Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is visiting Washington on his first official trip said on Monday, the main Pakistani spy agency provided the United States with a trail that helped them locate and kill Al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden.
So far, Pakistan has officially denied knowing the terrorist leader until his murder on May 2, 2011, during a night raid by US special forces. This incident was a great national shame and resulted in the collapse of relations between the two countries.
Khan said in an interview with International News that his country was being asked to release an incarcerated doctor whose fake immunization drive helped the United States track and kill the terrorist leader in 2011.
“This is a very emotive issue, because Doctor Shakeel Afridi in Pakistan is considered a spy,” he told host Bret Baier.
“We in Pakistan always felt that we were an ally of the US and if we had been given the information about Osama Bin Laden, we should have taken him out.”
Then, Baier asked if Khan understood the skepticism about the disclosure of key information by Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), to which Khan replied:
“And yet it was ISI that gave the information which led to the location of Osama Bin Laden.
“If you ask CIA it was ISI which gave the initial location through the phone connection.”
It was not immediately clear what Khan was referring to and he did not provide more detail.
– “Governance implosion syndrome” –
Al-Qaeda chief was tracked down after a 10-year manhunt to Abbottabad, a garrison town north of Islamabad where Pakistan’s military academy is head quartered, sparking allegations authorities were colluding with the terror group. But Pakistan officially denies knowing that Bin Laden was living on its territory, Asad Durrani, a former spymaster, told International News in 2015 that the ISI probably knew where he was hiding and hoped to use him as a bargaining chip before he was killed.
A leaked Pakistani government report in 2013 said Bin Laden arrived in Pakistan in the spring or summer of 2002 after the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan and settled in Abbottabad in August 2005.
The report, which coined the term “governance implosion syndrome” to explain the extent of official failures to detect him, said he was once stopped for speeding and enjoyed wearing a cowboy hat.
Two former senior Pakistani army officials told International News channel in 2015 that a defector from the Pakistani intelligence service had helped the United States locate Osama bin Laden, but denied that the two countries are officially working together.
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