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Homeland Security

Pakistani commission on Osama operation begins probe

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, July 6, IRNA -- A high-level commission, constituted by the Pakistani government to ascertain the facts about the presence of Osama bin Laden in the country and to probe the US unilateral raid that killed the al-Qaida chief, formally started work on Tuesday, officials said.

Headed by Justice Javed Iqbal, judge of the Supreme Court, the Commission held its preliminary session and will hold its first detailed meeting on July 11, officials said.

Sources close to the Commission said that the members sought a report about the family of the slain al-Qaeda chief, who are still in custody of the Pakistani authorities.

The Commission members are likely to meet the Osama family, sources and local media reported.

The Commission members have reportedly asked the government not to hand over family members to their respective countries unless they met them.

Sources said that Commission members in their preliminary meeting agreed on the terms of the panel.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani had formed the five-member commission days after the US killed Osama bin Laden in the northwestern city of Abbotabad on May 2.

A controversy had surfaced about the composition of the Commission as one member had refused to sit in the body and the nominated head Justice Javed Iqbal had also refused to lead the panel unless the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court allowed him to head the body.

The Supreme Court allowed Justice Javed Iqbal to lead the panel after the government formally approached the apex court.

The US unilateral action to kill Osama bin Laden sparked a widespread protest across the country as the country's radar system could not detect movement of the US military helicopters which conducted some 40-minute operation to kill Osama bin Laden.

The commission's mandate includes establishing 'the full facts' regarding Osama's presence in Pakistan as well as details about the US incursion.

The commission shall determine the nature, background and causes of lapses of the concerned authorities, if any. The commission shall make consequential recommendations.

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