Zardari: Bin Laden raid not joint operation

Pakistan's president says his officials did not know the whereabouts of al Qaeda leader.

    Bin Laden was killed on Sunday night during a raid by US forces on a compound in a Pakistani garrison town [AFP]

    The killing of Osama bin Laden by US forces was not a joint operation with Pakistan, the president of Pakistan has said.

    In an opinion column published in the Washington Post newspaper on Monday, Asif Ali Zardari said the whereabouts of the al Qaeda leader, who was killed in a town some two hours north of Islamabad, was not known to the Pakistani authorities.

    "He was not anywhere we had anticipated he would be, but now he is gone," he wrote. "Although the events of Sunday were not a joint operation, a decade of cooperation and partnership between the United States and Pakistan led up to the elimination of Osama bin Laden as a continuing threat to the civilized world."

    Zardari endorsed the words of Barack Obama, the US President, following the raid by American forces on a compound in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad, adding that while the "war" was not yet won, the "beginning of the end" was "clearly" visible.

    He said that the Pakistani government will not be "intimidated" by threats from the Pakistan-based Tehreek-e-Taliban, which has said that it will carry out attacks against Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani and Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in retaliation against the killing of Osama bin Laden.

    "We can become everything that al-Qaeda and the Taliban most fear - a vision of a modern Islamic future. Our people, our government, our military, our intelligence agencies are very much united. Some abroad insist that this is not the case, but they are wrong. Pakistanis are united," Zardari wrote.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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