Wrong to say Pak harboured Osama: ex-ISI chief
Posted on: 12:08 PM IST May 02, 2011
New Delhi: Former Pakistan intelligence agency chief Lieutenant General (retired) Hamid Gul claims that it is wrong to say that the Pakistani government or the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had been harbouring Al Qaeda leader and 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.
Speaking to CNN-IBN, former ISI chief Gul said that there was nothing unusual in the mansion in Abbottabad near Islamabad where Osama was reportedly killed in an operation by US Special Forces. Incidentally, the Pakistan Military Academy is also situated in the same area.
"It is wrong to say that the ISI or the Pakistani government was harbouring Osama. Let more information come in. It is not unusual to have compounds with huge walls and heavy security in this part of Pakistan. Pathans usually build huge compound walls," Gul said.
Gul also said that it is possible that the US intelligence agency Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been "choreographing the whole thing".
"It suits Obama. It is being said that they have known about Osama's whereabouts only a week back. It could be possible that he had come into Pakistan for treatment," he said.
He, however, expressed doubts that Osama was living in Pakistan.
"It is possible that ISI was aware that Osama bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan. There are many failures of ISI as well. The ISI is not an organisation that knows everything. It is possible that ISI came to know about Osama after the US tip off. It is quite surprising that Osama was inside Pakistan. I not aware about what time Pakistan was informed about the operation," he said.
Gul claimed that he met Osama in Sudan but never in Pakistan.
"I never met Osama in Pakistan. He attended a Mujahideen camp once but never in any ISI camps. I have met and seen Osama bin Laden in 1993-94 in Sudan," he added.