March 15 , 2017

Kh Asif demands probe into Husain Haqqani claims

ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Wednesday demanded a parliamentary commission to investigate the claims of former ambassador Husain Haqqani that his connections made possible for the US to eliminate Osama Bin Laden in May 2011.

In an op-ed in Washington Post, Haqqani wrote that his connections with the Obama Administration eventually enabled the United States to discover and eliminate bin Laden without depending on Pakistan’s intelligence service or military, which were suspected of sympathy toward militants.

These comments put Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in a difficult position. Leader of the Opposition, Khursheed Shah endorsed the demand and said the PPP too wanted to settle the matter.

Responding to the minister, he said not only this matter be probed, also the judicial inquiry report be made public.

Haqqani was Pakistan’s Ambassador to US when American SEAL raided a compound in Abbotabad and killed Al qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden.

He wrote: “Friends I made from the Obama campaign were able to ask, three years later, as National Security Council officials, for help in stationing U.S. Special Operations and intelligence personnel on the ground in Pakistan. I brought the request directly to Pakistan’s civilian leaders, who approved. Although the United States kept us officially out of the loop about the operation, these locally stationed Americans proved invaluable when Obama decided to send in Navy SEAL Team 6 without notifying Pakistan.”

Speaking in the National Assembly, the defence minister said former envoy has affected national security and it should be investigated by a parliamentary body. Former PM Yousuf Raza Gilani and ex-president Zardari have been named by him, and the PPP cannot distance itself just by declaring Haqqani a traitor, he added.



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