News / Asia

Pakistan PM Calls Accusations Over bin Laden 'Absurd'

In this photo released by Pakistan's Press Information Department, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani delivers a speech at the parliament house in Islamabad, Pakistan, May 9, 2011
In this photo released by Pakistan's Press Information Department, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani delivers a speech at the parliament house in Islamabad, Pakistan, May 9, 2011

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Monday denied that his country's intelligence agencies helped hide Osama bin Laden, insisting that allegations of complicity or incompetence were "absurd".

Intelligence failure

In a speech to Islamabad's parliament, Gilani said it was "disingenuous" for anyone to insinuate that Pakistani authorities, including the country's spy agency, the ISI, were aligned with al-Qaida.

"We emphatically reject such accusations. Speculative narratives in the public domain are meant to create despondency," said Gilani. "We will not allow our detractors to succeed in offloading their own shortcomings and errors of omission and commission in a blame game that stigmatizes Pakistan."

Suspicion has deepened that ISI, which has a long history of contacts with militant groups, may have had ties with the al Qaida leader - or that some of its agents did.

US, Pakistani relations

The prime minister's comments came after Pakistan was hit by widespread criticism following the shooting of Osama bin Laden in a U.S. raid a week ago.

Gilani said that bin Laden's death in a U.S. raid was "indeed justice done" and insisted the relationship with the U.S. was still strong.

"Apprehensions are being voiced about our relations with the United States," he said. "Let me dispel any anxiety in this regard. Pakistan attaches high importance to its relations with the US. We have a strategic partnership which we believe serves our mutual interests. It is based on mutual respect and mutual trust."

But, he warned Washington that future unilateral strikes could be met with "full force."

"Any attack against Pakistan’s strategic assets whether overt or covert will find a matching response," he added. "Pakistan reserves the right to retaliate with full force. No one should underestimate the resolve and capability."

His comments were a bow to opponents angered by the U.S. raid deep inside Pakistan.

US raid criticized

Pakistan's main opposition party has called on Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari to resign over the breach of sovereignty by U.S. special forces.

Prime Minister Gilani assigned blame on all nations for failing to detect the terrorist leader's lair, and ordered an investigation into how bin Laden was able to hide out in Pakistan. A top Pakistani general will lead the probe.

"This issue of the hideout needs a rational answer," said Gilani. "Recrimination and misplaced rhetoric is self defeating. Yes, there has been an intelligence failure. It is not only ours but of all the intelligence agencies of the world."

Past disputes

Pakistani-U.S. relations were already fragile after a string of diplomatic disputes over issues including U.S. drone attacks on suspected terrorist  hideouts inside Pakistan and Pakistan's arrest of a CIA contractor who shot dead two Pakistanis in the city of Lahore in January. The contractor was eventually released but it further damaged the relationship between the two countries.



You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid