that even Americans were mindful of the sovereignty issue and Admiral Mullen, among other things, also raised this issue during the conversation with the Army Chief.

Salman Bashir said the American action in Abbotabad involved legal issues concerning violation of sovereignty and these should be addressed for the sake of global peace and stability.

He pointed out that even the UN Security Council had emphasized that member states must ensure that any measure taken to combat terrorism complies with their obligations under international law and in particular human rights, refugee and humanitarian law.

The Foreign Secretary also pointed out that the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed, was about four kilometers from Pakistan Military Academy Kakul.

He added, 'But we should be mindful of the fact that it is a training academy and doesn't have the kind of defence that we have for our other military and strategic assets, especially aerial and ground defence.'

He said, 'there are redlines in Pakistan's cooperation with the United States and other members of the international community, which should be observed.'

He said it was absolutely wrong to speculate that elements within the ISI or the government were providing cover to Osama. The United States itself had acknowledged that some of the leads that ultimately led to the identification of the Abbotabad compound resulted from the information shared between the ISI and the CIA.

In response to a question, the Foreign Secretary said Osama's family members and others found in the compound were with the Pakistani authorities but he declined to provide details

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30373329

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