News / Asia

Pakistan Criticizes US Raid, Defends Record on Terrorism

Osama bin Laden compound in Pakistan that was raided by US troops
Osama bin Laden compound in Pakistan that was raided by US troops

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday sharply criticized the U.S. operation that killed terrorist leader Osama bin Laden in the the Pakistani city of Abbottabad.

The criticism came as Pakistan's president denied allegations that his country is not actively pursuing terrorists.

A foreign ministry statement said the operation was carried out without the knowledge or authorization of Islamabad. The statement also said the country's intelligence service, the ISI, had been sharing information about bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and "other friendly intelligence agencies" since 2009.

Writing in the Washington Post newspaper on Tuesday, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari defended his government's record fighting terrorists, saying that while the killing of al-Qaida leader was not a joint operation between the United States and Pakistan, Pakistan helped to identify the al-Qaida courier whose trail led U.S. intelligence officials to bin Laden's hideout.

Raw footage of the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed:

There is growing criticism of Pakistan in the U.S. Congress, with calls for an investigation into how the world's most wanted terrorist was able to go unnoticed in Abbottabad, a city that has a large military presence and is home to Pakistan's military academy.  

Questions are also being raised in Pakistan concerning what the government knew about the mission to kill bin Laden. Opposition politician Haroon Akhtar says Mr. Zardari's government is keeping quiet because of fears of retaliation by extremists.  

"There is no way that I can believe that in this country four helicopters can come and jam our radar and we do not know about it then President Obama calls our President and says 'thank you very much we came in and we killed so many people”' That has not happened. It is the repercussions which we are afraid of and that is why we are quiet. That is why we don’t want to bore into the details," Akhtar said.

Many Pakistani's are angry and embarrassed over what they consider a violation of their sovereignty, and tensions are high across Pakistan following the raid.  On Tuesday the U.S. reopened its embassy in Islamabad and its consulate in Karachi, but consulates in Peshawar and Lahore remain closed due to security concerns.

Photos of world reaction to bin Laden's death

The U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Marc Grossman, who was in Islamabad as part of previously scheduled tri-lateral talks between the U.S., Pakistan and Afghanistan, said the death of bin Laden benefits all three countries.  

"The three countries that are here share the commitment to an end to violent extremism and the three countries that are represented here consider that the end of Osama bin Laden on Monday was a shared achievement of Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States," Grossman said.

But now that Osama bin Laden has been killed some Pakistanis are calling for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, saying the reason for U.S. involvement there has been eliminated.  U.S. officials dismiss the suggestion, saying  U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan to assist the Afghan government until it can stand on its own to defeat the Taliban.  But Ibrahim Khan, a member of the Pakistani parliament, is adamant that the time has come for the U.S. to quit Afghanistan.  

"The America has achieved its target, the elimination of Osama bin Laden was the target placed by America for itself. And after achieving this target now is the time for America to quit Afghanistan. There is no justification for America to stay in Afghanistan anymore," Khan said.

The conduct of the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan is extremely unpopular in Pakistan, especially the use of drone strikes to kill militants across the border in Pakistan. And there is concern here that terrorists will take revenge against Pakistanis for bin Laden's death.

In his piece for the Washington Post, President Zadari noted that the Taliban issued threats against him and his government shortly after the killing of Osama bin Laden. He said Pakistan will not be "intimidated" and declared that "the war on terrorism is as much Pakistan's war as it is America's."

You May Like

Obama: Action on Climate Change 'Economic, Security Imperative'

President spoke to reporters on sidelines of UN Climate Summit outside Paris, where leaders are working to agree on binding measures

IMF Bets on China’s Resolve to Reform

IMF announcement already raising questions about just how much Beijing is committed to such reforms

UNICEF: Hidden Epidemic of HIV Among Adolescents

Researchers warn that Asia Pacific nations facing sharp rise in incidence of HIV among adolescents

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs