Osama bin Laden and his aides wanted to make a deal with the Pakistani government under which al-Qaeda would not attack Pakistani targets in exchange for a safe haven in the country, according to a report in The New York Times.
The intelligence came from U.S. government officials who have been poring over documents seized in the raid in the Pakistani compound where bin Laden was killed a few weeks ago.
This appeared to be a discussion inside al Qaeda, the official said.
The revelation suggests that the terror chief might have regarded Islamabad as sympathetic to his cause, or at least not overtly hostile to him. Indeed, since it was discovered that bin Laden had been hiding out in Pakistan for several years, many in Washington have become gravely suspicious of Pakistan.
However, according to the U.S. official, there is no evidence in the documents that bin Laden or his operatives ever approached the Pakistani military or intelligence with any such proposal.
Husain Haqqani, Pakistani ambassador to the United States, told CNN that Pakistan is not aware of any such idea.
The question is, 'Did he raise it with anyone?' The U.S. government clearly says that he did not. It was something that he and his associates were considering amongst themselves,” Haqqani said.
So if we knew something about it, we would have done something about it long ago.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has granted approval for the US CIA to send forensic teams to comb through the infamous compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, after weeks of difficult negotiations.