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No answers from Pakistan

(China Daily)

13:15, May 02, 2012

One year since US commandos flew into this Pakistani army town and killed Osama bin Laden, Islamabad has failed to answer tough questions over whether its security forces were protecting the world's most wanted terrorist.

The Pakistani government initially welcomed the raid that killed bin Laden in his three-story compound, but within hours the mood changed as it became clear that Pakistan's army was cut out of the operation. Any discussions over how bin Laden managed to stay undetected in Pakistan were drowned out in anger at what the army portrayed as a treacherous act by a supposed ally.

That bin Laden was living with his family near Pakistan's version of West Point - not in a cave in the mountains as many had guessed - raised eyebrows in the West. A week after the raid, President Barack Obama said bin Laden had a "support network" in Pakistan and the country must investigate how he evaded capture. Pakistan responded by announcing the formation of a committee to investigate bin Laden's presence in Pakistan as well as the circumstances surrounding the US raid.

Soon after it began its work, the head of the committee said he was sure that security forces were not hiding bin Laden. Other statements since then have also suggested the report will be more of a whitewash than a genuine probe.

Last week, committee spokesman retired Colonel Mohammad Irfan Naziri said its findings were being written up but they might not be released publicly.

"We're disappointed," a US official said about the investigation. "They promised to do it, but they haven't yet."

The public line of the Obama administration is that no evidence has emerged to suggest bin Laden had high-level help inside Pakistan. Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence agency said bin Laden's long and comfortable existence in the country was an "intelligence failure".

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