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PAKISTAN'S LAW MAKERS CONDEMN U.S BIN LADEN RAID


Pakistani lawyers and others offer funeral prayers for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden
ISLAMABAD – Members of Pakistan's Parliament slammed the United States on Saturday for the raid that killed al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden on their soil, but also demanded that an independent commission probe the debacle instead of one led by the country's powerful armed forces.
The parliamentary resolution followed a rare, private session with top military officials that began Friday and ran past midnight. During the session, Pakistani intelligence chief Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha indicated he'd be willing to resign if lawmakers demanded it, but no one did.
  • In fact, it appeared lawmakers from the weak civilian government and the opposition essentially closed ranks behind a military establishment humiliated by the May 2 U.S. Navy SEALs attack on bin Laden's compound in the northwest garrison city of Abbottabad. Pakistani leaders have insisted they had no idea bin Laden was staying in the city.
  • Few lawmakers were willing to discuss details of the confidential session, but the hours it covered suggested that the generals were questioned extensively — a rarity in a country where the military operates largely beyond civilian control and has staged multiple coups.
  • Intelligence chief Pasha(right photo) spoke at length, and defended the military's record in fighting Islamist extremist movements, some of which have staged numerous deadly attacks on Pakistani soil.
  • Pasha admitted negligence in tracing bin Laden, but also noted that Pakistan had cooperated with the U.S. in helping kill or capture numerous bin Laden allies, severely diminishing al-Qaida's terrorist infrastructure.
Bin Laden was like a "dead person despite being alive," federal Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan quoted the intelligence chief as saying.
When asked why the CIA was able to track bin Laden, the spy chief said the U.S. agency had managed to acquire more human sources in Pakistan than the Pakistani agencies because it paid informants far better, according to a lawmaker who attended the session.
Source: AP
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