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US refuses to buy Pak version on Laden

By The Assam Tribune

WASHINGTON, May 3 � Refusing to buy Pakistan�s claim that it was unaware of Osama bin Laden�s presence on its soil, the US today said it was �inconceivable� that the dreaded terrorist had no support system in the country where he had been hiding for over six years, reports PTI.

�It�s inconceivable that bin Laden did not have a support system in the country that allowed him to remain there for an extended period of time,� US Deputy National Security Adviser for Counter-terrorism and Homeland Security John Brennan told reporters here.

�I am not going to speculate about what type of support he might have had on an official basis inside of Pakistan,� he said, adding the US believed that bin Laden had been in the country for more than six years.

His remarks came a day after the world�s most wanted terrorist was shot dead in a pre-dawn helicopter-borne secret US operation in a house just yards away from Pakistan�s Military Academy in Abbottabad near Islamabad, raising questions whether the establishment knowingly harboured him.

Pakistan has distanced itself from having any role in the US operation. However, giving a new version, Pakistan�s Ambassador to US, Husain Haqqani, acknowledged that bin Laden had �support system� in the country, but insisted that the government had no hand in shielding him.

�Obviously, bin Laden did have a support system (in Pakistan). The issue was (whether) that support system (was) within the government and the state of Pakistan or within the society of Pakistan,� he said. �We all know that there are people in Pakistan who share the same belief system as bin Laden and other extremists... So that is a fact, that there are people who probably protected him,� he told CNN.

The Pakistani Taliban has warned that they would target Pakistan and the US to avenge the killing of bin Laden by American special forces.

In an audio message issued to the Pakistani media from an undisclosed location, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan said his group would take revenge for his killing.

He warned that Pakistan�s leaders, including President Asif Ali Zardari, and the army were on the Taliban�s hit list and would be their �first targets.�

Meanwhile, eminent US lawmakers accused Pakistan of playing a �double-game� with the US on the war against terror and raised suspicion that ISI knew about bin Laden�s presence in the country.

The killing of bin Laden at a one-million dollar hideout, just 120 km away from Islamabad, shows Pakistan remains a critical but �uncertain ally� in the fight against terrorism, Senator Susan Collins said.

�It�s very difficult for me to understand how this huge compound could be built in a city just an hour north of the capital of Pakistan, in a city that contained military installations, including the Pakistani Military Academy, and that it did not arouse tremendous suspicion...,� Collins said.

She said the US needs to keep the pressure on Pakistan and for that it should have �more strings attached to the tremendous amount of military aid that we give to the country.�

Senator Joe Lieberman said there are going to be a lot of questions raised here in the Congress about what people in the Pakistani intelligence agency particularly knew or should have known about the presence of bin Laden in Pakistan itself.

�For years, you know, the Pakistani officials have said to us he�s not in Pakistan; he�s in the mountains in Waziristan between Pakistan and Afghanistan.�

Brennan, on his part, said the fact that bin Laden was found so close to the capital �raises questions�.

�There are a lot of people within the Pakistani government, and I�m not going to speculate about who or if any of them had fore-knowledge about bin Laden being in Abbottabad. But certainly his location there outside of the capital raises questions. We are talking to the Pakistanis about this,� he said.

�We are leaving open opportunities to continue to pursue whatever leads might be out there,� Brennan said, responding to questions on how the most wanted terrorist was found in one of the most affluent neighbourhoods near Islamabad, which is residence of top retired military officials.

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— Dalai Lama(THIS IS STATIC)

US refuses to buy Pak version on Laden

WASHINGTON, May 3 � Refusing to buy Pakistan�s claim that it was unaware of Osama bin Laden�s presence on its soil, the US today said it was �inconceivable� that the dreaded terrorist had no support system in the country where he had been hiding for over six years, reports PTI.

�It�s inconceivable that bin Laden did not have a support system in the country that allowed him to remain there for an extended period of time,� US Deputy National Security Adviser for Counter-terrorism and Homeland Security John Brennan told reporters here.

�I am not going to speculate about what type of support he might have had on an official basis inside of Pakistan,� he said, adding the US believed that bin Laden had been in the country for more than six years.

His remarks came a day after the world�s most wanted terrorist was shot dead in a pre-dawn helicopter-borne secret US operation in a house just yards away from Pakistan�s Military Academy in Abbottabad near Islamabad, raising questions whether the establishment knowingly harboured him.

Pakistan has distanced itself from having any role in the US operation. However, giving a new version, Pakistan�s Ambassador to US, Husain Haqqani, acknowledged that bin Laden had �support system� in the country, but insisted that the government had no hand in shielding him.

�Obviously, bin Laden did have a support system (in Pakistan). The issue was (whether) that support system (was) within the government and the state of Pakistan or within the society of Pakistan,� he said. �We all know that there are people in Pakistan who share the same belief system as bin Laden and other extremists... So that is a fact, that there are people who probably protected him,� he told CNN.

The Pakistani Taliban has warned that they would target Pakistan and the US to avenge the killing of bin Laden by American special forces.

In an audio message issued to the Pakistani media from an undisclosed location, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan said his group would take revenge for his killing.

He warned that Pakistan�s leaders, including President Asif Ali Zardari, and the army were on the Taliban�s hit list and would be their �first targets.�

Meanwhile, eminent US lawmakers accused Pakistan of playing a �double-game� with the US on the war against terror and raised suspicion that ISI knew about bin Laden�s presence in the country.

The killing of bin Laden at a one-million dollar hideout, just 120 km away from Islamabad, shows Pakistan remains a critical but �uncertain ally� in the fight against terrorism, Senator Susan Collins said.

�It�s very difficult for me to understand how this huge compound could be built in a city just an hour north of the capital of Pakistan, in a city that contained military installations, including the Pakistani Military Academy, and that it did not arouse tremendous suspicion...,� Collins said.

She said the US needs to keep the pressure on Pakistan and for that it should have �more strings attached to the tremendous amount of military aid that we give to the country.�

Senator Joe Lieberman said there are going to be a lot of questions raised here in the Congress about what people in the Pakistani intelligence agency particularly knew or should have known about the presence of bin Laden in Pakistan itself.

�For years, you know, the Pakistani officials have said to us he�s not in Pakistan; he�s in the mountains in Waziristan between Pakistan and Afghanistan.�

Brennan, on his part, said the fact that bin Laden was found so close to the capital �raises questions�.

�There are a lot of people within the Pakistani government, and I�m not going to speculate about who or if any of them had fore-knowledge about bin Laden being in Abbottabad. But certainly his location there outside of the capital raises questions. We are talking to the Pakistanis about this,� he said.

�We are leaving open opportunities to continue to pursue whatever leads might be out there,� Brennan said, responding to questions on how the most wanted terrorist was found in one of the most affluent neighbourhoods near Islamabad, which is residence of top retired military officials.

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— Dalai Lama(THIS IS STATIC)