Former official says Pakistan likely hid Bin Laden
Pakistan’s former spy chief has told Qatar-based news outlet Al Jazeera that the country’s intelligence services most likely sheltered Osama bin Laden in the years leading up to his death in a U.S. raid.
Lt. Gen. Asad Durrani, who served as the ISI’s director general from 1990 to 1992, said he doubted the official line given by Pakistan’s intelligence services that it was unaware of the al-Qaida leader’s whereabouts until his death, implying that Pakistan would only have exchanged knowledge of his location in a quid-pro-quo deal, Al Jazeera reported.
“I cannot say exactly what happened but ... it is quite possible that [the ISI] did not know but it was more probable that they did,” Durrani said.
Durrani said Bin Laden was handed over in exchange for an agreement on “how to bring the Afghan problem to an end.”
Officially, the ISI maintains that it did not harbor Bin Laden and played no part in the May 2011 raid.
According to the U.S., the raid on Bin Laden’s compound was conducted without the knowledge of the Pakistani government or its military, Al Jazeera noted.
The Abbottabad Commission, which was set up by Pakistan to investigate the circumstances surrounding the raid, charged the military and the government with “gross incompetence” leading to “collective failures” that enabled Bin Laden to reside in Pakistan unnoticed.