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Homeland Security

Intelligence agents to appear before Osama panel

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, July 25, IRNA -- Senior intelligence officials will appear later on Monday before the high level commission investigating the U.S. unilateral raid to kill Osama bin Laden in the Pakistani city of Abbotabad on May 2.

A member of the commission has been quoted by local media as saying that the statements of senior officials of the main spy agency, ISI or another intelligence agency might be recorded and the information might clarify a few points.

The Commission, headed by a Supreme Court judge, is looking into the mystery shrouds the raid because many questions raised about it are yet to be answered, including the presence of Osama in the three-storey mansion in Abbottabad, according to Dawn newspaper.

It also said that the Commission seeks details about the 40-minute action of the US commandos the statements of the intelligence officials may throw light on the role of Pakistani security and the role of security and intelligence agencies in the whole episode.

The commission is required to look into security deficiencies, if any, and make recommendations on how to prevent such incidents in future.

The terms of reference of the commission require it to ascertain facts about the presence of Osama in Pakistan; investigate circumstances and facts regarding the US operation; determine the nature, background and causes of lapses by the authorities concerned, if any; and make recommendations.

A commission member, Lt-Gen (retd) Nadeem Ahmed, told a foreign radio this month that the ISI had not been aware of Osama’s presence in Abbottabad.

“The commission chief has issued a general instruction for all members that they should avoid their appearance in the media by any means till the investigation is completed,” the member said.

The remarks of Gen Ahmed trigged a controversy that compelled the head of the commission, Justice Javed Iqbal, to come out with a clarification by saying that those were Gen Ahmed’s personal views and not the finding of the commission.

Although the commission appears to have made little headway in the probe so far it is expected that in its second or subsequent meetings it will hear from intelligence agencies whether they were aware of the presence of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad and about the US raid.

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