'Sympathisers' within both Pak military, ISI aided Osama bin Laden: Mike Rogers
Washington, June 15(ANI): Elements of Pakistan's military and intelligence service assisted al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden before he was killed in a US raid on his Abbottobad hideout on May 2, the US House Intelligence Committee chief has said.
"I believe that there are elements of both the military and intelligence service who in some way, both prior and maybe even current, provided some level of assistance to Osama bin Laden," The Washington Times quoted Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, who recently returned from a visit to Pakistan, as saying.
Rogers, who met with Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director-General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, said that he knew of no evidence that implicated Pakistan's political and military leadership in harboring bin Laden at a compound located within yards of a prestigious Pakistani military academy.
However, recent news reports indicating that insurgents were tipped off in advance to a military raid on a site used for building roadside bombs suggested that Pakistan's military and ISI had 'some level of extremist sympathisers', he added.
"I do believe, I think the recent news report on the compounds highlights there is some level of sympathizers within the ISI, within the local police departments, within the way they would handle that piece of information, there are certainly sympathizers, and I think you can extrapolate that on a proactive side to the fact that Osama bin Laden was in Abbottobad for nearly five years," Rogers said.
He also said that US Embassy operations were being hindered by Pakistan's military in some cases, and that Pakistan needed to be more transparent and allow US intelligence officials access to detainees.
"Now is the time to put more pressure on Pakistan to do the right thing," he added.
Rogers also said that he considered Pakistan to be a "military with a country," not a country with a military. For now, the military has not chosen to strengthen its alliance with the United States against al Qaeda and the Taliban following the bin Laden raid.
"They could have said 'we are going to redouble our efforts with the United States, we are going to fight extremism, we are going to fight terrorism, we are going to join with you as partners to try to remove the extremist and dangerous elements in Pakistan that we know have targeted the United States in the past,'" he said.
"That would have been the outcome we looked for, thats the outcome we were hoping for, thats the outcome we were advocating for with Pakistan. Unfortunately, I think my trip confirmed for me and all the intelligence I see that is not the Pakistan that we find ourselves with today," he added. (ANI)
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