‘The Pakistan leadership was aware of the Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad’ said Hillary Clinton, the candidate for Presidential nomination and former Secretary of State as she slammed Pakistan on the issue. Meanwhile, Leon Panetta, former Director of the CIA has said that the US kept Pakistan in the dark about the operation targeting Osama because they did not trust Pakistan. This criticism on the part of prominent persons of the US and 5 years after the mission against Osama at that, leaves Pakistan authorities irked.
May 2nd marked 5 years since Laden’s killing and so as Hillary Clinton walks towards the final stages of the electoral campaign, the Osama issue has resurfaced. The Republican nominee Donald Trump too expressed annoyance at the fact that Dr. Afridi who helped the CIA confirm Osama’s presence in Abbottabad still has to live in Pakistan’s prison. Trump declared that he was committed to the release of Dr. Afridi and if he were elected President he would get Pakistan to release Dr. Afridi.
Pakistan has reacted very strongly to Trump’s remarks. ‘The decision about Dr. Afridi’s release is the prerogative of the Pakistan courts not of Donald Trump’, said Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan, the Interior Minister of Pakistan. He added that Pakistan was not a US colony and Trump becoming the President of the US was not going to change Pakistan’s stance in any case.
Hillary Clinton has dismissed Pakistan’s claims that they were ignorant about Osama’s existence in their country. Reiterating her stand that Pakistan was very much aware of Osama’s whereabouts, she said that it was indeed unpalatable that the Pakistan military could miss out on Osama’s hideout location even though it was so close to the military academy. However, the US lacked evidence to prove it.
Panetta even claims that Pakistan had close connections with various terrorist networks and so there were doubts about its trustworthiness which was the reason why the US did not take Pakistan into confidence as regards the mission against Osama.
The criticism levelled at them has invited strong reactions from Pakistan. Apart from the Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan, the extremist groups and the media too are expressing vehement reactions against the US