According to a report in CNN-IBN, Pakistan’s top civilian and military leadership knew about Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan much before the US Navy SEAL found him and killed him in a raid back in 2011.
The revelation was made by Pakistan’s former minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, who was at the time Pakistan’s defence minister.
Mukhtar has also claimed that the Pakistani establishment, the country’s former army chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and the intelligence agency ISI, were all aware of the fact that Osama bin Laden was living in Abbottabad. Mukhtar, who was Pakistan’s defence minister between 2008 and 2012, spoke to Indian news channel CNN-IBN and said that former Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari also knew about Osama presence and whereabouts in Pakistan.
The revelation made by former defence minister is in contrast to what Pakistan has been claiming since Osama’s assassination back in May 2011: that it was unaware of his presence in the country until a US Navy SEAL team killed him.
What is more, when Mukhtar was asked if former president Zardari and General Kayani had prior information about Osama’s location, he said,
“Some people knew, people in the Pakistan army as well as people in the other forces they also knew it and they were on the lookout for somebody of the stature of Osama bin Laden.”
Mukhtar’s claims comes on the heels of an investigative reporter Seymour Hersh’s assertion that a Pakistani agent had leaked Osama’s Abbottabad hideout address to the US and that the Pakistan Army was aware of the location.
Almost a decade before his death, Osama had orchestrated the infamous 9/11 attack on the US.