Amidst a growing chorus accusations by India that the Pakistani authorities had been harboring Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in their country for years, the former chief of Pakistani intelligence vehemently has denied the allegations. However, he also warned that Al Qaeda may take revenge in retaliation for the killing of Osama.
Retired Lieutenant Hamid Gul, the former boss of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan's premier intelligence agency, told CNN-IBN, the Indian TV news channel: It is wrong to say that the ISI or the Pakistani government was harboring Osama. Let more information come in. It is not unusual to have compounds with huge walls and heavy security in this part of Pakistan. Pathans usually build huge compound walls. “
Gul also suggested that the US intelligence agency Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been choreographing the whole thing.
It suits [US President Barack] Obama,” he said. “It is being said that they have known about Osama's whereabouts only a week back. It could be possible that he had come into Pakistan for treatment.”
Gul also doubted that Osama has been living in Pakistan.
It is possible that ISI was aware that Osama bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan,” he stated. “There are many failures of ISI as well.
The ISI is not an organization that knows everything. It is possible that ISI came to know about Osama after the US tip off. It is quite surprising that Osama was inside Pakistan. I not aware about what time Pakistan was informed about the operation.”
Gul also claimed that he met the Al Qaeda boss in Sudan, but never inside Pakistan.
I never met Osama in Pakistan,” he said. “He attended a Mujahideen camp once but never in any ISI camps. I have met and seen Osama bin Laden in 1993-94 in Sudan.”
According to a report in The Nation, a Pakistani English-language news service, Gul warned that Al Qaeda factions in Europe, Middle East and Africa might take vengeance for Osama’s death.
Gul reportedly said that Osama has been inactive within Al Qaeda for several years and that new factions of the terrorist have rise in places like Yemen, Tunisia and Libya.
Gul also alleged that the death of Osama will benefit US President Barack Obama greatly, perhaps guaranteeing victory in the 2012 election.
Palash has worked as a business journalist for 21 years in New York.