The U.S. government has rejected criticism from senior Pakistani officials about the unilateral commando raid on a compound in Abbottabad that led to the killing of al-Qaeda chieftain Osama bin Laden.
Washington also said it will not apologize for the action that killed the world’s number one fugitive.
We do not apologize for the action, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.
In an earlier address to the Pakistani parliament, the prime minister of that country Yousuf Raza Gilani suggested the maneuver to kill bin Laden was a violation of his nation’s sovereignty and warned that any other similar actions would be met with “full force.”
Gilani also dismissed allegations that important functionaries in the Pakistani government likely aided and abetted bin Laden during his multi-year residence in the country.
However, in a move towards some appeasement, the Obama Administration also asserted how important an ally Pakistan is and that it expects Islamabad to continue to cooperate in the ongoing war against terror.
This relationship [U.S.-Pakistan] is too important to walk away from, Carney said. The relationship is important and complicated. It has been cooperative in the past and we hope that it will continue to do so.”
He added that he hopes Pakistani authorities are able to conduct a thorough investigation on the security and intelligence breaches that allowed bin Laden to live undisturbed and undetected in a military compound near the Pakistani capital for so long.
The cooperation that we've had with Pakistan has been important for years now in our fight against terrorism and terrorists,” Carney said.
“And more terrorists have been killed on Pakistani soil because of that cooperation than anywhere else in the world, and that's important to note.”
Carney also noted that US officials are seeking Pakistan approval to allow investigators to question the three widows of bin Laden, who are reportedly under custody in Pakistan.