Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pakistan criticises US raid on Osama

People rally to condemn the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Multan. Pakistan criticised the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden as an 'unauthorised unilateral action'. -- PHOTO: AP

ABBOTTABAD (Pakistan) - PAKISTAN criticised the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden as an 'unauthorised unilateral action,' laying bare the strains the operation has put on an already rocky alliance.

US legislators along with the leaders of Britain and France questioned how the Pakistani government could not have known the Al-Qaeda leader was living in a garrison town less than a two-hour drive from the capital and had apparently lived there for years.

'I find it hard to believe that the presence of a person or individual such as bin Laden in a large compound in a relatively small town ... could go completely unnoticed,' French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe told reporters in Paris.

British Prime Minister David Cameron also demanded that Pakistani leaders explain how Osama had lived undetected in Abbottabad. But in a nod to the complexities of dealing with a nuclear-armed, unstable country that is crucial to success in the war in Afghanistan, Mr Cameron said having 'a massive row' with Islamabad over the issue would not be in Britain's interest.

White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Tuesday that the US is committed to cooperating with Pakistan.

'We don't know who if anybody in the government was aware that bin Laden or a high-value target was living in the compound. It's logical to assume he had a supporting network. What constituted that network remains to be seen,' Mr Carney said. -- AP

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