Three of Osama bin Laden's wives and several of his children are being detained by the Pakistani government. They have been in Pakistan's custody since the May raid on bin Laden's Abbottabad compound and are being questioned by officials.

Pakistan is in the midst of a prolonged investigation into the both the raid and bin Laden's presence in the country. The former al Qaeda leader was thought to have been hiding near Islamabad for almost five years, a fact that has embarrassed Pakistani intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence , or ISI.

Bin Laden's wives will be repatriated to their native countries once the investigation is concluded. Two of the detained wives are from Saudi Arabia and one is from Yemen. Including bin Laden's children, there are thirteen other people being held by the investigatory commission.

Ministry of interior and ISI have been directed to ensure that the family of Osama bin Laden is not repatriated from Pakistan without the consent of the commission, the commission said in a statement issued late on Tuesday after its first meeting.

Pakistan started the investigation last month. Although an ally of the United States, Pakistan was not informed of the raid on bin Laden's compound until after the mission was complete.

The meetings are not open to the public, and so far the military and ISI are being kept away. People in Pakistan were shocked to learn that Osama bin Laden had been hiding out in the country for so long, and some conjecture that the ISI may have known his whereabouts earlier.

Analysts are not confident in the commission's ability to find useful information. Pakistan has established many similar investigations in the past that have yielded few results.