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Former ISI chief incorrect on Osama Bin Laden: US

Osama bin Laden

Washington: The US has said the statement by the former ISI chief that Pakistan’s spy agency “most likely sheltered” Osama bin Laden is incorrect.

The State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki, insisted there is no reason to believe that Pakistan Government knew about the whereabouts of the slain Al-Qaeda chief.

“As we’ve stated in the past, and the President (Barack Obama) and Secretary (Hillary) Clinton at the time stated, we don’t have any reason to believe that the government of Pakistan knew about the location of bin Laden. That remains our belief,” Psaki told reporters at her daily news briefing yesterday.

“Correct”, Psaki said when asked what Durrani is saying is entirely wrong.

The ex-ISI chief Lt Gen (rtd) Asad Durrani  in an interview to Al Jazeera said that most likely ISI sheltered Osama bin Laden and hoped to use the al-Qaeda chief as a bargaining chip with America  to strike a deal on Afghanistan before he was killed in a covert US Navy SEALs raid in 2011.

“I cannot say exactly what happened but my assessment…was it is quite possible that they (the ISI) did not know but it was more probable that they did,” Durrani said in the interview.

“The idea was that at the right time, his location would be revealed. And the right time would have been, when you can get the necessary quid pro quo – if you have someone like Osama bin Laden, you are not going to simply hand him over to the United States,” he said.

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